I'm embracing it," T.I. tells me of the persona that is the title of his eighth studio album, "Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head." A minute into the title track, before I could ask why, Marvin Gaye's "Trouble Man" comes through the speakers of Atlanta's Darp Studio Inc. and we both nod our heads in understanding. As Marvin smoothly croons of personal struggles, T.I. smiles and nods his head yes.
All eyes are on T.I. and he's well aware of it. After serving his 10 month prison sentence for a probation violation -- "second hiatus" as he called it during his Billboard.com's The Juice interview -- Clifford "Tip" Harris, is making moves better than the ante, sensible and strategic. The 31 yr. old rapper/actor has been in front of the lens for his family-orientated VH1 docu-series, "The Family Hustle," and recently released his first novel, "Power & Beauty: A Love Story of Life on the Streets" (Oct. 18). "The Family Hustle," which airs Dec. 5, gives us a glimpse at T.I.'s day to day since freed, focusing on the nourishment of each of his family member's talents while empowering his own.
"Everywhere he goes, he stops through the studio," says T.I.'s assistant. After finishing up his interview for Billboard's The Juice, the King played five songs from his 45 that he's recorded for possible placement on "Trouble Man." The 45 don't include the countless of remixes he's jumped on ( Meek Mill's "I'ma Boss," Jay-Z and Kanye West's "Ni**as in Paris," Drake's "Headlines," and more).
Click HERE to read the rest of the interview @ Billboard.com!