you feel about the way "King" came out?
proud of it.
you want to give fans with "King"?
I want to
give them my best work. This is my best work ever.
your state-of-mind recording "King"?
it working with the Neptunes on this album?
It was good.
Me and Pharell definitely have a chemistry.
want to touch on different topics for "King"?
I just want
to get better. I just want to get better, period.
will look at you and your sales and say, "He doesn't have to get
better." How do you improve at this point in your career?
always raising my expectations.
name your album "King" based on what people say about you or
what you think?
It's a double-meaning.
It's for what people think about me, what I think about myself, and it's
also named after my son.
anything that happened from "Urban Legend" that you didn't want
to repeat on "King"?
a lot of things that I did want to repeat. The only thing I can say that
I wanted to change is that I didn't have as much time to work on "Urban
Legend" as I did for "King." I actually had time to put
the album together from beginning to end the way I felt it should be.
It was such an unconditional condition. With "Urban Legend,"
I didn't have the time to do that.
your movie "ATL" coming out right around the time of the album.
Is the summer of 2006 going to be yours?
plan. We intended it to be like that. We weren't as visible as we could
have been at the end of last summer because we were shooting the movie
and working on the P$C album. We prepared for this part of the year, and
now it's time. It's time to go.
of times fans don't see the hard work. How important is it to constantly
stay on the grind even if that means not being in the spotlight?
very important. It's unbelievably important. I can't stress that enough.
If you don't work, you don't eat. There's no ballin'. You can't pop bottles
in the club without money, and you can't get money without work. It's
as simple as A-B-C to me. It's just a part of my chemical basis.
do you work on a daily basis?
I was in Jacksonville. I did three radio stations and a couple of TV interviews,
I did a meet-and-greet, and I did a party, and I didn't get out of the
party until 2:30 or 3 in the morning, I got on the bus and made it to
Orlando in time to do their morning show. After that, I did a few phoners,
another radio station, another TV show, and then I got on the phone with
has DJ Drama been to your career?
been an extreme help. He's definitely a commodity to Grand Hustle. The
Apphiliates are a large movement right now. He's got a lot of hot shit
going on. They have artists, producers
they're pretty much cornering
the market off in entertainment right now. They're planning right now.
In the next couple of years you'll be seeing everything.
is it to take the Hip Hop game from different business angles?
important. If your business ain't even together, you won't have the chance
to maximize on the opportunities you get. You have to always stay on-key
and aware of what's going on around you. As an executive or as an employee,
you have to know what demands need to be supplied before you can carry
out and follow through on what needs to be done. You must first be attentive
to the situation and realize what needs to be done.
past it seemed that you weren't happy with your label situation. Are you
happy at Atlantic?
had a problem with each other. I do feel that at the beginning of the
relationship, I was working hard and separating myself from the corporation
and just building my foundation. It has always been a partnership and
a definite mutual respect. We definitely don't have a problem working
with one another and at this point. We're friends.
any similarities between rapping and acting?
no similarities. They are worlds apart from one another.
acting help you as a rapper at all?
No. Not at
looking to do more movies in the future?
planning for that part of the year now. We're going to keep it moving.
you react when Pharell said you were "the Jay-Z of the South"?
I was definitely
flattered, to say the least. I appreciate what he said. Those are some
huge shoes to fill.
proclaimed yourself the "King of the South." But what about
Hip Hop in general? What about being the "King of Hip Hop"?
of the album is "King" with a period. It's not "King of
the South." It's "King." That was the intention. I'm definitely
setting my sights on larger land.
up with the P$C today?
working on their interviews and projects. Kuntry has two singles out that
are burning up the clubs and mixtapes and all over the place. Young Dro
has a single that's burning up the radio, clubs, mixtapes, and streets.
