VIBE_TI_2_1

V Exclusive: T.I.’s Comeback Song Is ‘Aggressive, Mean,’ Producers Say

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

From the Web

More on Vibe

Getty Images

Jordan Peele’s ‘Us’ Is Expected To Make $64 Million Opening Weekend

Thanks to Us, Jordan Peele has another blockbuster on his hands. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the highly-anticipated horror flick starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex, is expected to have a $64 million opening weekend at the domestic box office.

Peele’s sophomore horror film earned an impressive $7.4 million on Thursday (March 21) night previews, and is forecasted to take in about $27 million from Friday sales. The film is also on pace to knock Captain Marvel out of the No. 1 spot at the box office.

Once final numbers are tallied, Us will likely snatch the third-best opening weekend record for an R-rated horror film behind It, which brought in a whopping $123.4 million, followed by Halloween’s $76.2 million opening weekend last year.

Aside from rave reviews and a genius promo run that included simultaneous screenings in major media markets, Us earned a 95 percent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.

The film, set in the mid-1980s centers around a family of four who set off on a vacation that finds them confronting some familiar faces.

Peele recently spoke to VIBE about casting Duke (our April 2019 cover star) in the role of patriarch, Gabe Wilson. “I have to have somebody voice what the audience was saying,” he said. “In the case of Get Out, it’s Rod, like, ‘How have you not left yet?’ [In Us], Winston is largely that voice. There’s one moment where Lupita [Nyong’o] takes a step into the unknown, where black people [will think], ‘I don’t know.’ But to have Winston say, ‘Aaaand she left. Your mother just walked out of the car.’ That’s all we need.”

Duke also opened up about the intricacies of his character. “His function isn’t to see through the veil. His function is to tell the absolute truth how he sees it,” explained the 32-year-old actor. “He’s sometimes there to say the things that other people don’t want to say, but he’s also there to make fun of things to keep it from not getting too heavy, even though it’s real. That was my job. [Peele] respected that. I like to lean into functions. If I’m going to be your antagonist, I’m gonna really push you. If I’m gonna be your clown, funny guy, I’m gonna do that.”

Click here to read VIBE’s April 2019 cover story.

Continue Reading
Joe Scarnic

Cardi B Explains Why She Wants To Trademark “Okurrr”

Cardi B hopes to secure as many “bags” as possible. In response to backlash and burning questions surrounding her decision to file to trademark “okurrr,” the 26-year-old rapper took to social media Friday (March 22) to defend her latest money move.

Since people tend to ask Bardi to use what has become her signature catch phrase, she figured that it was time to cash in. “You think I ain’t gonna’ profit off this sh*t? B*tch white folks do it all the motherf**king time,” she said. “So you gon’ be mad at me ‘cuz I want to get some motherf**king money?

“While I’m still hear I’ma secure all the fucking bags,” Cardi continued before adding that there are a “lot of ways to get rich” in 2019.

The Bronx native caught heat for wanting to trademark the word because she wasn’t the first to say “okurrr.” Cardi already revealed that she started using it after she heard Khloe Kardashian saying it, but the word was originally popularized in drag culture -- most notably by Rupaul’s Drage Race contestant Laganja Estranja, in 2014.

However, Rupaul attributed the word to Broadway actress, Laura Bell Bundy, who used it in YouTube skits dating back to 2010. In the skits, Bundy pretends to be a hairdresser named “Shocantelle Brown.”

Although Bundy caught criticism for her little character, which was deemed racist, she typically gets credit for bringing “okrrr” (different spelling) to the internet a full decade before Cardi made it mainstream.

No matter the origin, it looks like Cardi will be the only one profiting off of “okurrr.”

 

View this post on Instagram

 

#CardiB on why she decided to trademark “Okurr”

A post shared by the Jasmine BRAND (@thejasminebrand_) on Mar 22, 2019 at 5:32pm PDT

Continue Reading
Getty Images

Kanye West, EMI Working Towards Private Settlement

Kanye West and EMI could be close to settling their legal drama. Each party filed documents requesting a stay of the case to “explore the potential for a resolution,” The Blast reports.

West sued EMI in an effort to “gain freedom” from his contract, and to own his publishing. In the lawsuit, ‘Ye argued that his contract ended in 2010 under California law, which bars entertainers from being tethered to an agreement for more than seven years. The multi-Grammy winner, who signed the deal back in 2003, also accused the company of slavery because the contract doesn’t allow him to retire.

“Even if the contract were not lopsided in EMI’s favor (it is), even if its terms valued Mr. West’s artistic contributions in line with the spectacular success he has achieved for EMI (they do not), and even if EMI had not underpaid Mr. West what it owes him (EMI has), he would be entitled to be set free from its bonds,” the lawsuit reads.

EMI hit back with a countersuit filed in New York, instead of California. The suit pointed out that the 41-year-old rapper signed multiple contract extensions, in addition to accepting millions in advances.

According to The Blast, West and EMI now feel that putting a hold on the legal proceedings will be beneficial to both sides “and the Court by enabling the parties to engage in meaningful discussions in an attempt to resolve this action without having to incur the burden and expense of litigation and motion practice.”

Continue Reading

Top Stories