T.I. "Dope Boyz" (2001)
Album: I'm Serious
Label: Arista Records
DJ Toomp: “'Dope Boyz' was influenced by UGK’s stuff… I ain’t gon’ front. Around that time, Master P and them were doing their thing, and a lot of folks in Texas and Louisiana were using those organs, some of that Pimp C influence. So I will definitely admit and say that 'Dope Boyz [In The Trap' was a Pimp influence.
“When I started working on, I had found the right organs in my keyboard and went to work. But when me and Tip did the song, LA didn’t get it. This is when Tip was signed to LaFace Records. LA Reid was like, 'What the hell is a trap?' I don’t think LaFace was really ready to hear a song talking about dope boys, because it was so new. That track kind of rubbed a few people the wrong way in the beginning. So while LA was trying to figure out what the hell a 'trap' was, we really didn’t get the kind of promotion that we wanted for the song because the label wasn’t really standing behind it, but just so happen, the song had legs on its own.
“We did our own video and everything to it. Then we decided to fly up to New York and sit with LA. It was just me, Tip and Jason [Geter]. We were like, 'Let’s just drive up to New York.' So all three of us all jumped on the road and drove up to New York, in like ten inches of snow, in Jason’s Yukon. We literally drove from Atlanta to New York. When we got there, we spoke to LA and told him how we felt. Of course, we didn’t go up in there on no rowdy shit or nothing, it was just from the heart. We were like, 'Hey man, what you gon’ do? Either get behind this or we ready to get off the label.' So LA decided to let us get off the label. He gave us the release.
“After that happened, we just started doing shows, just surviving and kicking it, and the next thing we know the Atlantic Records deal came around.”