T.I.’s career has been one of ups and downs. Born and raised in Bankhead, Atlanta, the emcee (real name Clifford Harris) was always talented and pursued at a young age and found great success in the late 1990s. With acts such as the Goodie Mob inspiring him, Harris wanted to represent his city in the charts and did so exceptionally.
Alongside the likes of Lil Wayne and Lil Jon, T.I. helped popularise the South and helped it become mainstream with projects such as King and T.I. vs T.I.P managing to top the Billboard 200.
As the self-proclaimed ‘King Of The South,’ T.I. was one of Atlanta’s most well-known acts in the 2000s, and following his success as a solo artist, the emcee decided to found his own label, Grand Hustle and was actively looking for new talent to sign.
In the 2010s, Harris began to fall back from making music and focused on his role as a label head and recruited the likes of Iggy Azalea, Meek Mill, and Travis Scott when they were undiscovered talent. To this day, Travis Scott releases his albums through the label, and Utopia is no exception.
T.I. is an outstanding talent and, concerning business, has certain idols. In a conversation with Ebony magazine, T.I. listed five celebrities he admired for their business acumen. After briefly pondering, Harris named Master P, Russell Simmons, Will Smith Diddy and Jay-Z. Concerning Jay-Z, Harris exclaimed, “He done the rap shit to the best it could be done! He’s done it better than anyone who’s ever done it.”
However, Harris also has his favourite lyricists. During an appearance on Power 106’s breakfast radio show ‘LA Leakers’ with Justin Credible, DJ Sour Milk and Fuzz Fantab, the musician was once asked who his favourite lyrical acts were, and he was quick to reel off his favourites.
Unveiling his choices, Harris disclosed, “You gotta get Eminem, Jay, Three Stacks (Andre 3000) and Lil Wayne. You cannot disregard his contributions and his skill set. You got to acknowledge that.” You can hear the Atlanta act speaking about his favourite MCs in the video below.