With so many stories swirling about his marriage lately, T.I. is ready for the spotlight to stay on his music. Tip sat down for an extensive interview with Devi Dev of Houston's 93.7 The Beat this week to kick off the station's Behind the Beat series.
The Grammy winner discussed his forthcoming album, Paperwork, and the inspiration he pulled from 2008's Paper Trail release. Despite the similar titles, Paperwork, isn't exactly a follow-up project. "I always wanted to do something that's a continuation to that but without saying 'part two,'" he explained. "So I just tried to figure out another way to relate this next project to that one without making it a sequel."
He went on to explain the title. "Anything that you have that is authentic, let's say a watch, a phone, whatever it is, the certification of that authenticity is paperwork," he said. "Whether it's a title for a car, deed to a house, a certificate for a Rolex, you gon' have some kind of certification of authenticity, and me being an artist that has been known to be authentic and make music that has been known to be authentic, the certification of it is Paperwork."
Earlier in the week, fans got a first listen of one song from Paperwork called "Stay," which he had nothing to do with releasing. The song was originally given to Samsung as an "exclusive" record off the album. "I think we were expecting for it to remain within Samsung consumers, and some kind of way someone was dishonest and it leaked." But, he said, "It's for the best."
Even though "Stay" sounds like an open letter to wife, Tiny, T.I. didn't completely admit to her being his muse. "As much as people would like to associate it to things that are personal to me... the way that it makes better sense in my mind, if I kind of remove myself from it and just listen to the record and imagine as though I was creating a fictional set of circumstances, sprinkled with some reality," he explained. "It's easier for me to conceptualize it that way, that way it don't feel like people all up in my business."
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(Photo: 937 The Beat Houston)