T.I.
2006 Man of the Year

tip2.jpgT.I.’s 2006 is about as good an example of self-fulfilling prophecy as you can find. Five years after declaring himself the “King of the South” (this back when his first album, I’m Serious, was selling a mere 50,000 copies its first three months in stores), the young Atlanta rapper watched his fourth album, King, sell a remarkable 500,000 copies its first week. Released in March, powered by DJ Toomp’s majestic mountain of synth strings, “What You Know,” and follow-up singles “Why You Wanna” and “Top Back,” the album would go on to top the 1.7 million mark (in a year when exactly two rap albums would crack a million). His realm had expanded, too, and his star further brightened with his well-received acting debut in Chris Robinson’s coming-of-age roller-skating tale, ATL.

But as they say, heavy lies the head… On May 4, T.I. and his crew were involved in a shoot-out outside a Cincinnati nightclub that took the life of longtime friend and personal assistant Philant Johnson. The tragedy had T.I. thinking about quitting rap.
He kept on, though. And the success kept coming. While T.I. dove in to recording his next album, T.I. vs. T.I.P., Young Dro, the first solo artist off his record label, Grand Hustle, had a Top 10 single with “Shoulder Lean.” Then, in November, T.I. crossed another threshold, guesting on Justin Timberlake’s No. 1 pop hit “My Love”—a song that would earn the former cocaine dealer his first Grammy Award.

Indisputably, at the close of the year, there was only one person sitting on that throne. He wasn’t just the king of the South, he was the king of rap. Today, a year into his reign, he grants XXL an audience.

2006 was a big year for you. How did the success and the tragedies shape your mind state?

It definitely made it to where a nigga had to work harder. I mean, for a moment I questioned how much I wanted to still do it. But it also presented a challenge as well. And a challenge is something I’ve never backed down from.

What made you change your mind and refocus?
That was just what you call, I guess you could say, the twilight of my career. That’s when things got very different for me. The game wasn’t just… [Pause] It lost all its glory, all the luxurious parts of it. You know, from the outside looking in, you think about being on TV and having the fancy cars and the jewelry, and that’s all you really think it is. You know, the game can do no wrong, especially once it took you out the hood and offered a whole ’nother lifestyle. But then once you have been living well for a while and already made your arrangements, as far as business is concerned, and money is no longer an issue, you start to see the game for what it’s really worth. Man, it’s a job. And in some ways, to some people, it is not as rewarding as the work you put out. Ya dig? Once I stopped expecting for the game to be perfect, I could accept it for what it was, and I could work within it. That transition is what inspired the album T.I. vs. T.I.P.

——- Read the rest of our T.I. feature in XXL’s September 2007 issue (#95)

XXL Staff Picks

Songs of the Year:

“Hustlin’,” Rick Ross
“It’s Goin’ Down,” Yung Joc featuring Nitti
“Snap Yo Fingers,” Lil Jon & the East Side Boyz featuring E-40 & Sean Paul
“What You Know,” T.I.
“It’s Okay (One Blood),” The Game
“Touch It (Remix),” Busta Rhymes
“Shoulder Lean,” Young Dro featuring T.I.
“Ridin,” Chamillionaire featuring Krayzie Bone
“We Fly High,” Jim Jones
“Tell Me When To Go,” E-40 featuring Keak Da Sneak

Albums of the Year:

King, T.I.
Fishscale, Ghostface Killah
Doctor’s Advocate, The Game
The Inspiration, Young Jeezy
Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop Dogg

  • BirdsFlySouth

    King may have sold a lot but it sucked.

    Tha Blue Carpet Treatment, Snoop Dogg best album of 06……

  • http://pitlanta.blogspot.com Maurice Garland

    dang…Busta’s album can’t get no love for best of ’06?

  • Rockcity

    How Come Hip hop is dead isnt on the list? Fuck what ne one says, the inspiration was bullshyt.The best albums list gets lower and lower with each year.

