As T.I. preps his much anticipated comeback album, due August 24, he’s got a lot of friends to lean on for support. And if he has his way, he might be linking up with Andre 3000.
Atlanta producer DJ Toomp—best known for crafting T.I.’s “What You Know” and “24s”—revealed that the King is looking to get a verse from Big Boi’s reclusive other half.
“Different people have been reaching out to Dre [because] he’s still one of the greatest around,” Toomp told VIBE, adding that T.I. has the advantage of Dre’s being a fan of his. “If they do [the song] I would really love to produce it. Dre is a fan of T.I. and [Young] Jeezy. And [T.I. and Jeezy] be like, ‘Dang, he really dig me like that?!’”
Although Toomp said he rarely spoke to T.I. during his jail stint, he was one of the first people the rapper called after being released to a halfway house in December (his sentence ends officially on March 26). Their first conversation consisted of the two playing music over the phone.
“I got two or three strong ones on [the album] right now,” said Toomp. “Right now he’s just putting a feeler out in the streets, letting people know he’s back.”
Trackslayerz produced the first record to hit the streets, “I’m Back.” While the album’s concept is still being hammered out, it’s expected to include new songs, as well as some recorded in the past few years.
“He got songs from the last two albums that didn’t make the album but were hot songs. So sometimes we go back and pull songs from 2007 and upgrade it a little bit,” explained Toomp. “After we do a certain amount of songs, that’s when we figure out the whole theme of the album.”
Other producers on the disc include Jim Jonsin, Swizz Beatz and T.I. himself.
Toomp, who’s splitting his time between T.I.’s and Young Jeezy’s new projects, said he plans to “mail [T.I.] at least five more [beats] before the door is closed.” —Linda Hobbs