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T.I. & Quavo Debut 'Baller Alert' for Champs Sports 'We Know Game' Campaign: Exclusive

Quavo and T.I.
Champs Sports

Athletic clothing retailer Champs Sports partnered with Atlanta rappers T.I. and Quavo (one third of the rap group Migos), New York Jets wide received Brandon Marshall and Under Armour to bring their "We Know Game” campaign to life with the theme song "Baller Alert." Inspired by Marshall’s personal struggle with mental health, the campaign, which debuts nationwide Aug. 1, aims to "further inspire others to be their true selves."

Billboard spoke exclusively with Quavo on teaming with Tip for "Baller Alert" (which you can hear below and on Tidal), who he's rooting for in the NFL and what he really meant when he said the Dab is dead.

For the new We Know Game campaign, you and T.I. collaborated on a song called “Baller Alert.” Describe the creative process.

Champs wanted us to bring something positive and give it that electric sound, give it something new and be a part of the wave. For the creative visual aspect, Under Armour got the top ballers in the game with everybody on their team right now, and it's only right to have the top ballers in the rap and hip-hop game to be on the song -- myself and T.I. Producer Lex Luger did the beat, so everything was just magic.

Do you come up with lyrics first or hear a beat then write in the studio?

It's not like a process, you just really go in and lay down [everything] as close as you can and then play it. The most important thing is what words you can hear and take, and use as a hook. For example, on "Baller Alert," I probably freestyled to the tune three times before I came up with the hook. Sometimes the process works like that. Sometimes you get up and say "I got a hook" but we didn't write it down.

A big part of the campaign is recognizing someone's hustle in achieving their goals. What do you believe is the biggest challenge the youth faces today?

Our biggest challenge is just probably staying focused on our goals 'cause everybody always wants to be something -- that one thing. But life comes with many challenges. If you get it wrong and have a plan B, use it but normally if you want to achieve the goal that you want, the plan A is the one that you want so stay focused.

What message do you hope consumers will gain from the collaboration?

How people of all ages can unite. I'm 25. T.I's older than me and Brandon [Marshall] is in the middle so it shows growth. We're hanging out. It doesn't have to be all guys who are older veterans. It lets you know we can relate stronger [with] a broader outlook.

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Speaking of Brandon Marshall, any predictions for the 2016-17 NFL season?

I'm rooting for the Jets now. You know, I'll be watching our boy Brandon and I hope he does good. I saw he went viral today with his bet with Antonio Brown. Brandon put up a Porsche on who will have the most yards. Antonio put up a Rolls-Royce. I hope my boy come home with the Rolls-Royce.

Are you rooting for the Jets to win the Super Bowl?

You're taking that too far now.

Last month, you told TMZ that the "Dab is dead." What dance do you predict will be the next craze?

I told TMZ that Cam Newton said that he wasn't dabbing no more during touchdowns. He [the cameraman] asked me if the dab was dead, and I said yes I agree to the dab being dead in the touchdown, along with Cam Newton doing it because everybody was mocking him [Newton] for going all the way to the Super Bowl and losing doing the dab. The dab is dead, as far as that, but [TMZ] took it and rewrote it saying that I said the dab is completely dead and people can't do it. That's not true. I give it all to the kids; we passed it down to the kids. The kids love that dance, you know, it spread like wildfire. The dab has always been a way of fashion for us and it was never a dance. Our people and our fans made the dab, along with Cam Newton, so they can have it.

You’ve done a lot of collaborations recently, including Travis Scott for "Pick Up The Phone" off his forthcoming project Birds in the Trap Sing McKnight. Describe working with him as well as the meaning of the album title.

He named his album title after the bar that I said on "Pick Up the Phone" when I say, "birds in the trap sing [Brian] McKnight." He took it and made it the album [title]. That alone right there tells you how our relationship is. We fam, we boys, we brothers and we always in the studio working, giving each other game, new shit, new waves. We always look for something new, we always brought the swag. I give him a lot of points -- his album gon' be fire.

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What can fans look forward to next?

We just gave the fans the 3 Way EP right now, which is on Migos' SoundCloud. The “Cocoon” video is also out. We just shot the video in L.A. to the “Pick Up The Phone” with Travis [Scott]. I got the “Champions” record out with Kanye [West]. So much shit out right now that I’m going crazy.

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