Just hours after Lil Wayne began his one-year prison term yesterday (March 8), another hip-hop king announced his return to the game. T.I. premiered his latest track, appropriately titled "I'm Back," yesterday on his official website. He also revealed on a conference call held an hour after the song's debut that his upcoming seventh studio album will be released on August 24.
"I ain't never let you down, I'mma shine on sight / Keep your mind on your grind and off of mine's, all right?," Tip raps on the song. "Hard, I'mma ball on those squares, I flow/ A quarter million dollar cars everywhere I go ... No matter what they doin' they don't do it like me / like a G I hold it down for the town I'm at, in a flash like that / recognize I'm back."
Later in the first verse, T.I. dismisses wanna-be thug rappers atop the Trackslayerz' beat, and name checks rappers that like himself earned their stripes by serving time. "You ain't got a pimp bone in your body, I can tell you ain't never bought a key or caught a body/ N*gga probably just seen Wayne, Gucci Mane, me and Boosie all go to prison/ Now he flip his whole image/ N---a trippin'," he rhymes.
Although T.I. didn't take any questions during the conference call, which included a select group of DJs, the rapper did reflect on the track. There is a title for the album, but he declined to disclose it.
"I appreciate the support and how hard I was going in during the brief hiatus," Tip said. "The support don't [sic] go unnoticed and I don't take it lightly. This marks a special day for us, because we putting out the first song off the album - not an official first single, just something to keep the streets warm. It's properly entitled 'I'm Back.' It's a lot of things that needed to be spoken on. In my absence, it [sic] was a lot of things that went down, a lot of matters that needed to be addressed. This was the greatest platform for me to do it. It was the first song I did when I came home. You get me fresh out the box going in. I'm sure you guys will enjoy it."
Tip spoke for a little over three minutes. He said that he should be traveling from city to city this summer.
"It ain't gonna be long before all this is behind me," he promised, in reference to his prison sentence on weapons charges, which is expected to end in the next few weeks. T.I. was released to a halfway house in December and made his first public appearance since heading to prison last month when he accompanied girlfriend Tamika "Tiny" Cottle to an event. "Middle of April, beginning of May. Y'all gonna start seeing me. Y'all already know, once again it's on. Like we always do this time," T.I. said about future appearances.
"As long as there is air in my esophagus, champ, I'mma keep going," T.I. said in closing. "Nothing is gonna stop that. Nothing short of a 12 gauge is gonna stop me from doing what I do, champ. I just wanna say thank y'all and we gonna keep movin' on."