The King of the South's crown will never lose its luster, but oh does the crest have an enormous weight. Global Superstar T. I. is set to release his eighth solo studio LP Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head and the iconic MC says although he will always be honest when talking about his mistakes as well as triumphs, he's done apologizing.
"Pretty much every aspect of my life is public knowledge, my best times, my worst times and everything in between, Tip offered. "It's important for me to let people know that yeah, I do talk about colliding with some pitfalls on this album; it's not going to be a mournful project. I think a mistake I made with my last album No Mercy is apologizing to people who didn't necessarily care about or care for me in the first place. The people who really love me and my true fans never turned their back on me."
For the album title, Tip drew inspiration for the project from his own life as well as one of his favorite artists.
"There isn't anybody that is familiar with Marvin Gaye, who doesn't love his music," Tip began explaining about the titling of his album. "I've been a tremendous fan of his since I was first introduced to his genius work as a child. His entire catalog is stellar, but that Trouble Man Soundtrack was always one that stuck out to me. I listened to the title track a lot when I was recording this album and thinking of a name. I kept saying that the lyrics in Marvin's record apply so eloquently to my life. I was truly inspired by it."
Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head features some of Tip's most penetrating profundities, as his soul barring abounds with The King of the South's signature, graceful delivery. The sure fire stadium anthem "Guns and Roses" features roaring guest vocals from multi-platinum, multi-time Grammy winner P! nk.
"P! nk is somebody I've known and admired for a very long time. This 'Guns and Roses' record kind of picks up where I left off with Rihanna and 'Live Your Life.' We're coming with a very inspirational message and also giving very personal narratives."
The enigmatic, but always brilliant Andre 3000 drops another breathtaking verse on "Sorry." Both MCs unabashedly address their own flaws on the record, while also vowing to recover from past mistakes and taking responsibility.
Adding to Trouble Man's list of legends is Tip's close friend, Lil' Wayne. The energetic superstar aligns himself with Tip once again, this time on the album's lead cut "Ball." Grammy Award Winning writer/ producer Rico Love (Usher, Beyonce, Rick Ross, Kelly Rowland) produced the song, giving it its throwback New Orleans bounce.
"'Ball' is another one of those triumphant T. I. legacy records," The King of the South explains. "After all the adversity, after my depth has been paid because of mistakes, after I better myself, I ball."
Other contributors to Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head include Pharrell Williams, Jazze Pha, CeeLo Green, No ID, A$AP Rocky and Tip's longtime collaborator DJ Toomp.
"Almost being ten albums in my catalog, I really wanted to take my time on this album and experiment a little," Tip added. "With this being LP number eight, I didn't want to lack any temerity. I wanted to stay on edge with my music and with my messages and I'm confident I have accomplished that."
While Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head is surely the crowning jewel of T. I.'s 2012 campaign, his accomplishments this year have been major and frequent. This fall, Tip once again proved to be a multi-media maven with the successful launch of the second season of his ratings darling "T. I. and Tiny: A Family's Hustle" on VH-1. Months before that, Tip completed a guest starring appearance on CBS' hit series "Hawaii 5-0" and this summer he simultaneously filmed roles for the Starz Network cornerstone program "Boss" with Kelsey Grammer and The Jason Bateman big screen comedy "Identity Thief."
"Acting, is an added blessing that seven years ago, I didn't even know that I would have a passion for," T.I. says. "Of course shooting music videos, there is a certain amount of acting and showmanship that goes with it, but doing movies and television is a whole other ballgame. I do feel that I'm becoming more comfortable in my craft and I want to continue to learn and be considered one of the best actors one day. I definitely think I'll be acting and producing TV and film at a much older age than I'll be MCing."
And while Tip may not have aspiration to be on the mic 10 years from now, he'll definitely continue to push out artist and help cultivate music stars.
"I'm in awe of what my 2013 is going to be," Tip said. "My next movement with Grand Hustle records will be amazing."