T.I.’s new track, “Hear Ye, Hear Ye,” opens lightly enough with “There’s a rainbow everywhere depending upon where you stand,” and ends on a similarly upbeat, if deeply cynical, note with “If wishes had wings, they’d all make it to heaven and we’d all be kings.”
It’s in between that the southern rapper, with great assistance from Pharrell Williams, fills us in on what he’s been going through with his return to prison and the 2006 murder of his close friend, Philant Johnson, whose loss he still feels deeply. “It’s like a piece of me is missing because it never came home.”
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He dissects the plight of many impoverished black men and their limited options and the traps they can find themselves in, but is by turns contrite and defiant about his life. And he has no time for “peons” who want to stand in his way.
Since his recent prison release, T.I. has been busy: his novel “Power and Beauty: A Love Story of Live on the Streets” came out yesterday, and his new VH1 reality series, “Family Hustle,” debuts Dec. 5.
He tells Rolling Stone that he’s working on his next album, on which “Hear Ye, Hear Ye” will appear. The album title is still up in the air, but will likely be either "Kill The King” or “Trouble.”
T.I. has no room for haters who are trying to rain on his parade since his last album, “No Mercy,” was the worst selling album of his career-- in part due to the fact that he was in prison and couldn’t promote it.
"If I never went to jail, did drugs, toted guns or made hot music, you never would have gave a fuck in the first place," he tells Rolling Stone. "Let's get back to making hot music and let that be the reason you fuck with me."
Up next for T.I. is shooting a video for “I’m Flexin’,” the first single from the new album.