Last night (August 24) at Manhattan’s Hammerstein Ballroom, T.I. performed in front of a packed house for the taping of his episode of VH1’s Storytellers.
During the two-hour session, the King performed nearly a dozen records from his lengthy catalogue, speaking candidly to the audience in between each in order to give an added back story.
There were somber moments when Tip delved deep into his personal life, like when he performed “I Still Luv You,” off of 2003’s Trap Muzik. He managed to balance those well, though, with complimentary party moments, such as “Bring Em Out,” and with jokes he cracked when discussing his many run-ins with the law.
The goal was to give his fans a window into some of his songs that they would not have otherwise had, and he was able to do that on many occasions. “When we said we were gonna work together for this project, the record I anticipated us doing is not the record that turned out,” T.I. said of his collaboration with Justin Timberlake, “Dead and Gone,” which peaked at No. 1 on The Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, from 2008’s Paper Trail. “It ain’t always about being gangster,” he continued. “Sometimes, it’s about being a grown man.” There were many other moments like this, including when he explained his thinking behind singing on “Whatever You Like,” which also peaked at No. 1.
VH1 Storytellers: T.I. will premiere on Friday, December 10th at 11 p.m. EST on VH1.—Adam Fleischer