Hip-hop heads have something big to look forward to on Monday (March 8), which is when T.I.’s comeback record, “I’m Back,” will officially hit the streets. The Atlanta rapper’s Web site, TrapMuzik.com, teased promotional artwork yesterday, announcing the record’s drop date.
“I’m Back” will be T.I.’s first song since being released to a halfway house in December 2009 after serving eight months in prison for felony firearm possession. The production duo behind the track, Trackslayerz, told VIBE the song sounds like classic T.I., circa early 2000s.
“This record right here kinda reminds me of the Urban Legend T.I.,” said Trackslayerz’s Price, referring to the rapper’s 2004 album. “But it’s from the point of when he got locked up. It’s no fall off [with] the lyricism. It’s like he’s completely focused. T.I. went extremely hard. He went in.”
His production partner, Inf, added, “The track is hard. It brings you back to the old T.I. It’s like a 'U Don’t Know Me' type track. It’s pretty hard. He’s coming back with the aggressive, mean kind of swag. It’s definitely a [street single].”
According to the duo, both 21—whose credits include Jim Jones’ “Pulling Me Back” and Yung Joc’s “Posted at Da Store”—the song finds T.I. swatting at haters and assuming his rightful position atop the game after spending time behind bars.
“It’s a combination of things. He’s kinda addressing that he’s been on a little hiatus with the jail sentence and don’t worry about that [because] he hasn’t fallen off,” explained Inf. “[Some] people feel a certain way about his situation and his sentencing and that he may have gotten off easy, but really it’s just the man saying don’t even worry about that, he’s the King of the South.”
Price and Inf said they heard the final version of “I’m Back” about two weeks ago and recently found out from their manager, Vakseen, that the song would be T.I.’s comeback record. “When we played it, everybody in the studio was like, ‘Oh man that’s a tough record!’” said Inf.
The pair actually crafted the beat in 2008. “We didn’t make that specifically for him. He picked up around four tracks and they’re all pretty old but it’s just a blessing that he got on anything,” said Price. “With this track right here, it’s kinda gonna open up Pandora’s box for us.”
T.I.’s as-yet-untitled project will be the follow-up to his platinum-selling 2008 album, Paper Trail.
Trackslayerz is also working on beats for Grand Hustle affiliates Yung L.A. and Young Dro. And T.I. recorded three other tracks from the duo, though they’re unsure which ones will make the cut.
“Having Tip on a track is an extremely good look because this is one of those few artists that when he drops an album, it’s going platinum,” said Price. “I’m hoping and pretty much banking that this’ll bring more work.” —Clover Hope