After leaving the major-label system following the release of his ninth studio album Paperwork in October 2014 via Columbia, T.I. has finally found a new home under Jay Z‘s wing. Ahead of his pop-up performance at Greenbriar Mall in his hometown of Atlanta on Monday night (Feb. 22), Tip announced he has signed a distribution deal with Roc Nation for his upcoming album, Dime Trap, and joins the growing list of artists who are co-owners of Tidal.
Signs pointed to T.I.’s Tidal deal last week, when he announced that Monday’s pop-up show would be live-streamed on the service as part of the company’s Tidal X concert series. At the same time, he released his new single from the album, Money Talk, exclusively on the service. As the latest artist co-owner, Tip joins the likes of Kanye West, Beyoncé, J. Cole, Nicki Minaj, Rihanna, Usher and more who have stakes in the service and appeared onstage at its launch event last March; Lil Wayne came onboard last June.
More significantly, Dime Trap will be T.I.’s first album released without a major label, though Roc Nation is itself distributed through Universal Music Group. After poor sales of his 2001 debut I’m Serious, T.I. was dropped from Arista Records and signed to Atlantic, where he released 2003’s Trap Muzik and his next six albums culminating with 2012’s Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head before leaving for Columbia. He’s spoken about returning to the Trap Muzik sound on his forthcoming LP, due out this year on his Grand Hustle Records label.
Paperwork debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 chart on its release, his eighth straight album to reach the top 10 on the chart, while Tip’s latest release — and first after leaving Columbia — was the five-song Da Nic EP last September. The Tidal connection seems to indicate that he’ll be following Rihanna and Kanye West by releasing Dime Trap exclusively via the service, despite its hiccups rolling out Rihanna’s Anti in January. Check out “Money Talk” below.