T.I. and Trey Songz Have a Joint Project Called ‘The Lady Killers’ in the Works
T.I. is getting back to the music and he's doing it with his Grand Hustle team beside him.
The rapper, whose reality show, T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, is in its final season, embarked on a U.S. tour with his Hustle Gang crew in April to promote their forthcoming release, G.D.O.D. 3 (Get Dough or Die 3).
The project will feature the brand new and updated roster of T.I.’s Grand Hustle Records. With newcomers Tokyo Jetz, London Jae, Yung Booke, RaRa and Translee joining Tip on the project, some familiar Hustle Gang faces from the past such as B.o.B, Trae Tha Truth and Young Dro will also make their presence felt on the compilation effort.
The last Hustle Gang compilation project, G.D.O.D. 2, was released in 2014, and featured guest appearances Travis Scott, Young Thug, Iggy Azalea and Rich Homie Quan. Backed by the standout tracks “I Need War” and “Brand New Choppa,” the mixtape was well-received by music critics and fans alike.
Now, with the third compilation project on the way, and a current U.S. tour, T.I. looks to keep the momentum going for his Hustle Gang crew. During a recent visit to New York, Tip visited the XXL office to speak on the upcoming Hustle Gang project, his next solo album and the collaborative projects he's got with Jeezy, Young Dro, B.o.B and Trey Songz.
XXL: Is the third Hustle Gang compilation still dropping this year?
T.I.: It’s still dropping this spring but I can’t tell you no release date for the project. What I can tell you is that we’re going on tour and we’ll be splashing all around the country putting on.
It's been three years since the last Hustle Gang compilation. Why is now a good time to release a new Hustle Gang project?
We had to reassemble and restructure ourselves as a unit. You know, we had to make several adjustments within the executive staff as well as the artist roster and now we feel confident in the collection of artists we have right now. We’re incredibly proud to present this new crop of artists.
When trying to sign an artist to your label, what do you look for?
When I’m looking for a new artist I look for individuality, for one. I also look for authenticity and sincerity. They have to have their own little machine as well. Everything starts from a small machine. A collection of people around you they move as a unit and everybody serves a purpose and it all builds a brand, you know what I'm saying. I look for that. Artists who already have a vision for what they want for themselves.
Besides the Hustle Gang compilation, do you plan to drop a solo album this year?
Yeah, I’ll put out an album this year. It’s still going to be called the Dime Trap. I'm gonna put it out later this year.
You've been working on Dime Trap for a while now. What's been the delay?
It’s been ready for a while. The thing about music is that the things that go on in my life, like it's so much going on, that I make so many different types of records and I'm just dying to see what kind of record this is going to be, you know what I mean? Is it going to be like the way I intended it to be? Like gutter and grimy like Trap Muzik, or is it going to be a culmination of radio records and trap records that make up kind of like a King album was or Paper Trail was?
I’m gonna see what collection of songs come out of this. Usually, the newest ones kind of make their way up to the top, but there's some records that I have done that I think are gonna move like people been waiting for.
For you, how different is the approach to a solo album compared to a compilation project?
Well, it's all pretty natural for me. That’s the thing we do. We do this so effortlessly because we do it every day, you know what I mean? We’ll go into a studio and some days and we’ll do six songs and some days we’ll do two songs and some days we’ll just sit there and talk and listen to the songs we’ve done. Everything is just so effortless and it flows so fluid because we do it all the time. So whether I’m going to the studio by myself or whether it's me or the Hustle Gang crew, everything just flows effortlessly and we all just put our contributions together and make it happen.
One of the trends in hip-hop is rappers releasing collab projects together. Have you ever thought about releasing a project with another rapper? And if so, who would you want to drop a collab project with?
Man, I actually have a few of them. Me and Jeezy, we were supposed been did this a while ago. The project was gonna be called, Dope Boy Academy, and we did like three or four songs, but we just gotta get back in and put it together. We just want to present it correctly. Also, me and [Young] Dro was talking about doing one. I think we was gonna call it Sophisticated Excellence or something like that…something he came up with. Me and B.o.B was supposed to do one called The Man and The Martian. I’m open to all collaborations. Me and Trey Songz were supposed to do one too called The Lady Killers. All those of these projects could very well come into fruition.
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