Retooling his career since his recent prison release, T.I. has announced that he's signed a new deal with prestigious management group Hip Hop Since 1978. The company, co-run by Gee Roberson and Kyambo "Hip Hop" Joshua, has a star-studded roster that includes Kanye West, Lil Wayne, Drake, Young Jeezy, Nicki Minaj and more. Roberson was recently appointed Chairman of Geffen Records, while Joshua is the President of Columbia Records' urban division.
T.I. said his long-running relationship with Roberson is what drew him to look beyond his own management company, Grand Hustle Entertainment, which he founded with partner Jason Geter.
"Gee's always been a big part of our operation, just not in the capacity of manager," he said in an interview with Billboard.biz. "[From] the executive producer standpoint and A&R standpoint, he made gigantic contributions to probably the past three or four T.I. albums."
"When [Jason Geter] and I both agreed that we would be considering expanding the management team, and then sat down and talked about possible candidates, he was definitely one of the first people that came up."
Under T.I.'s deal, Grand Hustle and Hip-Hop Since 1978 will pool resources on the music side of things, while Brian Sher's Category 5 Entertainment will handle film and television.
"I've got different pieces of management who have extreme levels of expertise in their areas ... We feel that's the best way to have appropriate execution and to take advantage of all the opportunities that are ever present in the marketplace for me," he said.
T.I.'s first novel, Power & Beauty: A Love Story of Life on the Streets, is due October 18 from Harper Collins.
(Photo: Jeff Daly/PictureGroup)