Everybody is working on their projects and everybody's moving.
is it that everyone in P$C succeeds as solo artists?
important. The group is kind of like everyone's project. That's because
we're all friends. P$C is our baby. It's our Microsoft. Then we branch
off and we do our own things. For the most part, P$C is a launching pad
for whatever else we choose to do with our lives. Everybody has their
own individual goals and aspirations, but the P$C is always going to be
do you guys work together?
around each other for years. I've known them for over twelve years. Neckbone
and AK went to kindergarten together. A lot of us went to school together
and our moms know each other. It's just what we do.
of groups are formed just for the money. How important is it to have the
family element in a group instead of just assembling a group to cash in?
only way that I know for it to be. That's the way I came in. This is the
only group that I have ever been in, so I have nothing else to compare
it to. If the other way works for someone else, that's cool. I salute
them. But that's their way. That way doesn't work for me.
has always said the South isn't about lyrics. Is that starting to change
The thing is though, at the time they were saying that, I think that was
true. The South was only known for catchy hooks and hot beats. It took
some time to divert people from that way of thinking to this way of thinking.
People like myself, people like Bun-B, Scarface, Andre 3000, Big Boi,
8Ball and MJG, B.G., Lil' Wayne, Trick Daddy, Ludacris
to raise the bar for what you'd consider a Southern artist. If you hear
T.I. on a song, you can expect a hot verse. You're not just going to hear
niggas rambling over a beat. It took time to change that way of thinking.
I'm proud of the movement. There are a lot of other people that worked
just as hard as I did to change shit. Look at Killer Mike
808's and his claps weren't marketable for awhile and he worked hard to
change that. The only place you could hear Lil' Jon was down South. He's
changed it to where everybody wants their shit to sound like that. Niggas
were trying to make hot songs with hot songs and chants, and now motherfuckers
are changing and it's the exact opposite. That's what I mean when I say
that I'm proud of the movement.
giving out a lot of scholarships this year to kids from single-parent
homes. How important is it to give back?
I think it's
tremendously important. I think it's mandatory. With great reward comes
do it for the attention, but a lot of what you do doesn't get publicized.
Are some rappers doing charity work for the wrong reasons?
I feel that
there is an excessive amount of rappers that do a lot of things for unworthy
reasons. They have to deal with their decisions. I'm doing my thing and
I'm wishing them the best. But that's not my way. That's not me.
never started out on the same label as Q-Tip, would you be T.I.P today?
It works out great for me this way, too. With me having to always repeat
my name, it got on some Dr. Jekkyl and Mr. Hyde shit. T.I. and T.I.P are
two different people. If that never happened, you wouldn't have a T.I.
I think everything happens for a reason and I feel that it helped me just
as much as some people feel it took away.
you motivated on a daily basis?
to be the best.
and Lil' Flip cool today?
Cool is an
overstatement. We don't have any issues. If we see each other, we might
not shake hands, but we wouldn't exchange blows either. We're all right.
I don't have a problem with him and I don't believe he has a problem with
me. We have our opinions about one another, but we agree to disagree.
it that there aren't a lot of diss tracks coming out of the South?
for us, the way it is, every time you hear a diss track from the South,
at least 90% of the time, there is going to be some sort of altercation.
That's how we were raised. You don't just go around talking about somebody
and then when you see them, it's all good. I don't know, man. That kind
of behavior of just talking about people is frowned upon down here. If
I say, "when I see you, I'm going to hit you in the face," and
I see you and I don't hit you in the face, that goes against me.
in New York is saying that New York Hip Hop is messed up and everyone
is following the South. Is that a true statement?
I don't think
New York is in bad shape. They're just used to seeing the South with a
limited amount of publicity and exposure. Now that it's being widely publicized
and we're putting up more numbers, I think the change from one extreme
to the next is what's swaying people's opinions about how the East Coast
is doing. I think the East Coast is doing fine. There's 50 and Jay. There
are a lot of cats moving units. Dipset has a huge movement. I don't think
the East Coast has a problem.
confident that you put yourself in the best position to succeed right
now with "King"?
I'm just going to be promoting this album now to make it as successful
do you have for kids trying to get in the rap game?
craft, remain positive, and live and learn. Every day, learn and listen.
you want to say to everyone?
your support. I appreciate it. March 28 is "King." March 31