T.I. Stretches Out With Eminem, Timbaland, Wyclef
Atlanta rapper T.I. tries a little bit of everything on his upcoming album "T.I. vs. T.I.P.," due July 3 via Grand Hustle/Atlantic. The set will feature guest turns by Eminem, Justin Timberlake, R. KeAtlanta rapper T.I. tries a little bit of everything on his upcoming album "T.I. vs. T.I.P.," due July 3 via Grand Hustle/Atlantic. The set will feature guest turns by Eminem, Justin Timberlake, R. Kelly, Nelly, Akon and Lil' Wayne as well as production from Timbaland, Scott Storch, Mannie Fresh, Wyclef Jean and Just Blaze, among others. A single should hit radio by early April.
Billboard.com previewed 14 songs in contention to make the final album out of the more than 60 that have been recorded. Among the single contenders are the Mannie Fresh-produced "Big Things Poppin'," where T.I. proclaims, "I made it from the bottom to the top / where I oughta be," and "Show It to Me," a club track that will feature Nelly. "When you barely had flow, I had crack for the ho's," T.I. raps.
Among the more surprising cuts are the three produced by Wyclef; the artists wrote eight songs during just three days of collaboration. "You Know What It Is" sports a dubby thump behind the sound of a gun being cocked, with T.I. boasting, "Had the album of the year, n***a / Grammy or not." "Shorty Got a Gun" has an almost Latin melody and a lot going on production wise, while "Pass the Dutchie" nicks lines from the chorus of Muscial Youth's hit of the same name, with a melody not unlike Wyclef's own "Gone Till November."
R. Kelly will be featured on the jovial "Life of the Party," while Lil' Wayne utilizes his trademark Southern drawl to great effect on the sparse, Donny Hathaway-namechecking "Yeah." The album is also tipped to feature the Runners-produced club track "Don't You Wanna Get High," Scott Storch's "It's OK" and "Tell 'Em I Said That," marked by a spiraling synth line and production by Danja Handz.
However, arguably the most interesting track is the Grand Hustle-trumpeting "Hip-Hop," a Just Blaze production marked by a chopped-up rock guitar riff and loud, '80s drums. It is not yet clear if the song will appear on "T.I. vs. T.I.P." The Eminem tracks will be put to tape in the coming days in Detroit, while Timbaland and Timbalake are earmarked to contribute in the next few weeks as well.
Throughout, T.I. raps in two personas: that of himself, and of his alter ego, T.I.P. "It's basically a battle within myself," the artist told Billboard in December. "There's not nobody out there doing what I do as well as I do it, so I see myself as worthy competition for myself."
The upcoming album is the follow-up to 2006's "King," which has sold 1.6 million copies in the United States, according to Nielsen SoundScan. T.I. is also making another foray into film acting with the Nov. 2 release of "American Gangster," alongside Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe. In addition, the rapper's Grand Hustle Films is developing two projects: "For Sale" and "Random Check," the latter centered around airport security.