The Making of T.I.'s "Trap Muzik"

After The Album

T.I.: “We all felt so fortunate. We were so blessed and so thankful that we were doing what we loved. People were accepting us, our sound, and our philosophies. We were representing the city the proper way and we were having fun. That year for me was the beginning of the rest of my career. That had to happen for all these other things to become a possibility. We were ecstatic.

“Nothing can ever replace [the disappointment I felt after I’m Serious]. All the success in the world won’t take away from that, from having your hopes up and knowing that this is supposed to happen, knowing it’s your time, and then being wrong. Having to pick things back up and continue to push. All the success of today will never take away that hurt. But that only contributed to all that we’ve been able to accomplish from then on.”

DJ Toomp: “I still play Trap Muzik in my Porsche. I listen to Jeezy’s Recession, Nas’ Untitled, Trap Muzik, and J. Cole’s Cole Worldwhen I'm riding in my sports car.

 

All the success of today will never take away that hurt. But that only contributed to all that we've been able to accomplish from then on. - T.I.

 

“That was one of the real concept albums out of the South. Like, Ice Cube’s AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted was a conceptual album. Dr. Dre’s The Chronic took you on a journey through the West Coast. After you heard those albums, you felt like you went on a tour through the West Coast. With Trap Muzik, we took people on a journey through the Southern traps. The lingo, the type of stuff we wear, the jewelry, all that. A lot of songs, everybody around the country could relate because it was like, ‘Wow, we’re doing the same thing in our city but we never called it trapping.’

“We cracked the doors open. That made other cats living their lifestyle feel more comfortable about getting on records. Nowadays, you hear references made about any type of street activity being edited, they’ve caught onto the lingo. We actually got away with a whole lot of stuff then. A whole lot.

“People are calling some of this new stuff I'm hearing—this EDM stuff—they’re calling it ‘trap.’ There’s no subject matter about trap, it’s just a beat.’ It’s really not trap beats, it’s just dance music using our 808s and our drum patters. I was like, ‘How can y’all call that trap? What’s trap about that? There’s no lyrics to it.’ When they reword and retitle things it can throw me off, just being from the old school.

“We used to base our stuff off of what the East Coast was doing, which is the mecca. Now, they’ve started to pay attention to what we’re doing. You can’t even tell where an artist is from on a record. It’s a trip now.”

 

People are calling some of this new stuff I'm hearing—this EDM stuff—they’re calling it ‘trap.’ There’s no subject matter about trap, it’s just a beat.’ It’s really not trap beats, it’s just dance music using our 808s and our drum patters. I was like, ‘How can y’all call that trap?' - DJ Toomp

 

David Banner: “The thing that I liked about Trap Muzik the most is T.I. was able to put a face to a lyrical aspect of Southern music without trying to be like anybody else. It put a voice to the emotional aspect of Southern music. Most people don’t give Southern music the credit for emotion. Everybody from every other place is so caught up in the lyrics.

“T.I. was able to get that emotion from Southern music, but articulate it clearly. A lot of times, people say that Southerners are not lyrical, but that’s not the case. A lot of times, people just don’t understand what the hell we saying. T.I. was able to articulate himself without losing that Southern edge.”

DJ Drama: “This was his Reasonable Doubt. Atlanta was a big part of the culture already, but by the time Tip took off, he opened that door for Jeezy in ’05. By 2006, Atlanta was a mecca of rap music. He really came into his space on King, but the T.I. fan that’s been a T.I. fan for quite some time is always going to resort to Trap Muzik. As artists, we don’t like to hear this, but I’m sure Tip gets people saying, ‘Yo, we want that Trap Muzik T.I.’”

Bun B: “The album let people know that he was a force to be reckoned with. He let people know that he wasn’t going anywhere. I’m proud of how far T.I has come in his career. He was adamant about what it was he wanted to achieve and who he wanted to be. As far as I can tell, he did everything he said he was going to do.”

Sanchez Holmes: “He was getting a lot of respect out there in the streets [when we were touring] because we wasn’t doing the arenas yet. It was big to see how the people gravitated to him and loved him. That album changed my life. I love my brother. [Laughs]. Shoutout to Hustle Gang. Grand Hustle for life, believe it.”

 

During that Jay Z and R. Kelly tour, after R. Kelly fell off the tour, Tip did like a bunch of dates with Jay. Seeing Tip at Madison Square Garden on stage with Jay Z, that was like, ‘Wow, this is like a national thing.’ - Jason Geter

 

Jason Geter: “[We were touring for a while and] I remember coming back to Atlanta. We booked a show at a club called The Bounce. It was off Bankhead and it was a notorious club during that era. Going to the show the traffic was crazy. It was one of those defining moments like, 'Wow, this is all going to The Bounce? We finally got into the club and the club was packed wall to wall. That was one of those moments like, 'Wow. This shit is about to be on.'

“[Later on] during that Jay Z and R. Kelly tour, after R. Kelly fell off the tour, Tip did like a bunch of dates with Jay. Seeing Tip at Madison Square Garden on stage with Jay Z, that was like, ‘Wow, this is like a national thing.’ Like, this shit is all the way for real. After seeing the frustration to seeing him be embraced by some of these guys that were where you want to be... It was a long time coming.

“I’m proud of what we accomplished. It wasn’t given to us. Everything we got, we had to go out there, we had to fight, we had to shake trees. Grand Hustle was basically launched all from Trap Muzik, so even like the 10th anniversary of Grand Hustle, it started with Trap Muzik. That’s my favorite album, not necessarily so much because of the music that’s on the album, but because of the story.”

Sanchez Holmes: “That’s when he became the King of the South for real.”

Tags: the-making-of, ti
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