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TI (2012)

TI (born September 25, 1980 in Atlanta , Georgia ; actually Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. ) is an American rapper , actor and film producer . He used to use the pseudonym "TIP", but dropped it to avoid confusion between himself and the American rapper Q-Tip . He is one of the most important representatives of southern rapeseed, also known as Dirty South .


Early years

Harris grew up with his grandparents in Atlanta and was a drug dealer as a teenager . This is where his nickname “Rubber Band Man” is said to have originated, an allusion to the habit of using the number of rubber bands worn on his arm to signal his current financial status. At the age of 14, he had been arrested several times.

TI is considered to be the inventor of so-called trap music , i.e. the music from the "trap" (literal translation = trap), which he himself describes as the " hustler's reloading point , his office". According to him, this is "something like the foundation stone of the underworld, the place where you can really find everything you need right now, whether that's half-price food stamps, a flat-screen TV or new rims". With the money he earned there, he had to support his family, since his father disappeared without a trace, his uncle was in prison for ten years and his mother was a welfare recipient. When he was 14 years old, he was already able to buy his mother and himself a car. He had made the money mainly by selling drugs from his room window.

Shaped by these influences, he wrote his first song Dope Boyz at the age of fourteen (roughly = drug dealer). However, this was not successful.

2000–2002: years with Arista

He made the leap into the music industry at the age of 20 when his cousin introduced him to producer DJ Toomp. He got a contract with LaFace Records . A year later his first album I'm Serious was released . The album featured many productions and guest appearances by well-known artists such as The Neptunes or Jazze Pha . However, as the album received little attention, TI's contract with LaFace was terminated as a result. He also had to serve a sentence in prison in 2002.

2003-2004: breakthrough

His breakthrough came with his second album Trap Muzik , which was released in 2003 on his newly founded label Grand Hustle . It debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 , while the single 24's made it into the Billboard Hot 100 and was included in the soundtrack for Need for Speed: Underground , which is why it became known outside of the United States. The single Be Easy could not repeat the success while the two singles Rubber Band Man and Let's Get Away (feat. Jazze Pha), released in 2004, became the top 40 singles in the USA.

2004-2005: Urban Legend

At the end of 2004, Atlantic Records released its commercially most successful album to date: Urban Legend . Trick Daddy , Nelly , Pharrell Williams , Lil Jon , Lil 'Kim and Lil Wayne were among the guests . The single Bring Em 'Out also entered the charts internationally and made it into the top 10 of the charts in the USA. The other two singles U Don't Know Me and ASAP were also able to celebrate further successes.

At the same time he was also at the top of the global charts with Destiny's Child and Lil Wayne.

2005-2006: King

TI (2006)

This was surpassed by his album King , released in early 2006 . It went straight to number 1 on the American Billboard charts and is his best-selling album, and arguably the most widely accepted album by critics.

His biggest solo hit is What You Know , which reached number 3 on the US Billboard charts in 2006 and was awarded double platinum. A short time later he was featured as a feature with Justin Timberlake and his single My Love at number 1 on the US charts. In addition, his single Why You Wanna reached the top 30 of the charts.

2006-2007: TI vs TIP

In 2007 the successful album TI vs. TIP is his second number 1 album in the US. The single Big Things Poppin ' (also known as Big Shit Poppin ) became very successful. TI also recorded a featuring with R&B singer Nicole Scherzinger on the song Whatever U Like .

2008–2009: Paper Trail and Detention

On October 30, 2008, TI's seventh album, Paper Trail , was released in the United States. It immediately entered the US charts at number 1 in its first week.

The single Live Your Life features a sample from the song Dragostea din Tei by O-Zone at the beginning of the song . The single also became TI's second number 1 hit in the US, after Whatever You Like , the first single from Paper Trail . The single Dead and Gone was also his greatest success in Germany.

On October 13, 2007, TI, who already had a criminal record, was arrested by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) for suspected illegal possession and attempted acquisition of weapons with the assistance of a bodyguard. As a result, he was under house arrest, the only people allowed to live with him are his wife and children.

On March 27, 2009, the rapper was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and 1000 hours of social work. The 1000 community hours were followed by a camera team and broadcast in an eight-part reality series on MTV. On March 26, 2010, TI was released from a social integration house. After that, however, he still has to do around 500 social hours and an additional 23 hours of house arrest.

2010-present: No Mercy and Trouble Man

On April 15th it was announced that TI's next album would be titled King Uncaged . On May 13, 2010, TI was on a talk show for the first time, on Larry King Live. Here he discussed with Larry King about his imprisonment and his next album project. On May 24th, TI released a single from the soundtrack to the film Takers , "Yeah Ya Know (Takers)".

The album's first official single, Get Back Up, was released on October 29, 2010, at the same time it was announced that the album would now be called No Mercy . On the same day, TI was arrested again for breaking parole. On November 1, the rapper started an eleven-month prison sentence. No Mercy was released on December 7th, 2010 and includes collaborations with Drake , Christina Aguilera , Kanye West and Eminem .

The album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head , recorded in the following two years, was released on December 18, 2012 and is the first part of a two-parter. The second part should be entitled Trouble Man: He Who Wears the Crown .


TI is married to Tameka "Tiny" Cottle and has three children with her. He has a total of seven children from different relationships.

