To celebrate 15 years of his second studio album Trap Muzik, T.I. paid a visit to NPR’s “Tiny Desk” to prove his past is still present.
Performing a three-song set comprised of hits from his best albums, Tip broke tracks down to its musical essence backed by horns, strings, organs and “all the elements of trap music.”
Beginning with “Rubber Band Man,” the King of the South seemed fully engaged in his flow, vocally chopping and screwing the track to its most memorable moments. “That’s all in the essence of Trap Muzik,” the Atlanta rapper said, remembering a time when the police raided his house. “This music was about the elements that people have to endure in their lives every day and find the brighter side and make a way out of no way.”
T.I. followed “Rubber Band Man” with 2006’s “What You Know,” a standout track from his fourth studio album, King. “This is not the quintessential single for an artist of my caliber at the time but we stayed true to our roots once again, fell back on the essence of trap music and what you know about that” he joked, before getting into the song.
Throughout the entire performance, it was clear Tip enjoyed revisiting his old flows and reminiscing about hip-hop’s past, interacting with both the audience and his mini-orchestra of young talent from the Atlanta Music Project. Interactive and in-tune, T.I. was persistent in reminding the crowd that “you are never defined by your environment unless you allow yourself to be.”
“Everybody put your best foot forward, always give 150 percent, and live your life,” he said before finishing his set with one of the biggest singles of his career, “Live Your Life.”
Check out Tip’s twist on his classic street anthems up top.
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