T.I. Says Reality Show Strained Relationship with Former Label Because It Hurt His 'Gangsta' Image
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T.I. Says Reality Show Strained Relationship with Former Label Because It Hurt His ‘Gangsta’ Image

Photo Credit: Instagram

Photo Credit: Instagram

By: Amanda Anderson-Niles

Rapper T.I. isn’t one to hold back his true feelings about any topic. In fact, it’s always been T.I.’s ability to be so transparent that made his reality show centered around his family a huge hit for VH1, and it’s no doubt the rapper’s choice to let the cameras in to witness his family life most likely increased his own fan base. However, when you’re a rapper who’s considered to be street like, a reality show that draws parallels to the Cosby show could make it a little hard to still be seen as a tough guy. Apparently that’s how T.I.’s former record label Atlantic Records saw things, and in a recent interview T.I. confirmed his reality show created some issues with the label. He tells XXL Magazine:

“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 sh*t’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.”


Regardless of how Atlantic Records felt about T.I.’s change, T.I. says he’s proud of his growth. When asked if he thinks he’s changed, 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.”


T.I. is currently looking for a new deal with another major label, but he is also considering going independent.



  1. The Truth

    August 3, 2013 at 2:55 pm

    Of course the label was mad. They want all of their rappers to be c*ons.

    • WhatWhat

      August 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

      So true.

    • My 2 Cents

      August 3, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Exactly! T.I. was their favorite when he was just another jailbird with kids by multiple women. Then he got married and grew up and now they don’t think he is “gangsta” enough for the label. Smh.

    • Ms. Jackson

      August 3, 2013 at 3:11 pm

      This! Nothing else even needs to be said…perfect.

    • Uncontainable Spirit

      August 4, 2013 at 4:56 pm

      This should speak volumes about the industry that constantly feeds children these messages. You are to be stagnant in negativity and we’ll provide you with lucre. If you step away from that paradigm we will no longer provide you with lucre.

  2. Fanny

    August 3, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    That’s the music industry for you. He’ll be better off independent anyway. At least he’ll make more money that way.

  3. Jamaica

    August 3, 2013 at 2:58 pm

    Not surprised. These labels are so dirty.

  4. roberta

    August 3, 2013 at 3:00 pm

    This is one reality show, that makes me PROUD…..the family structure is there & I luv it….TI, u can always write more books……just do u & KEEP IT REAL!

  5. Barbee

    August 3, 2013 at 3:01 pm

    Well Atlantic is stupid! A good image isn’t a bad thing. Jay Z is married with a child and he still sells albums. Kendrick isn’t a thug and he sells. It’s not always about that.

  6. Gabriella

    August 3, 2013 at 3:02 pm

    I believe T.I. some people always want to put blame on rappers but the people that are running these labels push these rappers it’s a marketing ploy because they make the most money.

    • The Truth

      August 3, 2013 at 3:06 pm

      THANK YOU! The artists are merely employees. Same thing with the corner boys/drug dealers. If people did their research they would know what race drugs really come from. It’s not black people either…

  7. Anon Chick

    August 3, 2013 at 3:03 pm

    Honestly all people really want is good music and bars nowadays. I don’t want to hear about all that gangsta stuff anyway.

  8. Queen

    August 3, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Sad. I love the show but these labels will push out an artist with a negative image before they push out one with a positive image. Sex and Gangstas sell…well that’s what they thought until Adele and Kendrick came along.

  9. Xanthia

    August 3, 2013 at 3:09 pm

    Eh, Atlantic wanted him to stay stupid and in trouble. He should just go independent so he can have more creative control.

  10. Heather B.

    August 3, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Great show. Im glad VH1 brought it back for another season.

  11. Viv

    August 3, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    I freaking love this show! It’s Atlantic’s loss anyway. #shrugs

  12. HowAboutThat

    August 3, 2013 at 7:08 pm

    I really enjoy his show.

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