Thanks to the debut of “T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” in late 2011, Atlanta rapper T.I.’s family life was put in the spotlight due to the VH1-backed, reality television series. And prior to last night’s (December 16) airing of "Holiday Hustle Special," a holiday special starring cartoon versions of T.I. and his family, the Southern wordsmith spoke with The Russ Parr Morning Show about his life as a rapper and his life as a family man.
T.I. credited his ability to maintain both aspects of his life to both diversity and evolution.
“I think diversity is the key,” said the rapper. “Diversity is the key as well as evolution. You know what I mean? I think that when you say ‘hardcore’ I mean, I don’t even know—like what is that? I think I talk about my life and my experiences, you know? I think—I’m just speaking about my children and all that in all of my albums. But it’s another side to me. You know, what you see is ‘Family Hustle’ and that’s usually me before I leave the house. Before I even get dressed. Now once I get in the car and I head into the city, you know, it’s a different face on. You know what I mean?”
Later in the interview, T.I. offered a few added details about his “Holiday Hustle Special.” According to the Hustle Gang helmsman, he didn’t play a role in writing the special, but did approve the show’s script.
“No, I did not. I will not take credit,” said T.I. “I did not, but I did approve it…And we all did—myself, Tameka, all the kids, we all did the voices ourselves. And I mean, I think that—what we trying to do is, we had ‘Charlie Brown’ and ‘Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer,’ ‘Frosty The Snowman,’ and so many just memorable, generational specific, classic holiday [shows]. I ain’t see no new ones and I felt like—the way people speak of us it makes me feel like we significant enough to where we can make a mark and we can actually achieve that.”
“T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle” first aired in December 2011 on VH1 and will soon enter into its fourth season. In a past interview with Loop 21, T.I. stated that his family’s reality show “is not nonsense” and expressed his dislike for the term “reality series.”
"It’s a look inside the lives of me and my family," said T.I. "It gives insight into how I balance my personal and professional lives. I don’t like the term reality series because that word has a negative stigma. It discredits all the effort and energy I put into the show. We want to be taken seriously. This is not nonsense."
Audio from T.I.’s interview on The Russ Parr Morning Show can be found below (via Black America Web).