T.I. tells Jalen Rose about his early days in trap music

TI Harris is the King of the South. The Atlanta native is a restaurant owner, trap music movement shaper, reality star, and actor. But it all started when I was in elementary school. T.I. was irritable and “naughty” at the time. He was 9 years old and started dropping the bar.

“I started rapping like a sophomore, a junior, and writing raps to challenge myself,” he told me on this week’s “Renaissance Man.” I was one of those bored, confused kids who finished work early. He had good grades, but he wanted to get along with troublemakers, so he leaned into it.

“My uncle said if I got in trouble again he would go kick my ass,” TI said. “So I knew I had to carve out some time for myself after work. That challenged me to write raps…and I did it. The dining room table.” I kicked it in. Everyone went crazy, they couldn’t believe I wrote it, I said, ‘Okay, do something else.’ So I wrote another rap in one night and did it again. So I did it again on the playground and it went crazy. Then I realized that this was mine. ”

Another Atlanta product made him realize he could make an impact at any age.

“I really thought I had to grow up before I pursued [music]It wasn’t until Chris Kross came along that I realized this was possible now.Who’s stepping into politics and really ruling the roost in his house? Spoiler alert — his wife, Tiny.

Going forward, he idolizes LL Cool J, NWA, and Jay-Z, and is now an actor as well, so he’ll take cues from other rapper-turned-actors like Ice-T, Will Smith, Tupac, and Ice Cube. I’m here.

TI is the innovator of Atlanta Sound. He wasn’t the first rapper to come out of that southern capital, but he coined the term “trap music.”

“Everyone has been affected by the war on drugs,” the rapper said. “We are all refugees. We were all affected by the crack era,” he said. “I don’t care if you sold it, if you knew someone who smoked it, if your dad went to jail for selling it. So trap music came out, a philosophy set in music about a time when many people were affected and many shared similar experiences.”

His influence is felt in his hometown in many ways. He started the Trap Music Museum and Trap City his cafe.

“We call it the Vibe Emporium.

TI will perform at halftime during a game between the Sacramento Kings and the Atlanta Hawks on November 23, 2022 at State Farm Arena.
Getty Images

“I wouldn’t necessarily call it an entry into the industry. I’m happy to be here…I consider myself a student,” he said of the arts.

He’s very much a leader, but politically I hate him.

“It’s important to me to have a connection with the community. It’s important to me to find ways to bridge the gap and help the community. Politics? Yeah, no. I want to support people who are serious about giving back. I’m not really into that kind of politics, I get into it when I feel like the community is someone I can trust and support… Politics is very… flimsy, you know what I mean? ? When [there’s] There is not much sincerity there. ”

He’s taking the box office seriously when “Fear” hits theaters this weekend. The film, a psychological thriller about a sinister weekend getaway, is directed by Dion Taylor and stars Joseph Sikora and his TI, who is also a producer. They started filming it during COVID when most of the industry went dark.

“We trusted the process. Speaking of fear, there’s the fear of losing money,” he said with a laugh. What are his other fears?

“My greatest fear is not being there when the people who need me need me,” he replied earnestly.

But back to his bank account. I had to ask him if he had any regrets about his earlier, more odd, frivolous purchases.

“There are many,” he told me.

“I overpaid for the penthouse because I wanted it. [to have it] It’s time,” he admitted. “I used to overpay for a mansion.” And on his 25th birthday, he did the most extravagant thing.

TI Performs at Future & Friends "One Big Party Tour"January 13, 2023 at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte, NC
TI said he started rapping early in elementary school.
Prince Williams/Wireimage

“I bought an Aston Martin and a McLaren on the same day for cash,” he said. “I went to buy charms and chains for all my partners. I bought chains for those who don’t wear jewelry.”

“Thanks to God’s grace, I was able to learn from my mistakes.” And my investments overwhelmed my negative purchases. , we can have another day.”

Detroit native Jalen Rose was part of the iconoclastic Fab Five at the University of Michigan, rocking the world of college hoops in the early ’90s. He played his 13 seasons in the NBA before transitioning to a media personality. Rose is an analyst on NBA Countdown and Get Up, and co-host of Jalen & Jacoby. He is executive producer of ESPN’s “30 for 30” series “The Fab Five”, author of the best-selling book “Got To Give the People What They Want”, fashion tastemaker and , co-founded the Jalen Rose Leadership Academy. , a public charter school in his hometown.

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