T.I. LIFE BIOGRAPHY:
T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. on September 25, 1980 in Atlanta, Georgia. He also goes by T.I.P. and Rubber Band Man due to his former association as a dope-boy, and T.I.P., his alter ego.
His original stage name, "T.I.P.", stems from his childhood nickname Tip. Due to his southern drawl, fans mistook his name for "Chip", so he began spelling it out "T.I.P". Upon signing with Arista Records subsidiary LaFace Records in 2001, he shortened his name to T.I. out of respect for label mate Q-Tip. He is also known to go by "Rubberband Man".
T.I. has four children by three different women. Their names are Messiah YaMajesty Harris, Domani Uriah Harris, Deyjah Harris, and King Harris. In March 2006, he split with long time girlfriend, Tameka "Tiny" Cottle (of the group Xscape), mother to his son King.
He is the leader of a rap group known as P$C (Pimp Squad Click). His debut album I'm Serious was released through Arista Records in 2001, which spawned the single of the same title which featured reggae vocalist Beenie Man. His debut album included Pharrell Williams of The Neptunes, Jazze Pha and Youngbloodz. However, the album did not sell very well, and he was dropped from the label. Undaunted, he formed Grand Hustle Records and released several mixtapes with the assistance of DJ Drama, which created an underground buzz. He finally resurfaced in the summer of 2003 on Bonecrusher's song "Neva Scared". He parlayed this attention towards the release of his second album, Trap Muzik. It was more of a success then his debut album thanks to the singles "24s", "Be Easy", "Rubber Band Man", and "Let's Get Away". The success of the album was followed by some controversy: while on tour, T.I. turned himself in and was charged with violating his probation over a 1998 drug charge. He was sentenced to three years in prison. While there he was granted rights to film the music video for his introduction at WHTA/Hot 107.9's Birthday bash.
In 2004, T.I. received an early release from incarceration, and returned to music with some disparaging words for rival rappers Lil' Flip and Ludacris. While out of prison, T.I. had overheard people claiming that Lil' Flip had disrespected him at a show he did in Atlanta and he felt obliged to respond. He did so at WHTA/Hot 107.9's Birthday Bash.
T.I. also called out Ludacris over an old disagreement their crews had with one another. Ludacris made a video in which a person in a shirt that resembeled that of a Trap Muzik shirt was seen being beaten, and, whether the resemblance was intentional or not, the feud between T.I. and Ludacris progressed. T.I. and Ludacris recorded a song with G-Unit rapper Young Buck where the two diss each other in the 2nd and 3rd verse of the track.
T.I.'s verse was omitted from the original track listing and replaced with The Game. According to website , T.I. was on a Houston radio station talking about the situation between him and Lil' Flip, and he made nasty comments about Lil' Flip repping a hood that he didn't grow up in. The rapper was confronted by Lil' Flip and his crew and a fight broke out between them. They since have discontinued this feud after a closed door meeting between the two.
After his second CD Trap Muzik sold over 900,000 copies in the U.S., T.I. released Urban Legend in late 2004. Urban Legend instantly generated crossover success with the hit single "Bring 'Em Out". He used a sample from Jay-Z's The Black Album to create the hook, and featured production from Ruff Ryders's producer Swizz Beatz. The album featured Trick Daddy, Nelly, Lil' Jon, B.G., Mannie Fresh of the Big Tymers, Daz Dillinger, Lil' Wayne, Pharrell of the Neptunes, P$C and Lil' Kim. The album debuted at number 7 on the Billboard Top 200.
T.I. has stepped up his community involvement as well, taking the lead on several initiatives to help the victims devastated by Hurricane Katrina, including personally donating $50,000 to the relief effort while leading an on-air Labor Day pledge drive on Atlanta's V-103 FM that raised over $263,000 for Mississippi rapper David Banner's "Heal the Hood" Foundation. He also partnered with David Banner and Atlanta newcomer Young Jeezy (It is said that Young Jeezy didn't want people to know about his charity work) for a two-day food and clothing drive at Atlanta's Club Vision and co-headlined a massive benefit concert on September 17, sharing the bill with heavyweights such as Nelly, OutKast's Big Boi, and David Banner - with 100 percent of the proceeds going to "Heal the Hood."
