We also learned that T.I. is in the early stages of turning his inspirational childhood story into a television series. "I've also been developing a show called Once Upon a Time in the '90s, which details my teenage years from the time I was 15, getting sent out of school [and] on my way to who we now know as T.I.," the "Top Back" rapper explains. "It goes into the people I met, the lessons I learned, and I've been focused on that."
Give the rest of our chat with the ATL legend a read below, as Tip dishes on the 14th anniversary of King, Travis Scott's label situation with Grand Hustle coming to a close, reconnecting with Kanye West following "Ye vs the People" and possibly penning a memoir in the future.
Billboard: How are you and the family holding up during quarantine?
T.I.: Times are unfortunate, but these are still the days the Lord has made. Just embrace the light in the dark of it. Everything you do during this time to improve yourself is the light. Become more connected with yourself, learning, and growing. Treat it like a bid.
What have you learned about yourself since starting the ExpediTIously podcast last year?
I learned how much interest I had in areas outside my assumed culture. Seeing how much passion I have for learning and diversifying myself while having conversations that can push the culture and community forward.
When did you originally come up with the idea for a podcast?
I can't really say I came up with it, because it was introduced to me. I think people saw how boisterous and opinionated I was on social media, and we were approached by a podcast who suggested it to us. At first, I was like, "Man, why would I do a podcast?" They continued to explain the purpose of the platform. I took a look at my interests and thought it was a no-brainer.
What's one episode from the past few months that new or unfamiliar fans should go back and check out?
The Killer Mike episode, which is the first one we released with video. It was incredibly insightful. He's one of the smartest cats I know. I'm proud to call him a brother and business partner. He's always very eloquent, factual, knowledgeable and passionate when he speaks. Alex Jones is also a dope episode to me, because it's two people from completely opposite sides challenging one another's thoughts and beliefs.
What do you think about all the producer and artist battles we've seen on IG Live keeping us entertained during the quarantine?
I think it's phenomenal. We're looking to the content providers to giving us an alternative to driving ourselves crazy. Whatever way you can occupy your thoughts and get out of your own head can be beneficial, from Boosie to D-Nice and Tory Lanez. It's an opportunity to speak to the community as a whole. I think The-Dream and Sean Garrett [battle] was dope. Lil Jon and T-Pain was dope too. The Ne-Yo and Johnta Austin was the fanciest duel ever. It's all been great for the culture.
We just passed the 14-year anniversary of King. What do you remember most about making that album?
The thing I remember most about that record is Philant [Johnson]. That was the last album that my partner Philant was around. We were pushing a movie and an album at the same time, because ATL is also 14 years old.
Coming off of Dime Trap last year, how many more albums do you have left in you? Will we see an 11th LP from you?
I record every day. I got music in abundance from years and years that I could put out whenever, but I'm just focusing on other things. The more people who hear what I have, the more they convince me and motivate me to release it. We can't be definite about anything right now, but we know the opportunity is there and there's great potential.
What is Travis Scott's label situation with Grand Hustle right now? Could you clear that up for us?
As of everything post-ASTROWORLD, it's Cactus Jack, as I understand it. Everything ASTROWORLD and before is a joint venture between Grand Hustle, Epic, and our distributor.
What do you think of his growth from when you met him to now? Did you always see superstardom for him?
We all knew that he had immense potential. We all knew he was special. His suggestions never came in the form of a "should I..." -- it was always a definite. He had that level of certainty and awareness of himself and how he wanted to present his art. That leads you in the direction of knowing this kid is going to be great. It was a collective effort between our team, his team, and Epic that championed Travis immediately. We did all we could to push that s--t forward and he took the ball and shot it through the motherf----n hoop.
Where are we at with production for season two of Rhythm + Flow?
[It's] pending COVID-19. Season two has been green-lit and we're definitely accepting auditions by the way of video and emails. We'll be starting the first round of auditions that way, and erring on the side of progress with what's going on. I think the next level of auditions will be how we originally started.
What can we expect with another season of Friends & Family Hustle premiering next week on VH1?
These are unique moments in all of our lives, personally and professionally. Our stories are groundbreaking and unique. The conversations are awesome and I just think everyone's going to be excited to see what we've been up to.
When are we getting a memoir on the life of T.I.?
You know what, that may be a product of the quarantine. I've been working on a memoir for quite some time and it's just about deciding the direction I want to take my journey. I've also been developing a show called Once Upon a Time in the 90's, which details my teenage years from the time I was 15, getting sent out of school, [and] on my way to who we now know as T.I.. It goes into the people I met, the lessons I learned, and I've been focused on that, but I think the memoir is definitely is in order.
It's been two years since you went back-and-forth with Kanye West on "Ye vs The People." Have you had any conversations with him since?
I saw Ye when he brought Sunday Service to Atlanta. We did speak and have a positive conversation, but we didn't speak anything about politics. I think he seems to be in a happy and peaceful place, but before he seemed a little all over the place. However, I do know that he's now in a place where he's following his truth. Wherever that leads him, that's his journey and not for me to judge.