First he jumps on board to executive produce Australian newcomer Iggy Azalea's debut album, now T.I. has announced the signing of Texas rapper Trae tha Truth to his Grand Hustle imprint.

The King of the South, who is also gearing up to release his eighth studio album, Trouble Man, announced the signing while on MTV's RapFix Live, where he was joined by his latest protege, Trae.

"We're gonna work alongside each other for a common goal and release this Trae tha Truth project," T.I. said of the joint venture. "When cats [who are] cut from a certain cloth give their word and shake their hand, that's what makes it a done deal — the ink is just a formality."

"Me and Tip are similar in a lot of ways," Trae added. "We both understand what it is."

Although logistics still need to be hashed out, like how Trae's upcoming ABN projects will be distributed, the partnership seems to be off to a good start.

"The thing that kinda made me way more comfortable is he reached out more on a partner note to where it wasn't about money, it wasn't about none of that," explained Truth. "It was about, 'Look, we can team up or even if you doin' your own thing, I'm just supporting what you got goin', I want to see you make it.' "

"Grand Hustle is an established brand, ABN is already an established brand, it's about seeing what we can do to parlay what we've already done for ourselves to make it benefit the other and it's a two-way street," T.I. continued.

Without major label push, Trae the Truth has been able to carve his own lane in hip-hop. His last album, Street King, featured contributions from the likes of Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, Big Boi and Wiz Khalifa as well as underground rappers Messy Marv and Yo Gotti, among others. —Gina Montana

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