Artist of the Week: T.I.
Making up for the lost time when he was kept behind bars, T.I. quickly patched his way back to the limelight by announcing a new album. Preceded by a promotional single and several remixes featuring other famed hip-hop artists such as Jay-Z and Kanye West, the eighth studio installment is titled "Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head" and set for a December 18 release.
At least 86 new tracks were recorded for the upcoming set, which the "Live Your Life" hitmaker described as "a lot more urban than 'Paper Trail', and less apologetic than 'No Mercy'." He further claimed, "It's got a lotta heart, it's got a lotta edge. It's a creative album. It's probably harder than most of the s**t that's coming out right now."
True to the album's title, the Atlanta-born rapper realized he had a lot of problems in his life, but he wouldn't let people take him down. "I've learned that one thing about my life that is certain is trouble...Be that as it may, I shall embrace that fact and not evade it. We all have faults," he once said. "Before I let you stand on your high horse and point a finger back down at me, I'm going to give you a big, stiff 'F**k you.' "
To make it more colorful, he enlisted such artists as Pink, Andre Benjamin a.k.a. Andre 3000 of Outkast, Cee-Lo Green and Akon as featured guests. His collaboration with Lil Wayne, "Ball", has so far given the most boost to the album, peaking at No. 50 on Billboard Hot 100 and at No. 11 on R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
He certainly knows how to keep people's heads turned to him as he inserts a diss to someone in a song titled "Addresses", but decides to keep the target a mystery. "It was direct. Now the thing about who it was directed too, it benefits them more than it benefits me, for me to put it out there. So I made it directly in a way only they will know. Therefore they cannot get any shine off of it," he recently explained why he refused to name the subject of his rant.
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