There are two sides to T.I. No, we're not talking about his multiple personalities, which went head-to-head on his recent T.I. vs. T.I.P. album. No, we're talking about T.I. the rapper and T.I. the actor.
With his new LP still dangling in the top 10 on the Billboard albums chart more than six weeks after its release, Tip is turning his attention to the big screen. He recently revealed to MTV News that he will begin shooting two films within the next several months, and one will find him coming of age with Danny Glover.
"It's about the relationship, the bond that was created from two very unlike characters," the King of the South explained of "Once Was Lost." "I play a young, money-hungry drug dealer, and Danny Glover is in it with me. He plays a senile jazz musician. He kind of tricked me into driving him to Mississippi from Harlem [New York] against my will. We learn so much about each other along the way. ... It's kinda like [an] older generation/younger generation, unlikely bond. [It's an] extreme pleasure to be able to work alongside a legend like Danny Glover."
Tip's Grand Hustle Films is also producing another starring vehicle for the Atlanta native, a car-salesman comedy called "For Sale." The script is currently being finished, and while a director has yet to be chosen, T.I. wants to begin production at the top of 2008.
The very next movie we will see him in, however, is "American Gangster," which comes out November 2 (see "T.I. To Star With Oscar Favorites Denzel Washington, Russell Crowe"). He likens it to listening to a hip-hop posse cut filled with A-class artists.
"I play Common's son in 'American Gangster.' It's a phenomenal film," Tip said of the flick, in which he also plays a nephew of the movie's lead, Denzel Washington.
"It's one of the most prolific black gangster pictures ever to hit the screen. Tremendous amount of acting. Everybody's going hard. It's like when a hip-hop fan hears a song like [Khaled's] 'We Takin' Over' and you hear all your favorites and you hear them at their best. That's what 'American Gangster' is like for film. Cuba Gooding Jr., Common, RZA, Russell Crowe, Idris Elba. Everybody is doing their thing, everybody is going hard."
Needless to say, the King of the South was pleased to be a part of the cast. He enjoyed working with "pops."
"We had a lot of monologue," he said about his screen time with Common. "They got him fixed up with a beard and gray hair. We were just happy to be able to portray our characters in this story. It wasn't about him playing my dad or me playing his son, it was about being a part of this movie and going the extra mile."
T.I. worked with a huge cast for his new movie, and he has to do the same on his current trek. He's been headlining Screamfest '07 with Ciara, Lloyd, Yung Joc and T-Pain (see "T.I., Ciara To Headline Latest Scream Tour").
"Everybody's gonna do their part to make sure the house is brought down — there will not be a set of healthy lungs in the house," he said about the trek, which wraps in Los Angeles on September 2.
In other T.I. music news, T.I. vs. T.I.P. has gone platinum and the MC says he's still not decided what his next single will be, however he's sure it will come from the T.I. portion of the record.
"I'm happy with the album," he said. "I feel it was received really well."
Check out everything we've got on "American Gangster."
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