In addition to his Hurricane Katrina relief efforts, T.I. worked with troubled youths at Paulding Detention Center in Atlanta, provided scholarships for single parent families at Boys and Girls Clubs, and headlined Boost Mobile's RockCorps concert at New York's Radio City Music Hall, which featured such performers as Fat Joe, Slim Thug, and Kanye West, and was held exclusively for community service volunteers. In June 2005, The Lisa "Left Eye" Lopes Foundation, named for the deceased member of multi-platinum female group TLC, and Atlanta's V-103 honored T.I. with the 2005 Lisa Lopes Award for groundbreaking achievements in music and community service which was court ordered. With this steady list of growing accomplishments T.I. is being recognized as the "Jay-Z of the South." according to Pharrell Williams of multi-platinum production team the The Neptunes
His latest album, King debuted at number one on the Billboard 200 chart on April 4, 2006 selling over 520,000 copies in its first week. It went on to go platinum off it's first single "What You Know". This feat allows T.I. to hold the record of second best first week sales of 2006, so far. His second single to hit the airwaves is titled "Why You Wanna". On T.I.'s album 'King', there are two tracks which have been disputed by the hip hop community to be shots at Lil Flip ("What You Know" and "I'm Talking To You"). However in an interview with a popular online hip hop website on March 24th, 2006, T.I. was quoted as saying he and Lil Flip have no beef. This however is under dispute, In Young Dro's video "Shoulder Lean" (an affiliate of Grand Hustle) says a line "Lucky Charm necklace nah it ain't flip". T.I. who is also in the video is shown laughing towards the camera.
On April 27, 2006, T.I made the news on MTV's TRL, of signing a duo out of Saginaw, Michigan, called Boyz from Da Hood. The duo consists of King Q and Yung Tae. T.I. has reported to be signing Boyz from Da Hood to his Grand Hustle Records label. However, due to music label requirements, Boyz from Da Hood had to have an agent present. T.I. and Boyz from da Hood did agree to record a song featuring T.I. on their Underground MixTape, "Street Talks". T.I. promised that he would fly back to Michigan in mid-June to meet with the two youngsters again and make the deal final.
Over the years, T.I. has also continued to expand his business portfolio. In 2005 alone, he launched his own film production company called Grand Hustle Films, signed a multi-artist joint venture deal for his label with Atlantic Records, and established a music publishing deal for Grand Hustle Music with Warner Chappell. He also co-executive produced the soundtrack to the film, "Hustle & Flow," and released the collection through Grand Hustle/Atlantic. He also did the same for the debut album of his group P$C, "25 To Life." He has also stared in the new film, ATL, which is currently in theaters.
However things took a turn for the worse for T.I. in the early hours of May 3, 2006, when T.I. and his entourage were involved in a gunfight after leaving a concert after-party at the Club Ritz, a Nightclub in Cincinnati, Ohio, that has a history of problems with the law. Four members of T.I.'s entourage were shot in the altercation, which began in the 1500 block of Seymour Avenue then continued onto Paddock Road before heading Southbound on I-75. T.I.'s personal assistant Philant Johnson was killed and Janice Gillespie was seriously wounded by the gunfire. It is believed that the altercation began at the Ritz when members of T.I.'s entourage began throwing money from the stage into the crowd, angering male audience members.
According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, the feud began at the city's Club Ritz during an after-party for the Atlanta rapper and his protege Yung Joc -- who performed earlier that evening at the club Bogart's -- and moved outside, where shots were fired into two vans transporting T.I.'s crew just after three o'clock. A witnesses told the Enquirer the scuffle started when a member of T.I.'s crew tossed money into the crowd from the stage.
"It was supposed to be for the ladies," one witness said. "But it [the money] was hitting guys in the face, and they were like, 'We got money, so why are you throwing money at us?'"
When the situation grew tense, T.I. reportedly told his group to head out. A witness outside told the Enquirer that one shot -- believed to be unrelated to the ensuing gun battle -- was fired in the parking lot and at least four people followed the vans in a large vehicle. The names and conditions of the victims (three men, one woman) have not been revealed.
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