T.I.'s finally got that multi-million-dollar label deal he's been holding out for.
Columbia Records announced Friday (Nov. 22) that the rapper's Grand Hustle imprint has joined the fold, and that he's already in the studio with Timbaland and longtime collaborator DJ Toomp for an album — his ninth — scheduled to drop in 2014.
"We're very excited to welcome T.I. to the Columbia family," said Rob Stringer, chairman/CEO of Columbia Records, via a statement. "With his massive U.S. success and career history, we are going to make him an even bigger superstar on a global level."
Earlier this year Tip's VH1 show, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, aired its third season, he signed with United Talent Agency to handle his non-music ventures, and he spent a good portion of 2013 atop the charts as a feature on the record-breaking international hit "Blurred Lines." Pharrell, who produced the song, is executive producing his Columbia debut, and was instrumental in hooking up the Grand Hustle/Columbia partnership.
"I'm honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records," T.I. said. "Nothing but love, respect & appreciation for [Sony Music CEO] Doug Morris, Rob Stringer, and the entire staff. Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me."
Though the numbers behind the deal were not disclosed, T.I. was famously waiting for eight-figures, and promised to "Master P" the game — on an independent tip — until he got it.
"I done sat with all the people; everybody says they're interested, but they don't want to cut that check," he told Billboard in May. "Alright — we're going to motivate them to cut that check. We're gong to incentivize each and every institution, each and every place of distribution, we going to motivate them. They going to cut that check, man, and it's going to be eight figures."
The King of the South's last album, Troubleman: Heavy Is the Head, which is certified Gold and debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts, released in 2012 via Atlantic Records.
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