When asked about the direction he planned to take while crafting his most recent album, Paperwork, Atlanta, Georgia rapper T.I. offered his thoughts on the current state of Hip Hop. According to T.I., Hip Hop has become “too electronic” and “too easy to make.”
In regards to his studio album, the Hustle Gang lyricist revealed that his goal was to “infuse” the sound of Hip Hop both past and future.
“It’s too electronic right now,” T.I. said during his CRWN interview with Elliott Wilson. “You know what I’m saying? That’s just my—From what I have heard or from what I could observe…I appreciate all art forms of music. All creations. Everything that people put they blood, sweat, and tears, they heart and soul into. I salute it and appreciate it. But as far as the way I came up, the art form that I grew to love it has gotten way too electronic now. And it’s too easy to make beats and say ‘Here, I’m a producer.’ So, I felt like we gonna get the instrumentation. Bring the music back. We gon’ try to infuse the way it used to be done with the way that it will be done tomorrow. The way UGK did with Ridin’ Dirty. The way Jay did with The Blueprint. The way Snoop did with Doggystyle. The way OutKast did with Southernplayalistic.”
T.I. also spoke on his relationship with fellow artist and Paperwork collaborator, Pharrell Williams. He says Pharrell played a role in his decision to sign with Columbia Records late last year after describing the label as a heavily “artist-driven company.”
“Pharrell basically…Even when I was working on my last album with Atlantic he was very just instrumental,” he said. “Ever since I got out of prison. When I got out of prison that was the first beat CD I got from Pharrell…Pharrell was the first beat CD that I got. And ever since then it seems like every time I come home from prison Pharrell’s the first person I see. He’s always showing up as soon as I come home…I just definitely appreciated it to the utmost and when he said—When I became a free agent of course we had all kinds of offers being tossed around…I love Doc [Dr. Dre], me and him have an awesome relationship. I just felt that he had so much going on and I saw him so few and far between, but thank you to Doc because he blessed me as well. For Pharrell, it was really like he said that in his experience Columbia was the most artist-driven company he’s ever been at.”
Lastly, T.I. recalled first meeting Young Thug through his little cousin before the rapper gained fame. He says he was “eager to support” Thug as an up-and-coming artist, but was waiting for the rapper to get to a certain level.
“He run with my cousin and them,” T.I. said. “My little cousin and my little patnas. I call them the Lost Boys. No bullshit. Back when they was like 18, 19 they was in some real heavy shit. And that’s what I know him from. And when I heard that he was rapping I’m of course eager to support, but I’m like once it gets to a level where I hear about it from somewhere else besides y’all then I’ll listen to it. And then just slowly but surely I start hearing the name. And then he had the ‘Stoner’ record. I didn’t know it was him…Finally, my lil cousin’s like ‘That’s Thug.’”
T.I.’s CRWN interview can be found below (via AllHipHop).