Clifford Harris Jr., better known as T.I. or Tip, is a legend in the hip-hop world, with nine studio albums, ten mixtapes, and numerous hits from his staggering 110 singles, with successful tracks including “Rubber Band Man”, “U Don’t Know Me”, “Whatever You Like”, “Dead and Gone”, “Swagga Like Us”, “Live Your Life”, and “No Mediocre”, among numerous other tracks as both a lead artist and as feature. He has seventeen Top 40 hits as a lead artist and ten as a featured artist on the Billboard Hot 100.
T.I. has numerous other ventures, including acting in films such as ATL and Takers, starring in reality TV series T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle and T.I’s Road to Redemption, and numerous entrepreneurial efforts.
Here are five things you may not know about the wildly successful rapper.
1) He is older than most rappers
T.I. is older than most currently successful rappers at the ripe age of thirty-five. Of course, he’s been performing for quite a while, setting himself up as a legend. Nowadays, he can basically do whatever he wants.
2) He is the founder of Grand Hustle Records
T.I. founded Grand Hustle Records (also known as Hustle Gang Music) in 2003 after being dropped by Arista Records. The label, now an independent record company, hosts a number of high-profile artists, including B.o.B., Trae the Truth, Travis Scott, and T.I. himself. The label has released nine RIAA certified albums.
3) Led Iggy Azalea to Major Success
T.I. is credited with leading Iggy Azalea to the major success she found in 2014. After releasing her debut mixtape Ignorant Art in 2011, she reached out to T.I., who agreed to executively produce her debut album The New Classic and led her to sign with Mercury Records in 2013. T.I. is featured on the album’s third single “Change Your Life”. The two also collaborated on T.I.’s hit “No Mediocre”.
He has defended his protégé against numerous accusations of cultural appropriation and racism, as well as rebutting attacks from Azealia Banks, Q-Tip, and Snoop Dogg.
4) Appreciates Diversity in Rap Music
Tip is a major proponent of diversity (in both the racial and musical sense) in rap music. One can tell that by the diversity of talents on his newest album Paperwork, which includes production work from talents such as DJ Toop, DJ Mustard, Timbaland, and Pharrell Williams (who serves as the chief executive producer for the album).
5) T.I. is a Firm Believer in the Political Process
While many of his peers eschew the political establishment, T.I. embraces political duty. In speech in 2008, Tip discussed how everyone need to contribute to politics in order to have proper government representation.
It is very important that we accept responsibility as leaders in this country. And the sooner we do that, the sooner we will see this country’s ways represent us. Right now, we might look at politics and say, ‘well, you know, politics don’t really represent me.’ That’s because there’s not enough of us involved. The more of us that get involved, the more this country’s ways will represent us.
He expressed his beliefs in “New National Anthem” featuring Skylar Grey, in which he discusses the War on Terror and its effect on veterans, gun violence, police brutality (specifically the death of Michael Brown), prison industrial complex, and other issues.