T.I. Biography

Grand Hustle Records

Name: Clifford James Harris jr.

Birthday: September 25, 1980

Hometown: Atlanta, GA


  • T.I.P.

  • Rubber Band Man

Things You Didn't Know About T.I.

  • Did you know that T.I. once served as Bow Wow's ghostwriter? He wrote the third verse and the hook for one of Bow Wow's most popular hits, "Let's Get Down"
  • T.I. was originally signed to LaFace Records, where he was known as T.I.P. The merger between LaFace and Arista placed him on the same roster as Q-Tip (from A Tribe Called Quest). T.I. dropped the "P" to avoid being confused with the Tribe frontman.

    A Serious Man

    T.I. released his Arista Records debut album, I'm Serious, in 2001. Despite the big name production on I'm Serious, such as The Neptunes, and big time features from Too Short, YoungBloodz and Beenie Man, the album performed poorly. It was modestly received by the media. Maybe Tip was a tad too serious out the gate. But not to worry, he'd be back better and brighter.

    The Rubberband Man Cooks Up Some Trap Muzik

    It was 2003's Trap Muzik (Grand Hustle/Atlantic) that solidified Tip's place in the streets. Incidentally, he also found chart success with his second go-round. Trap Muzik reached the #4 position on Billboard and produced three excellent singles: "24's," "Rubberband Man," and the summer smash, "Let's Get Away."

    Becoming An Urban Legend

    After watching his rap career take off with the success Trap Muzik, T.I.'s party came to a brief halt when he was thrown behind bars for a probation violation.

    Shortly after, he was granted work release to finish recording his third LP, Urban Legend. The album's lead single sampled Notorious B.I.G.'s famous rhymes, "the rings and things you sing about, bring 'em out," mouthed by Jay-Z on "What More Can I Say." The subsequent hit "Bring 'Em Out" instantly put T.I.

    back on top. It became one of his biggest hits.

    T.I.'s Battles

    Trouble seems to follow T.I.'s successes. He has been entangled in some moments of dispute with other rappers, notably Ludacris and Lil' Flip. A memorable twist arrived on Young Buck's debut, Straight Outta Cashville which originally featured T.I. and Ludacris. Both rappers hauled insults at each other in their verses, causing Young Buck to delete T.I.'s verse and replace him with The Game on the album.

    King of the South?

    Full of confidence, T.I. declared himself "king of the south." What seemed like braggart at first soon became a regular affirmation. T.I. started taking the title seriously. Many southern rap heads objected to T.I.'s self-ordained king status, bestowing the adulation on Scarface instead. However, T.I. explained his stance on King (through Pimp C), stating that there are many 'kings' in hip-hop. His King LP was released simultaneously with the movie ATL. Along with his big screen debut, T.I. also sold over 500,000 in the first week of release.

    Heavy Is the Head

    As Tip was growing in stature, a series of off-the-studio problems ensued. A spate of probation violations, gun charges, and drug charges landed him in hot water.

    T.I. used his music as an outlet. He captured his issues on the albums T.I. vs T.I.P. and Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head. He paused to recount his victories on the more celebratory Paper Trail.

    T.I. Albums

    • I'm Serious (2001)
    • Trap Muzik (2003)
    • Urban Legend (2004 )
    • King (2006 )
    • T.I. vs. T.I.P. (2007 )
    • Paper Trail (2008 )
    • No Mercy (2010)
    • Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head (2012)
    • Paperwork (2014)