With his Paperwork: The Motion Picture album still on the way, T.I. spoke with Complex News about collaborating with Young Thug and Pharrell executive producing his next release. He also talked about his own reactions to criticism leveraged at Iggy Azalea.
Detailing his loyalty for Azalea, Tip claimed that allegations of Azalea being racist are unfounded.
“That pisses me off,” he said of the “Fancy” star’s detractors. “Simply because they don’t have any real substantial grounds. ‘I don’t like them.’ Why? ‘Just ‘cause.’ What you mean just ‘cause? Since when do you get the right to judge people? Who died and made you the emperor of Egypt? That kind of shit and then the things that they accuse her of, like the racist stuff. That’s not even her. That’s not even in her. Me knowing her, knowing where she comes from—for real, the whole racist thing, that’s American—we forget, she’s not American. So the whole Black, white, color divided thing, it isn’t a part of her DNA like it is here in America. It’s just ignorant to me. In this day and age, to be a race of people who are demanding equality and speaking out on injustices and wanting to be treating fairly, to stand up and do the exact same thing in opposite to someone unwarranted for no reason, it’s hypocritical. I’ma ride with her. So, ya’ll go ahead. Anybody got a problem with it just know, it gon’ be one ‘cause I’m coming.”
During the sit-down, T.I. also explained the lessons he’s learned from Pharrell who is executive producing Paperwork.
“Man, just how to dare to be different,” he said. “Pharrell constantly reminds me that the most brilliant ideas of humanity always were laughed at in the beginning. He recites quotes like this: ‘They laugh at me for being different, I laugh at them for being the same.’ You know what I’m saying? Pharrell say stuff like that. It’s like, ‘Hell yeah, what am I thinking?’ Like with the hat. He just walks in, matter of fact. Before he wore it on TV or anywhere.”
Speaking on another pair of outliers in Hip Hop, T.I. also broke down his thoughts on the influence of OutKast, calling the duo “our Rolling Stones” and part of the “upper echelon of Hip Hop.”
“I think OutKast showed us how to make a music—like how to put bands in studios and not compromise,” he said. “Before then as far as I can remember, all I can remember is drum machines, scratches, beat-boxes. I don’t really remember things that were as musical. The whole Drake thing, they was doing that then. He’s a product of that. Cee-Lo Green I think was the first Drake ‘cause Cee-Lo was singing before Dre was, before 3000 was. That was the introduction. That kind of led the way, paved the way, for a lot of cats who we see right now who have taken the blueprint and found their own way to apply it and master it. But I think it started from things like that.”
T.I. Speaks On Young Thug Collaboration And “Weirdo Music”
Having released the successful “About The Money” single in the Spring, T.I. also talked generally about working with Young Thug.
“Every time we worked together that’s how we did it,” he said, referring to in-person studio collaborations. “For real man, I knew Thugga, we have some close, personal, mutual acquaintances. I knew him from them, before he even blew up. And I know the area of town he’s from. I called my guy, I said, ‘Hey man, you and your partner, ya’ll fall through over here. Go on and get in, see what we come up with.’ I was in the studio working late as usual. So they falled through man, about thirty deep. I said, ‘Alright, let’s go to work.’ So then London actually was there who produced ‘About The Money,’ he pulled up some beats. The first beat we heard, that was it. That was the song, we just went in and did it immediately. On the spot. Took about 30 minutes.”
While he didn’t seem to explicitly include Young Thug in the subsect, T.I. also reacted to the influx of alternative Hip Hop.
“You mean ‘weirdo music?’” he asked. “I think it’s a place for it. As long as they being true to who they are. I salute individuality. I will also take a stand and say, you know what, that’s not for me. But, I’m not gonna be so judgmental to say, ‘There is no place for this in what we do.’ C’mon man. That’s the same thing that the people who love Rock’n’Roll was saying when people introduced Hip Hop to the scene. Standing up for your equality, for your right to be respected as a musician, then why is you gon’ hold your nuts on the next person just because they not doing it the same way as you.”