Remember when we told you that T.I. was shopping a major new deal for his Grand Hustle imprint?
Well, fast forward a year and the ink has dried. The rapper has crossed the t’s and dotted the i’s, and announced that he’s officially moving to Columbia Records.
Details after the jump…
After releasing seven albums under a previous distribution deal with Atlantic Records, the ‘Blurred Lines’ MC has been revealed as the latest signee to the Sony Music family by way of Columbia.
The partnership sees the self-professed King of the South bring along his Grand Hustle label to sit under Columbia’s corporate umbrella; one that includes the likes of Beyonce, Adele, and fellow rapper J.Cole.
Speaking on the pairing (the fine details of which have not been revealed), Rob Stringer, Chairman/CEO Columbia Records, said in a press statement:
“We’re very excited to welcome T.I. to the Columbia family. With his massive US success and career history, we are going to make him an even bigger superstar on a global level.”
With T.I. himself adding:
“I’m honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records, who respects and supports the vision of their artist and partners. Nothing but love, respect & appreciation for Doug Morris, Rob Stringer and the entire staff. Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me and also executive producing my upcoming project.”
Further cementing the clear global agenda, Jason Geter of Grand Hustle, continued:
“We’re excited to be in business with Columbia Records and its team of leadership. I’m now looking forward to spreading our brand on a global level.”
Kudos to team T.I. for making such a potent power play. Prior to now, at the height of his popularity, he was only ever a US phenomenon. As such it’s great to see him looking to expand to shores anew. And with smart timing too; the industry has rapidly seen the emergence of global audiences thanks to the internet, Youtube, and the like. Hence, artists are tasked with cultivating a worldly presence if wanting to stay at the top the game.
And while those ‘Blurred Lines’ cheques may have been good, early reports placed this (multi-year) deal at anywhere between $60-$70 Million mark, meaning T.I. really has graduated into the big leagues.
It’ll be interesting to see what his first project under the new setup will be, and how it’ll fare. Most recent album ‘Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head’ debuted at #2 last December and has since sold just over 500,000 copies.
Onwards and upwards? Time will tell.