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Renaissance Man: T.I. Talks Music, Fashion & More

Submitted by on October 4, 2011 – 10:11 am3 Comments

The kiiiiiiiiing’s back, patna. T.I.‘s out of prison hopefully for the final time and he’s not skipping a beat when it comes to returning to the spotlight as one of hip-hop’s most successful progeny.

Tip made a triumphant return over the weekend at the 2011 BET Hip Hop Awards (airing Tuesday, October 11), where he opened the show with Young Jeezy. He also hosted a number of parties and held a private brunch celebrating his clothing brand, AKOO. Now in promotional mode as he gears toward a new album, docu-series, book release and more, Tip recently opened up to shed light on his current plans.

On performing at the BET Hip Hop Awards:
“I’m blessed to still be able to have a platform and have people receive me with open arms in doing what I do. Of course I was ecstatic to get onstage and tear it down, alongside Jeezy in my city.”

On his new single “I’m Flexin’” (produced by and featuring Big K.R.I.T):
“That was the first record I recorded after I went in. I did like 10 records in a day and that was the first one I did, and I kept gravitating back to it.”

On his first book (out October 18):
“It’s a fictional book called Power & Beauty. My intention, my aim with it was to give this generation The Coldest Winter Ever; that’s one of my favorite books. I’m trying to give us one of those.”

On his AKOO clothing line:
“With AKOO, we’re about to spread out to Europe and Asia and introduce the brand over there as well. We’re also working on AKOO Women, AQOO—A Queen Of Oneself—in the next year or so. We’re looking to do that very soon and I’m just ecstatic about diversifying.”

On future acting roles:
“I’m waiting on the right thing; I’m not gonna force it. I’m gonna wait till it hits me. I’m fortunate enough to have a lot of opportunities and I’m going to take advantage of those as they present themselves, but I’m not going to rush into them.”

On his upcoming VH1 reality series:
“I hate the term ‘reality show;’ I feel like it compromises the integrity of the project. What we’re doing is basically a documentary-style show. [The show] encompasses the many different aspects of me as a man and as a father. It’s really based largely on my family, it’s a lot more about my family, than people would expect it to be. It’s something they want to do, it’s something they’re interested in doing. One of my sons wants to rap and he wants to showcase his skills as a rapper. My daughter is part of the OMG Girlz, who are obviously doing great right now and I’m ecstatic about that, my other son King wants to act and my other daughter wants to sing, so everybody got their own thing they want to do. When I was away, that’s what they said they want to do, so I said let me put it together. This is the platform for them.”

On his Grand Hustle label:
“We’re definitely in the rebuilding stage. Right now we’re focusing on B.o.B, OMG Girlz; Young Dro just dropped his record. I’m just looking to see who’s gonna step up. I’m not throwing the building behind anyone until they show me that they are deserving of that.”

On what he brings to hip-hop in today’s game:
“I bring my life, and ain’t nobody’s life like mine, and that’s why what you’ll hear from me will always be different from anyone else. You have to have perseverance and endurance. Sometimes there will be suffering and adversity and how you endure that is your testament to how you endure this game.”

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