T.I. has revealed the reason that he opted not to sign Young Thug and 21 Savage for $1million. The rapper had been in conversation with Shannon Sharpe on the Club Shay Shay podcast when he began to discuss the two contemporary Atlanta hip-hop figures.
Both 21 Savage and Young Thug had wanted to sign a big-money record deal with T.I.’s Grand Hustle music label, but he decided not to finalise the deal because of the initial amount he would have to take from their incomings in the first place.
“At this point in my career, I find it honourable to be able to tell new artists when they come up to me,” T.I. said. “You know, 21 Savage, [Young] Thug. A lot of them come up to me, ‘Aye man, give me a million, Tip. I don’t care what you do, just give me a million and let me handle it from there.’
However, T.I. is sceptical of just giving away a million just like that, especially when he knows what can come next. He added, “Like nah, I ain’t gonna do that, because if I give you a million, I gotta take back something that’s gonna be worth way more, and we ain’t gon’ be able to be friends from there. I always tell ’em, man, ‘Don’t worry about the money up front ’cause it’s gon’ come.'”
T.I.’s insistence on not signing 21 Savage appears to have paid dividends in Savage’s own career. “I remember telling that to Slime, I remember telling that to 21,” T.I. added. “And even Savage, every time he sees me now, he’ll hit me and say, ‘Aye, it came.’ And that puts a smile on my face because I just know how impactful every generation has the opportunity to be even more than the last.”