The self-proclaimed King of the South is returning to his roots. After ending his distribution deal with Colombia Records, T.I. will now go by the name Tip and load up his catalog with new trap tunes. The Grand Hustle CEO is also prepping his tenth full-length album, The Dime Trap, proving cash rules everything around the rapper born Clifford Harris.
In the meantime, he holds Stans over with his new EP Da Nic. Serving as the precursor to his upcoming album, the five-track EP successfully resurrects the lyrically aggressive and street-approved trap king. A good listen will easily bring to mind the days of I’m Serious, Trap Muzik, and Urban Legend. Da Nic also includes solid features from his right-hand trapper Young Dro and Young Thug on “Peanut Butter Jelly” with production from London on da Track, Sho Nuff, Mars, Jazz Feezy, and League of Starz.
Tip dabbled in a little money talk with VIBE to break down several of his big bankroll lyrics from the new EP. He also drop some gems about money management, how his children are becoming young hustlers and the most important lesson the infamous Jimmy Henchman taught him.
VIBE: On “Broadcasting Live”, you spit, “Expecting nothing but dough money, spend it fast as it coming/ In God we trust, for everyone else, the cash all.” What was the first thing you did when started earning legal rap money in huge amounts?
Tip: The first thing I did was I got myself a place suitable to stay. Moved out the trap and moved my mama out the trap. Got a roof over my head where I can take my kids in without having to worry about a raid being next door, across the street, or worry about doors getting kicked in and certain other things that come in that type of element.
On the track, “Ain’t Gonna See It Coming,” you rap, “You can’t compete in the league that I play in, learn from Jimmy Henchmen and rapping like Jay.” What specifically did you learn from him?
Well, I learned don’t be distracted. Me being able to work alongside people like Jimmy Henchman and J. Prince, they come from where I come from. We all started from nothing, we’ve all had to withstand some pretty extreme conditions and it takes some very negative circumstances to basically turn those things around into very, very positive success. And the most important thing is you want to take the lessons and the values and some of the principals that come from those times and that lifestyle, those things can stick, but it’s certain things you must let go and that you can’t carry into this next segment of life in business because it just doesn’t fit. So, [Henchman] always told me don’t get distracted because I have a tendency to look to the left at some bullsh*t and take my eyes off of what the true purpose is. People like Jimmy was like, “Sh*t can be a lot worse, man. You didn’t fight as hard as you did to get out of that environment just to behave the same way that you were if you were still in that environment.” Those were probably some of those valuable lessons [that I learned]. And still to this day, I am trying to perfect that idea. [Laughs.]
Now, take “Check, Run It.” Here, you spit, “No broke sh*t in my life. Cause I’m scared that sh*t could rub off on me.” For artists on the come-up, what is the best way to “think rich” even if your wallet isn’t in its best shape?
Well, I think the main thing that you should know is that trying to look rich is the easiest way to look poor! The mothaf**ka with the biggest chain got the slimmest bank account, more times or not. Pay attention to the things that can appreciate rather than depreciate. Be mindful of where the dollar goes and when the next one coming no matter how much. Whether it’s $100 or $100 million, the same thing you do with a dollar is the same thing you gon’ do with the million. If you get a dollar today and you spend that mothaf**ka as soon as you get it, you gon’ do the same gotdamn thing.
From “Project Steps”, you also wax poetic, using this line, “Whatchu do for dough, guess you do it too slow/ And by the looks of your stuff, you ain’t doin’ enough.” If a person is in a position where money is coming in too slow, should they abandon it and find a new method, or ride it out until it gets better?
I mean, that was really just an arrogant approach to praising myself to be in a position that I am. I worked hard enough to where I can be appreciate the fact that my sh*t coming in from a lot of different places. That’s the one thing. If you waiting on something to come from one place then the sh*t ain’t coming fast enough. And while you’re waiting on that, you ain’t gotta just sit there and wait on that. Get some other sh*t going. Get you about three or four streams of revenues. Diversification of portfolios is what I’m commonly referring to. Don’t just sit there and wait on [one thing]. My son [Domani] is starting to get money and execute certain plans in business. He get checks from going to perform. He do shows. I think he charge about $2000, $2500 a show. He also write songs and does verses for people and get him a little check there. He also wrote a rap for the [Spongebob Squarepants] play that Nickelodeon’s doing and he wrote the rap for the villain. He got a pretty big check from that. My son, Messiah, acts. He’s in a movie called Sons 2 The Grave. He get his little check from there. King does appearances, he host fashion shows, he does all kinds of little stuff. And Major, he also does appearances. He got a magazine to pay him to be on the cover of the magazine, also for a royalty of the magazines sold. So all of them actually are beginning to operate in business in some shape, form, or fashion. And what I always tell them is don’t be looking at one check. While you’re waiting on that, go do something else. Take your mind off of it. While you’re sitting there, waiting on it to come, it might never gon’ come.