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OG Rapper and self proclaimed "King of the South," T.I was chatting with Big Shaq on his podcast last week and compared today's hip hop game to letting anybody off the street try out for the NBA. Gotta say, Tip's not wrong. Seems like everybody and their mama is trying to spit bars these days. Whether you think that's diluting hip hop or just bringing more voices to the table, you gotta admit it's hella crowded. Anybody can grab a mic but takes real skill to shine through all that noise. T.I.'s seen generations of rappers come and go so his perspective holds weight. But what you think? Is there room for all these new cats or they making hip hop too messy? However you see it, T.I. gave us something real to chew on.

T.I. Compares Today's Hip Hop Landscape to an Open Arena

T.I. acknowledges the sheer amount of talent in today’s hip hop scene, comparing it to opening up an arena and letting anyone who thinks they can play ball join in. “This generation reminds me of every other generation. You got some people who are exceptionally dope, and some people who are just alright. You know what I mean? But it’s a lot more of it to choose from now,” he says. With technology making music more accessible and social media providing exposure, the hip hop arena has opened up to more players than ever before.

While the quantity of new artists is impressive, T.I. notes that not all of them are exceptional or bringing their A-game. "I feel that, actually, what they’ve done with music is equivalent to if they were to open up the doors of the arena and say, ‘anybody think you can play basketball? Come on out the stands out here to the floor. Here go you a jersey, man. Get in the game.'”

Spoiled for Choice

With so many options, hip hop fans are spoiled for choice. They have access to an endless stream of new music at their fingertips. However, T.I. suggests that the increased competition means artists have to work even harder to stand out from the crowd. Simply being “alright” isn’t going to cut it.

To dominate today’s hip hop arena, you need real talent, skill, and the drive to perfect your craft. While T.I. appreciates his colleagues investing in sports teams, he says he couldn’t see himself doing the same. He prefers to have full control over where he puts his money and how it’s used. The open arena of today’s hip hop landscape is exciting, but only the best players will make it to the finals.

T.I. Explains Why He Wouldn't Invest in a Basketball Team

T.I. recently shared why he wouldn't invest in a basketball team, even though many of his rapper colleagues have ownership stakes in NBA franchises. According to T.I., "So many of my contemporaries — like Nelly, you know, he got a piece of Charlotte — and Usher’s got a piece of Cleveland. You know, people be asking me, ‘would I ever do it?’ And I don’t think I would, you know? Because I just can’t see me taking so much of my money, investing it in something, and I can’t do what the fuck I wanna do.”

T.I. values being in control of his money and investments. He explained, "I just can’t imagine that. I’m gonna put my money into something where I can dictate, and I can determine, the way it’s gonna go.” For T.I., owning part of a basketball team would mean giving up some control over a large investment, and that doesn't align with his vision.

While T.I. has immense respect for his fellow artists who have become part-owners of NBA teams, that path isn't for him. He prefers to have more autonomy over how his money is spent and the direction of his business ventures. For rappers and artists with their own record labels and business empires to oversee, investing in a sports team may require more time and input than they're willing to commit.

T.I.’s comments provide insight into his thoughtful approach to money management and desire to remain an influential force in his investments and business deals. His stance suggests an artist of his stature would need a large stake and strong decision-making power within a sports franchise to make it enticing enough to balance with their recording careers and existing business interests. Unless the right opportunity comes along, T.I. plans to keep building his own companies according to his own vision.

T.I. Reveals He Was Planning to Collaborate With DMX Before His Death

The untimely passing of DMX earlier this year came as a shock to many in the Hip Hop community, including T.I. As T.I. shared on The Big Podcast with Shaq, he and DMX had actually been planning to work together just weeks before DMX’s death.

According to T.I., DMX came over to his place a couple of weeks before he passed away so they could begin plotting their collaboration. “X came to my house like two weeks before he died. We were planning to work together,” T.I. revealed. “He came to the studio and I was recording something else. I think by the time I had finished he had to run to another engagement.”

Their schedules didn’t align at first, but DMX was determined to connect with T.I. “And then one time he said he wanted to go to the studio but I was at the house with the kids and I couldn't get out, so he said, ‘I’ma just pull up on you, man,’” T.I. shared.

When DMX did come by, the two rap legends stayed up for hours just talking, bonding over their lives and careers. “He came by and we just sat up all night 'til four, five in the morning, talking loud in the kitchen. I was having margaritas, I think he might have had a beer. Smoking and chilling, just talking like we known each other forever,” T.I. said. “That was the first time we had ever really [met].”

Tragically, before they had a chance to get into the studio together, DMX passed away. “We were talking about kids and he left town that day and I left town, I was taking my kids to Orlando. And we was on the phone planning to meet back up and work again. I think maybe two, three days later, he had passed,” T.I. lamented.

Though their musical collaboration never came to fruition, T.I. is grateful for the opportunity to have connected with DMX, even if just for one night. The memory of their deep conversation and the potential of what could have been will live on.



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