T.I. and Grand Hustle have found a new home. Today Tip announced that he’s signed a deal that will place him and his Grand Hustle imprint under the umbrella of Columbia Records. He also revealed that his follow up to 2012′s Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head, tentatively titled Trouble Man: He Who Wears The Crown, will be released in early 2014 via Grand Hustle/Columbia and executive-produced by Pharrell.
This announcement comes after a an extended free agent period after the ATL rapper finished his deal with Atlantic Records. Though there was speculation that Tip would sign with a wide range of labels— Interscope Records, Roc Nation and Universal Records were all rumored as possibilities—it appears that Columbia is the winner.
“We’re very excited to welcome T.I. to the Columbia family,” says Rob Stringer, CEO of Columbia records, in a press release about the deal. “With his massive US success and career history, we are going to make him an even bigger superstar on a global level.”
T.I. issued a similar statement, noting his excitement about the deal. “I’m honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records, who respects and supports the vision of their artist and partners,” he says in the statement. “Nothing but love, respect & appreciation for Doug Morris, Rob Stringer and the entire staff. Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me and also executive producing my upcoming project.”
When XXL spoke with T.I. for the July/August issue, he described the type of deal he’d like to have. “A message to the labels: Don’t look at this deal like you’re signing an artist,” he said in the article. “You need to look at like you’re acquiring a multimedia company, because I have six, seven, eight areas of business that are each generating at least one or two million dollars a year.”