Producer: Nick "Fury" Loftin
T.I.: “It was emotional making that song because my father had just died or was about to die. He had Alzheimer’s, diabetes, and high blood pressure, so he was really hurting. Even though he had Alzheimer’s, he knew me when I came around. I remember he kept telling me the same things he would tell me when I was a kid, like I was still a kid. But sometimes he recognized I was grown, like when I brought my around my two sons, Messiah and Domani.
“The first verse was to the first young lady who I had two sons with. It wasn’t my fault. I grew up, the same things I wanted then aren’t the same things I want now. It doesn’t make me a bad person, it just makes me a different person than I was when I was 16 years old. I didn’t have this mind to think with or this experience to go off of. You can’t hold my feet to the fire for that. Even if you do, don’t worry about it I still love you.
“[The second verse is about how] I had resented my father for a long time before he got sick because I felt like he was able to prevent me from having to go through what I went through as a kid. I felt like he was very well off. He lived in a nice Manhattan apartment and I would go to see him every summer. He didn’t worry about no bills, he didn’t worry about no food, he didn’t worry about none of that. But, when I went back home and I was supposed to focus on school, I had worry about like, ‘How am I going to get bills paid for my mother?’ When I got older I resented that.
[The second verse is about how] I had resented my father for a long time before he got sick because I felt like he was able to prevent me from having to go through what I went through as a kid. - T.I.
“When he got sick, I started making it on my own and had kids on my own. It worked out a little better for me than him, I’ve been more fortunate. But I understood the struggle. I knew it wasn’t just him saying, ‘Fuck me,’ and leaving me out there. I understood the challenges at that point. Even more than that, that’s my father and he gave me life so the resentment, it was time to let that shit go. We spent his last days together. I made that song to let him know that all is forgiven. I’m not tripping.
“I was in a relationship with a childhood sweetheart before I got my record deal. Once I got the deal, she had my first son. She’s was pregnant with my second son, but we weren’t working so we broke up. Meanwhile, I met a friend, we started kicking it, and she got pregnant with my daughter, Deyjah. I wasn’t ready to accept that I got three kids in two years so I ran away from the responsibility with the friend of mine. I didn’t embrace my daughter in the first three to six months of her life as I should have, and [the third verse in the] song was my apology to her. Saying, ‘This is what it was and this is what happened. It’s not your fault; it’s my fault. I just didn’t know how to handle it but now I get it.’”
Nick "Fury" Loftin: “I met T.I. in the late ’90s. I came up with T.I. and Cee Lo Green. We were all on the grind. Nobody was famous, nobody had money like that, nobody was established. I was working with Kandi Burruss from Xscape up in Tree Sound Studios and she told me, ‘There’s this artist in the next room with my guy Kawan Prather.’ I was like, ‘Oh yeah, I heard of Kawan.’ She’s like, ‘I want you to meet his artist.’
People who rap, you can tell they rap. Sometimes they always walk around saying little lines. He does none of that. He’s a rapper but he never raps until it’s time for him to go in the booth. - Jason Geter
“So Kawan came over, met him, then we went over to Tip’s room. I walked in and I was like, ‘Wait—hold up man, I know you!’ I played him beats, he picked a few of them. I left a CD and didn’t think anything about it.
“It wasn’t until a year later when I came back to Atlanta and I saw Jason Geter and Mac Boney. They’re like, ‘Man, we got this track that we’re going to put on Tip’s album, but we don’t know who did it.’ So I went to the studio, they played it, and it was ‘I Still Luv You.’ It just so happened to be mine. It almost didn’t happen.
“T.I. had already recorded a demo version of the song, so he had some ideas of what he wanted to do. I was tracking the beat, he heard it, and it was an emotional song for him. He wasn’t really saying too much, he was just listening to the track. Then he was like, ‘OK, I’m ready.’ I had never seen an artist really just go in there and go from the top of the head. He went in there and laid those emotional lyrics down, and at the end of the song he’s like, ‘I’m done with it.’”
Before I tell people I did Lil’ Flip’s ‘Game Over,’ I tell them I did ‘I Still Luv You.’ - Nick "Fury" Loftin
Jason Geter: “People who rap, you can tell they rap. Sometimes they always walk around saying little lines. He does none of that. He’s a rapper but he never raps until it’s time for him to go in the booth. He’s a real strong dude. He’ll go through stuff and he’ll hold it; he’ll try to wear it as a man. He won’t cry about it, but when he gets in the booth, it all comes out.”
Nick "Fury" Loftin: “The crazy part is I was going through some things with my daughter’s mother and just life issues, and I brought those feelings out on that track. So to have him come on that track [and feel the same way] I felt when I made the track was just amazing. It was like the perfect marriage. I could listen to that song today and hear my story in that song.
“Not too long ago, Tip told me some of the early records that I did for him helped him form his career. I was like, ‘Wow, that’s amazing.’ Before I tell people I did Lil’ Flip’s ‘Game Over,’ I tell them I did ‘I Still Luv You.’ They say, ‘Oh man, I used to listen to that going to school! I used to listen to that at night.’ I didn’t know it made that much of an impact, but I guess it did.”