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Rapper T.I. has grown to truly be one of his generation's most captivating speakers. Whether he's conversing frankly with a room full of youth about the positive side of staying in school and following their dreams, or moving tens of thousands at one of his concerts, audiences are engrossed by the King of the South's words. In September 2008, he delivered his most potent and important LP to date, "Paper Trail."

The title for "Paper Trail" is a direct reference to T.I.'s return to literally writing down his lyrics – a practice he hasn't engaged in since his debut, "I'm Serious," in 2001. Ironically, he found that going back to the basics has helped him evolve into a better MC.

The new album's official lead single is the #1 smash "Whatever You Like," a glamorous glance into what it would be like to receive the royal treatment by the King of the South. Produced by acclaimed hitmaker Jim Jonsin, the seductive jubilation takes us to a place where the only thing more abundant than the King of the South's endless cash flow, is his limitless flow of rhyme and melody.

"Paper Trail's" first street tease, "No Matter What," is the definitive declaration of T.I.'s stance as a man undeterred and an artist unrivaled, as well as a testament to how his faith in a higher power helped him get through a very public period of turbulence in his life.

In November of 2007, T.I. was arrested on firearms possession charges. Subsequently, he was placed under house arrest for almost seven months. Earlier this year, Tip pleaded guilty and he faces jail in 2009. He has also been ordered to serve over 1,500 hours of community service.

There will never be a quandary too large to make T.I. give up hope. The King of the South has made the pledge to himself, his family, and his fans to always hold his head high and persevere through any predicament—whether it be persecution, prosecution, or the loss of loved ones.

Another emotive moment on "Paper Trail" is "My Life, Your Entertainment." The King talks about some of the consequences of being a high-profile celebrity and candidly speaking MC. The public gets to see both your joys and your grief played out right in front of their eyes: "My life, your entertainment./ My sorrow, your amusement./ Laugh at my pain and anguish./ So famous I could lose it." Usher guest appears.

"Paper Trail" isn't a musical doctrine filled only with harrowing experiences, however. What would a King be without celebratory anthems… especially the King of the South, who has always served anthems for the clubs and streets in addition to mindful fodder in his body of work.

Without exaggeration, "Swagger Like Us (S.L.U.)" is an historic moment not just for T.I., but for all of hip-hop. The song is a lyrical collage of metaphors, braggadocio and style painted by the foursome many have nicknamed "Rap's Olympic Dream Team": Tip, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and the record's producer Kanye West. Each MC not only displays his distinctive cool, but each ferociously attacks the M.I.A. sampled soundscape with brash wordplay showing why they all tower over rap's most elite.

"Live Your Life" pairs T.I.'s distinguished insight and smooth-as-a-silk-Louis Vuitton pocket square-delivery with bold, but sweet harmonies of fellow Grammy Award winner Rihanna.

The roster of producers on the album includes Swizz Beatz, DJ Toomp, Drumma Boy, Danja, Just Blaze, and Justin Timberlake, among others. T.I. recorded over 70 songs for the album before narrowing it down to the final cream of the crop. "When I make LPs, I get into such a focus; you have to drag me out of the studio sometimes. This is my passion."

Tip's second professional love, as a film actor, has just taken a major step forward. He has signed a three-picture deal with Screen Gems, which will see him both acting in and producing movies. One of the projects, "Bone Deep," is a heist thriller.

Music and movies are just the tip of T.I.'s entertainment conglomerate. He's also expanding into comedy tours, the night club and restaurant scene, management, record producing, and fashion.

Tip recently found success in cyberspace, launching a social networking website called streetcred.com. As 2008 progresses, T.I. continues to lend his powerful voice towards the betterment of communities across the entire country. He recently aligned himself with the Hip-Hop Caucus, an organization dedicated towards promoting voter registration and telling youth the importance of going to the polls. The initiative targets adults between the ages of 18-29 and utilizes grassroots organizing tactics to get them to use their votes in the upcoming Presidential election.

Tip's clothing line Akoo designed the "Respect My Vote" tee-shirts that are being promoted in conjunction with the "Get Out and Vote" campaign. Akoo's hard launch happens this fall, with the apparel garnering placements in major retailers across the country. Akoo's pieces – which range from shirts to jeans – reflect Tip's diverse and lauded fashion flair.

Since 2001, T.I. has grown to become one of the most revered and successful artists in his genre, racking up millions in album sales and a myriad of awards, among them two Grammys. In July of 2007, his conceptual masterpiece, T.I. vs T.I.P., debuted at the top of the Billboard charts, selling nearly 500,000 units in its first week of release, on its way to RIAA platinum certification. T.I. vs T.I.P. featured guest appearances from Jay-Z, Eminem, and Wyclef Jean. The album birthed the smash single, "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)," which was also featured in an ESPN ad campaign.

In 2006, T.I. – known in Hollywood as Clifford "Tip" Harris – made his critically acclaimed star turn as the leading actor in the coming of age film, "ATL." He followed up that role by acting alongside Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Ruby Dee in the blockbuster drama, "American Gangster." In 2009, Harris will be tackling television with an inspirational reality show airing on MTV. The yet-to-be-titled show will center on his life on probation in the year leading up to his impending year-long jail sentence.

But first up, it's "Paper Trail," the latest chapter in the extraordinary story of T.I.


How tall is T.I.? How old is T.I.? Find out here.

Age: 36 years old
Birthday: September 25, 1980
Height: 5' 9"
Nickname: King Of The South
Rubberband Man
Full Name / Real Name: Clifford Joseph Harris Jr.
Birthplace: Atlanta, GA
Hometown: Bankhead, GA
Wife: Tameka 'Tiny' Cottle (7/31/2010, 2 children)

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maribaby says:
I love TI I think that hes a grate raper.Who ever he gose out with is very luky.Keep your head up TI all your fans are here for you and if they are not then dont worrie im here i will always be your fan.
maritza says:
i think t.i. is d best and i LOVE HIM!!!!
apple44 says:
ti is so booooooooooooooomb he is a gool man and he deserves bettter he is a little violent scaaaaaaaaaaaary
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