  • Trizzle

    TIP man, thatz a real nigga
    Damn tha souf ran tha shyt outta 06!..and it’s carry’n over throughout 07

  • Kooch_56

    This nigga said inspiration sucked. You must be trippin and regardless of if T.I. Cd king sucked (which it did) he owned 2006.

  • Ron Simmons

    DAMN!

  • ayooo

    didnt 3 albums go plat? jeezy ti and jay-z

  • jaystone

    damm,should have been the game time.his albulm was damn near better than king.y’all should copy that albulm.shit one blood is one of the sickest song i have ever heared.lyrist tight..

  • ARKANSAS27

    ALL YOU NIGGAS ARE ON THAT BULLSHIT UGK WAS THE BEST CD OF THE YR. IF IT WAS NOT FOR THEM THE SOUTH WOULD NOT BE SHIT YA DIG ITS A RAP FALL BACK 6FT DEEP!!!!

  • xxl = stupid

    you guys give clipse an XXL and don’t even list them under albums of the year lmao

  • http://xxlmag.com houston’s finest

    where’s hustler’s POME? that was a classic album as well. jones should be man of the year!!!!

  • Incilin

    Haha! Hell Hath No Fury gets a XXL but then it’s not even on the top album list. Bullshit. Hell Hath and Game Theory are better than anything up there with the exception of Fishscale. Although all those albums you guys picked are still pretty good records. But I feel the need to mention that “Press Play” was also a pretty good record.

    The best song list ought to include “Vato” and “Hip Hop Is Dead” instead of “It’s Going Down” and “Hustlin”

  • CMC Tha King

    u betta step yo game up cuz there aint only two rap albums from 06 dat sold a million in the states therez kingdom come release therapy the inspiration and king so dats 4 homie

  • grapes

    Busta Rhymes should’ve had a place in the Bet Albums. LOL XXL = STUPID is right too…haha. Houston’s Finest is a fucking retard…go off yourself now. Incilin, “Vato” was pretty weak. T.I. ruled ’06, I have to admit though. 2 plat plaques…wow..and Nas needs love too. Damn…whack list…It’s Goin’ Down? Snap Ya Fingaz? I WISH crunk would die, Lil Jon…because it’s killing hip-hop.

  • http://xxlmag.com bosshogg

    Um Didn’t XXL Give The Clipse A “XXL” For There CD, ANd It Didn’t Even The Make The Albums OF the Year…Their Dum For Even Giving Them An “X” For That Sorry ASS Album……..
    THE GAME HAD THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR AND STILL HAS THE WHOLE RAP GAME IN THE PALM OF HIS HANDS, THE GAME BEST RAPPER OUT PERIOD!!!!!

  • Rodjilius

    tip is tight i dont kno if he really should have gotten this but o well

  • DoubleClutch

    WTF! How do you give the Clipse a “XXL” 4 Hell Hath No Fury and not put them as album of the year? I had respect 4 XXL but y’all making me lose it. If yall cats are goin to start sleeping on the Clipse than dont try and jump on the bandwagon when the mixtape & movie to HHNF drops. Cuz you know you will!

  • Dude

    The top five rap albums of 2006 are as follows:

    Clipse, Hell Hath No Fury
    Ghostface Killah, Fishscale
    Juvenile, Reality Check
    T.I., King
    Trae, Restless

  • Cuban Link

    Wow, yall fucked the FUCK UP this year! No HHID? Game Theory? Second Rounds on Me? Hell Hath No Mercy? The Big Bang? Laugh Now, Cry Later? Kingdom Come? Year of the Dog…Again? 20/20? Food & Liquor? 4:21 the day After?MayDay? Full Circle? Press Play (wasnt good but had hits)? You guys SUCK!

    The Inspiration was awful, except for Go Getta and Dreamin.The Drs Advocate also sucked, be real people, there was a full 30 seconds of Game rapping when he didnt mention Dr Dre or Aftermath. And Lookin At You had what could be the worst hook ever written. TI deserves the #1 spot thou, but I could defiantly see NaS taking it from him, he drew up a lot of emotions this year, *cough Luda cough*

  • facescar

    STILL GOT THE GRAMMY 4 THE ALBUM OF THE YEAR! – Ludacris -

  • b

    i npersonally feel 2006 was jay-zs year cos he did it the biggest and he outsold ti.

