When recalling the making of his debut album I’m Serious, T.I. has claimed that the esteemed musician Pharrell took a pay cut to produce the project. Naturally, this helped to launch his career and Pharrell feels forever indebted.
The 2001 album became a huge hit featuring tracks like ‘Still Ain’t Forgave Myself’, ‘Dope Boyz’ and ‘I Can’t Be Your Man’. The record was undoubtedly helped along not only by Pharrell’s trademark muscular beat sounds but also simply by having the hot prospect’s name involved.
Speaking on the Club Shay Shay podcast, T.I. explained: “Pharrell was the first superstar, A-list producer, who would say, ‘You know what? I like this guy, I’m going to work with him. I’m going to give him access to my skillset, my talents, my efforts.’ He did that my first album.”
He continued: “But at the same time he said ‘yes,’ he was getting $100k a track and I couldn’t afford to pay that. So, he had to kind of like, in the sense of sports, he had to take a pay cut so we could play together. And he was gracious enough to do that; time and time and time again. Until we grew.”
While that figure might sound a little high, Pharrell was certainly one of the most in-demand names at the time. However, as T.I. happily adds: “Exceptions are made for exceptional circumstance.”
And Pharrell happened to like his work so much that he was a lucky benefactor. “he found reason to make the exception and he fit into my cap; my first half — we just started to develop a relationship and we’ve been working together ever since. That’s one of the dopest producers I’ve worked with. Jazze Pha as well,” he concluded.