"Virgo Test" Controversy

In 2019, TI said in a podcast that he applied different standards to the sexuality of his children: While his older son was allowed to be sexually active at the age of 14, he drove his daughter to the gynecologist until she was 18 to find out whether her hymen is intact. He pressured her to sign a doctor's secret release so that he could find out the result. After the publication, TI received harsh criticism in the press and media due to its assault and possession of his daughter's virginity.

Other activities

TI also founded New Finish , a construction company he used to buy, renovate, and resell houses in poor condition. He can also call a car dealership his own. Regular customers are u. a. the players of the Atlanta Hawks .


On October 13, 2010, TI learned from the radio that a man was about to throw himself off a 22-story building in Atlanta. After the police accepted his help, he was able to dissuade the man from his plans on site.

His song "24's" was used in the soundtrack of the game Need for Speed ​​Underground .

stage name

TI likes to refer to itself as the "King of the South". His actual artist name "TIP" is derived from his nickname Tip. When he signed a contract with Atlantic Records, he changed his name to TI at the request of the label to avoid confusion with the Q-Tip, which was also under contract with Arista


  • Vibe Awards, 2004 ( Best Street Anthem for Rubber Band Man )
  • Vibe Awards, 2005 ( Best Street Anthem for U Don't Know Me )
  • BET Awards , 2005 ( Most Stylish Male )
  • BET Awards, 2006 ( Best Male Hip Hop Artist )
  • Grammy Awards , 2007 ( Best Rap Solo Performance for What You Know )
  • Grammy Awards, 2007 ( Best Rap / Song Collaboration for My Love )
  • MTV Video Music Awards, 2009 ( Best Male Video for Live your Life feat.Rihanna )


Studio albums

year title Top ranking, total weeks, awardChart placementsChart placements
(Year, title, rankings, weeks, awards, notes)
2001 I'm serious - - - - US98 (3 weeks)
First published: October 9, 2001
2003 Trap music - - - - US4th

(51 weeks)US
First published: August 19, 2003
2004 Urban legend - - - - US7th

(43 weeks)US
First published: November 30, 2004
2006 King DE86 (1 week)
- CH99 (1 week)

(3 weeks)UK

(47 weeks)US
First published: March 28, 2006
2007 TI vs. TIP DE96 (1 week)
- CH59 (2 weeks)
- US1

(33 weeks)US
First published: July 3, 2007
2008 Paper trail DE79 (1 week)
- CH46 (5 weeks)

(28 weeks)UK
Double platinum
× 2
Double platinum

(57 weeks)US
First published: September 26, 2008
2010 No Mercy - - - UK39 (1 week)

(20 weeks)US
First published: December 7, 2010
2012 Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head - - - - US2

(27 weeks)US
First published: December 18, 2012
2014 Paperwork - - CH64 (1 week)
UK85 (1 week)
US2 (20 weeks)
First published: October 17, 2014
2018 Dime trap - - - - US13 (4 weeks)
First published: October 5, 2018



  1. ^ Hip-Hop Star & Actor TI In: People . Time , April 24, 2006, accessed February 2, 2013 .
  2. ^ TI And Young Jeezy: Out Of The Trap. In: MTV . Retrieved February 2, 2013 .
  3. TI: Me, Myself & I. In: Vibe . Archived from the original on April 3, 2009 ; accessed on February 2, 2013 .
  4. a b biography at Laut.de
  5. ^ Trap Muzik at Billboard.com
  6. Soundtrack from NFS: Underground
  7. King at Billboard.com
  8. Affidavit and Search Warrant ( Memento of the original from March 4, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / www.aolcdn.com archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. (PDF; 4.6 MB) , TMZ, October 13, 2007
  9. Jonathan Jr. Landrum: Rapper TI jailed on weapons charges . In: The Toronto Star , March 27, 2009. Retrieved September 22, 2009. 
  10. Aaron Cooper, Munger, Lateef: Rapper TI sentenced to year and a day in prison, fined . In: CNN , March 27, 2009. Retrieved April 12, 2009. 
  11. Shaheem Reid: TI Announces Album Title, Preps New Mixtape With DJ Drama , MTV. April 15, 2010. 
  12. Josh Wigler: TI To Appear On 'Larry King Live' - rapper will discuss his nine months in prison during Thursday's episode; MTV News . Mtv.com. May 10, 2010. Retrieved May 14, 2010.
  13. Jayson Rodriguez: TI Premieres Second Single From King Uncaged-'Prison ain't change me, it made me worse, 'an aggressive TI raps on' Yeah Ya Know (Takers). ' . MTV . May 24, 2010. Retrieved May 27, 2010.
  14. New Music: TI f / Chris Brown - 'Get Back Up'
  15. TI Turns Himself In To Start 11-Month Prison Sentence - Rapper's recent LA drug arrest violated his probation.
  16. Trapmuzik.com: No Mercy ( Memento of the original from November 28, 2010 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot / trapmuzik.com
  17. Rapper TI has his daughter's virginity checked. November 7, 2019, accessed November 10, 2019 .
  18. n-tv NEWS: TI forces daughter to take a virgin test. Retrieved November 10, 2019 .
  19. biography at imdb.com
  20. Chart sources TI: DE AT CH UK US

Web links

Commons : TI  - collection of images, videos and audio files