T.I. explains his $75 million price for himself and his Grand Hustle imprint, as well talks about his image changing over time.
T.I. continues to grow the Grand Hustle/Hustle Gang family, however he's still in need of a home for that family. His 10-year contract for himself and the Hustle Gang imprint over at Atlantic Records expired at the beginning of the year. Since then, Tip has been making the rounds in search of a new label, with an asking price of $75 million. That may seem like a lot, but as T.I. explains it in a new interview, it's not like you're buying one artist-- you're buying a "multimedia company."
In the new issue of XXL magazine, the King of the South spoke on his search for a new label and his longevity in the game. Although he's done a few jail stints, Tip always seems to bounce back.
On his major label bidding war, Tip says, "Listen, a message to the labels: Don’t look at this deal like you’re signing an artist. 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. So, if you were going to buy six McDonalds and each were generating one or two million dollars a year, you would not be trying to down talk Ronald for offering you an opportunity to participate in his franchise. I’m offering them an opportunity to participate in my franchise. You don’t want it? Good. Keep selling 150,000 units."
T.I.'s been in the game for a long time, most of that time we saw T.I. tied to the streets. We've recently seen a more family-oriented side of T.I., due in part to his reality T.V. show. On if the Kang himself thinks there's been a change in his image, he says, "I do, but a lot people want to take that change and connect it to entertainment. “Oh he got all this money and changed, or “He got in trouble so he changed.” When I got introduced to the game, I was 19. Right now I’m 32. You could take anybody man, police, fireman, journalist, radio personality, actor, producer, from 19-32, he’s gonna change. But my change is publicized. So instead of connecting it to a natural, organic growth, they want to connect it to prison or something else."
He also revealed that Atlantic Records did not like the new T.I., "Nah, they hated it. Labels love hardcore T.I. That keeps the cash register ringing. They don’t want me to go to prison and caught though. They want me to be the Teflon Don, and I can’t blame them. That shit’s sexy. But I’m older, man. I’m wiser, I’m calmer… I’m better, stronger. I’m ready for whatever tomorrow got coming."
He also spoke on finally putting the focus on his Grand Hustle crew, "I’m just so happy these guys are getting their shot. They stood by me and waited. They were loyal. For the longest time, we sat back and watched Young Money. We watched [Maybach Music Group]. We watched this one and that one, and I knew we had the same amount of talent, if not more. I was dealing with cases at the time, so when they would come to me, I just had to tell them the time would come. So I’m so happy to give these guys an opportunity to showcase their talents now."