RIO GRANDE, Puerto Rico — Palm trees, swimming pools, 95 degree weather and them gosh-darn mosquitoes: a thug's paradise.
"They been biting me like crazy, so watch out," Trick Daddy warned his friend T.I. as they sat by the pool at the Hotel Paradisus, tucked away in the Coco Beach sector of Rio Grande. The two were down in Puerto Rico for the Mixshow Power Summit music convention (see "Lil Jon, Snoop, Game Bring The Heat To Puerto Rico At The Mixshow Power Summit"), and both were taking the opportunity to mix business with pleasure — especially Tip.
"This is the first trip I really had the chance to take since I rid myself of that little legal situation," said T.I., who recently was jailed for a probation violation from his past (see "The T.I. Trilogy"). "Puerto Rico has a great look, nice vibe, nice feel. I'm getting a lot of work done. Getting to catch up on old times. I'm catching up with a lot of people I haven't had the chance to see in a long time, exchanging numbers, getting back in the swing."
While the summit gave him a chance to meet up with folks, Tip didn't have to go anywhere to politick for a major collaboration he just finished. All he had to do was pick up his cell and answer a call from Destiny's Child.
"I'm getting ready to go to Los Angeles to shoot this video for Destiny's Child's second single,
"I had been hearing through the grapevine, 'Beyoncé and them said they want to work with you. Kelly said she's feeling you, they want you on this single,' " he continued. "I'm like, 'Get it to me, it ain't nothing.' But one day they actually called me, and the next day they flew somebody out. I went and laid it down. I spoke to them, and they said they appreciated the work."
While working with DC3 is a huge feather in the Rubber Band Man's fedora, it's only when he begins talking about his own single that the often stoic ATLien starts grinning. The Swizz Beatz record "Bring Em Out" is the first release from his November 30 LP, Urban Legend.
"Swizz came and blessed me," T.I. beamed. "Also, I gotta give a shout-out to my folk Jay. Jay cleared the sample. Swizz thought it would be clever to use some of Jay's lyrics in the hook. 'Them rings and things you sing about bring 'em out/ It's hard to talk with the barrel in your mouth.' I think that's gonna really catch a lot of ears, turn a lot of heads. It's some spitting on there. It's a different kind of song you done heard from me. It's not just a hot ghetto, Southern record. It's a nationwide, all around the board winner."
"Bring Em Out" is one of the last records T.I. recorded for his now-completed set, but he still has a pretty hefty workload ahead of him. He has to narrow the 70 songs he's concocted over the last few months down to around 13. Among the producers who contributed tracks are DJ Toomp, Scott Storch, Daz Dillinger, Jazze Pha and Organized Noize.