NEW YORK — T.I. is just about done with his T.I. vs. T.I.P. album, due sometime in late June or early July.
He's already recorded with Eminem, Nelly and Ciara among other guest stars, and the first single is ready to hit radio, officially debuting April 17 (see "T.I. Taking On T.I.P. With Help From Eminem, Justin Timberlake"). The song is another collaboration for the King of the South and Mannie Fresh and is called "Big Things Poppin' " — the clean version of the record, anyway.
"Big Sh-- Poppin' is really just me talking to these people who say things and can't back it up," T.I. said, referring to the song's title as it will probably appear on the album. "You know how some people say, 'Money talks and bullsh-- runs a marathon'? I'm saying the equivalent of that."
"Big sh-- poppin', little sh-- stoppin'/ Ball on these n---as, being broke is not an option," T.I. raps on the song's hook.
T.I. vs. T.I.P. is a concept LP on which the rapper uses both sides of himself — the suave, level-minded CEO and the 'hood-friendly former dope boy — to express his thoughts on everything from the Grammy Awards to sideways-talking bustas to making dough. Sometimes the two sides duel, and occasionally you'll catch them on the same track. More often than not, though, each personality gets his own song. "Big Sh-- Poppin' " showcases the Grammy winner rapping in his grittier T.I.P. persona.
"Dominated '06 and I'm going right back," he rhymes. T.I.P. also says he's "doing it" for his children, family and friends.
"Me and T.I. clique up and the songs are magic," said Mannie Fresh, who's in Atlanta working on a bunch of LPs that T.I. is overseeing, like B.G.'s new album. T.I.P. even has co-production credit on "Big Things Poppin'." "The songs we're doing for his album are definitely right, yes indeed."
The beat Fresh and his accomplice came up with is another energetic brouhaha in step with some of their proven street ditties such as "Top Back."
Check MTVNews.com starting on Monday for more on T.I. and some of his most popular peers from the ATL. We are launching a whole week's worth of coverage from Hotlanta.