Once a formidable force on the charts, recent years have seen T.I. cool musically yet heat up on the reality TV circuit with this family.
However, in a bid to re-ascend to the top, the rapper has paired up with fellow Hip-Hop titan Jay Z in a big way.
Full story below…
It was announced early this morning that T.I. has signed a distribution deal with Jigga’s Roc Nation.
The move follows his short-stint at Sony’s Columbia Records, which yielded the so-so selling ‘Paperwork’ in 2014.
Interestingly, while the Sony deal saw the MC bring his Grand Hustle imprint to sit within the label’s bosom, this is a little different.
The Roc partnership will see the growing empire serve solely as distributor for the Atlanta bred star, who now – as an independent artist – will benefit from their commercial clout. Indeed, though once a management/A&R firm principally, the Roc has matured into a full-fledged record label (parented by Universal Music).
In cementing his affiliation with Jay, T.I. has gone one step further and revealed that he is the newest name to join the TIDAL artist-owners list, which is also comprised of Kanye West, Coldplay, Alicia Keys, Rihanna, and more.
For T.I., the Roc deal is an interesting addition to his label narrative. His debut album ‘I’m Serious’ dropped via Sony’s Arista… which then saw him dropped after poor sales. The occurrence facilitated his move to Atlantic where he’d become “T.I” as known and loved. Under that corporate umbrella he released seven albums, the last being 2012’s ‘Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head’ before he ventured to Columbia and now the Roc.
It’s anyone’s guess how this chapter will fare, but all involved definitely have their work cut out for them.
In keeping it 100, T.I. has not put out anything compelling in years and has struggled to get his musical mojo and momentum back after his 2010 stint in prison.
Will teaming with Jay and TIDAL do the trick? Time will tell.
On a random note, there’s a part of us that sees this as a tad bitter sweet. Why? because, at his mid 00’s peak, T.I. was such a force that he had it in his arsenal to create his own Roc. Yet, for a plethora of reasons, he’s now effectively “under” an artist he was outselling at a point in time.
That said, in life (and most certainly business), it’s far more important to get in where one fits in rather than letting ego make one waste away.
A smart play. Potentially.