  • Iceberg Slimm

    Where the fuck is Lupe? His CD shitted on Jeezys

  • jASONkEITH734

    Whoever said the Doctgor’s Advocate sucked needed to be castrated.

    Doctor’s Advocate
    The Blue Carpet Treatment
    Bad Azz
    Hip-Hop is Dead
    My Ghetto Report Card
    Best of 06′

  • Jordany

    The Best 10 Albums Of 2006 Were:

    1- Lupe Fiasco’s Food & Liquor
    2- Jay-Z Kingdom Come
    3- Nas Hip Hop Is Dead
    4- Ghostface Killah Fishscale
    5- The Clipse Hell Hath No Fury
    6- T.I. King
    7- Snoop Dogg Tha Blue Carpet Treatment
    8- The Roots Game Theory
    9- Ludacris Release Therapy
    10- The Game Doctor’s Advocate

  • Flawless_diva1530

    Man all yall niggas who said that T.I. cd wasnt the best is stupid as hell yall niggas dont know shit about that. the south is taking ova fuck what yall heard.

  • jstylez

    man dis fag…his foe had a better album then him…

  • Millz

    houston’s finest Says:

    August 23rd, 2007 at 12:50 pm
    where’s hustler’s POME? that was a classic album as well. jones should be man of the year!!!!

    ^ ^ ^ The word classic is getting thrown around alot lately…

  • big dick cheney

    THE GAME’S CD SUCKED. SECONDLY, T.I.’S ALBUM WAS GOOD BUT NOT THE BEST. THE TRILLEST ALBUM WAS THA BLUE CARPET TREATMENT. IT HAD EVERYTHANG BUT IT ONLY WENT GOLD. AND HOLD THE FUCK UP…YUNG JOC COMES OUT THIS WEEK. I CAN’T WAIT…

  • JSTYLEZ

    MAN DIS DUDE IS GARBAGE..CMON NOW..I AINT HATING ITS JUST THA REAL…HIS TRACKS ARE ALL THE SAME AND HE THINK HE TOUGH RAISIN HIS VOICE ON ALL HIS SONG LIKE THIS NIGGA CAN DO SUMTHING..FAGGOT ASS….HAHA..

  • http://www.TheHipHopIcon.com Chris Carter

    “Hell Hath No Fury” is one of the few albums in the history of XXL to receive a perfect score…yet it does not make the list.

    That, my friends, is the biggest tragedy of this list. It cannot be based solely on which CD had the biggest songs or Diddy’s (surprising edgy and well crafted) “Press Play” would have made the list.

    Thats my two cents.
    Chris Carter
    Editor In Chief
    http://www.TheHipHopIcon.com

  • max

    birdsflyslouth, you soooo dumb, tha blue carpet treatment was good, but it was bullshit i payed about 20 dollars for about 4 good songs, the rest were just fillin space, but KING by t.i. man, that shit was real good, some good feats. plus all the songs were good, now u can go hed and say blue carpet songs were all good but we all no u lyin’.

  • K-Lillz

    Food & Liquor definitely tops, and how can anyone even think of Jim Jones. An to those who say more than 2 albums in 2006, well they were from 2006 but went plat in 2007, like Release Therapy and Kingdom Come. Release Therapy should have made it to album list too.

  • Cuban Link

    whod be the man of 07 when your doing this years from now?Soulja Boy? 2007 sucks!

  • Omair

    ya’ll forgot Jim jones Hustlers P.O.M.E

  • Tumi

    Strange that the Doctor Cre album(Doctor’s advocate) makes it to album of the year. Where is Release Therapy & Kingdom Come? Best songs of 2006: Snoop’s Imagine & Jay’s Minority report

  • Tumi

    Another song was The Roots’ Clock With No Hands. The worst song of 2006 was The Game’s Let’s Ride. “If you never knew Dre, you’ll be think I’m the new Dre.’ WTF was that. So much ass-kissing is bullshit.