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T.I. Biography

T.I. Biography

T.I. was born in Atlanta, Georgia. He grew up in the Bankhead neighborhood of Atlanta, Georgia, the son of Violetta Morgan and Clifford Harris Sr. His original stage name, T.I.P., stems from his childhood nickname "Tip", which he got from his grandfather. T.I. was first exposed to hip-hop at the age of seven, and by the time he was 11 he had decided to pursue a career in rap seriously; he signed his first record deal at age 19.

Due to his Southern drawl, many fans mistook his name for "Chip", so he began spelling it out "T.I.P". Upon signing with Arista Records subsidiary LaFace Records in 2001, he shortened his name to T.I. out of respect for label mate Q-Tip.

He is also known to go by "Rubberband Man" and the self-proclaimed "King of the South" (which has created several cases of controversy between other southern rappers, such as Lil' Flip and Ludacris). T.I. wrote about 30% percent of his third album Unleashed as well the 3rd verse and chorus to his single "Let's Get Down". He has written lyrics for other artists such as Diddy and Trina.

T.I. is known for his rapid-fire delivery of lyrics. There has been some noticeable change in the way he delivers his lyrics throughout his career. Earlier on, he flowed in a slow-like, southern fashion which can be heard in songs like "I'm Serious", "24's" and "Never Scared". In the second era of his career, he sounded more relaxed and laid back (ex. "Bring Em Out", "Soldier", "What You Know", "U Don't Know Me" & "ASAP"). Later on in his career, his flow went from a slow and drowsy effect (ex. "Top Back" and "Drive Slow") to a faster flow which can be heard in "We Takin Over", Touch, "My Love", "Make It Rain Remix" and "I'm a Flirt remix".His debut album I'm Serious was released on October 9, 2001 through Arista Records, which spawned the single of the same title which featured reggae vocalist Beenie Man. His debut album included Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes (who named him the Jay-Z of the south), Jazze Pha, and Youngbloodz. Production was by The Neptunes, DJ Toomp, and The Grand Hustle Team. However, the album did not sell very well, and he was dropped from the label. The album sold 268,000 copies.

T.I. released the first single "I'm Serious" with Beenie Man. The single had little airplay and failed to meet the charts. The label would not release another single or video for the album, so T.I. created a video for "Dope Boyz", which had not a video nor single released, but can be seen on YouTube.

He released several mixtapes with the assistance of DJ Drama, which created an underground buzz. He resurfaced in the summer of 2003 on Bonecrusher's song "Neva Scared". He parlayed this attention towards the release of his second album, Trap Muzik.

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