T.I.: “L.A. Reid asked me to change my name to T.I. when I was on Arista. Some of my partners were like, ‘We told you you should have never changed your damn name.’ When I got off Arista, there was a thought that I should change my name back to T.I.P. Everyone was like, ‘Nah, people have already started calling you T.I.’
“So that was a conflict on whether or not to change my name back to what it was originally. Would that garner the success that I had been missing on the first one? Was T.I. something that I was trying to turn myself into that really wasn’t me? All of those questions arose in the making of this album. The thought of 'T.I. vs. T.I.P' was really just me dealing with the battle within myself.
“I characterized both of them. Both of them are me. It’s just one part of me that people feel would be more conducive to success and one part of me people feel would be more conducive to danger and destruction. I was taking the smart parts of me and the dangerous parts of me, individualizing them—with two names that people both know are related to me—and having a conversation between these two people.
Everybody talks to themselves. Everyone says, ‘Why did you do that? What were you thinking?’ I just did it on the mic, went in-depth, and spoke about the things that I knew I should be speaking to myself about in front of everybody. - T.I.
“Everybody talks to themselves. Everyone says, ‘Why did you do that? What were you thinking?’ I just did it on the mic, went in-depth, and spoke about the things that I knew I should be speaking to myself about in front of everybody.
“I’m not just a one-dimensional, hot-headed, temperamental, irrational, violent, extremely hip-hop artist. I always wanted people to know, I’m capable of this but I can do that too. People always try to put me in a box and make me be a gangster, a drug dealer, a backpack rapper. Just let me be me. This is who I am right now, a pretty boy, a thug, a hoodlum, Casanova, ladies man. Let me be the things that certain times call for. I don’t want to be so locked into one thing that I can’t change.
“People are very critical of humans. ‘How can you be a family man, non-threatening? This guy must be fake.’ What you’re telling me is that I’m supposed to be banging at breakfast? I’m supposed to wake up, roll over out of my bed, with my children in the house and pull a brick out my bag and whip up some dope on my kitchen counter? That’s what you’re telling me? Man, get the fuck out of here.
“That dichotomy and duality, that contributes to the diversified commercial success I've had and the foundation of respect that I hope my career will have. I think I’ve gotten pretty close to it at times. Sometimes I’ve walked a little too far on one side or the other—but I think I’ve done aight. Given where I started from and what I had to work with.”