After going through most of his career without writing any of his rhymes down, T.I. has begun putting ink to pad again, inspiring his forthcoming album's title, Paper Trail.
According to his rep, T.I. is making the most out of his house arrest on gun charges by recording an album in his home studio.
While under house arrest, the MC faces very stiff restrictions from the court, including being banned from drinking alcohol and having all his visitors go through a background check and be subjected to a search by authorities. According to one of his representatives, his engineer was given clearance to visit Tip a week and a half ago, and the two began working immediately.
After writing his lyrics on paper for his first couple of albums, Tip decided to follow the practice of peers such as Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Ja Rule and compose rhymes in his head, never writing anything down. His rep says with this LP, he wanted to spend more time concentrating, hence the title Paper Trail.
The album probably won't be out until next year, and obviously it is too early to foretell who he will be working with. Some of the producers he has in mind still have to be cleared by the courts before they can enter his house, his rep said.
Meanwhile, Tip's Grand Hustle label will continue to churn out material.
DJ Drama — who had his own issues with authorities earlier this year (see "DJ Drama Speaks Out About Arrest: 'I Took The Fall For Hip-Hop' ") — releases his long-awaited official Gangsta Grillz LP on December 4; the first single is called "5000 Ones." T.I. is featured on the record along with Diddy, Yung Joc, Young Jeezy, Nelly, Twista and Willie the Kid.
Tip also has a cameo on Big Kuntry King's first single "That's Right"; the video recently debuted on T.I.'s social-networking Web site, streetcred.com. Big Kuntry's album My Turn to Eat, comes out in February. Meanwhile's Tip's longtime friend Yung Dro is in the studio as well. His sophomore LP, Yung & Restless, is due in May.
And although he's not directly signed to Grand Hustle, T.I. is also executive-producing the new LP from B.G., Too Hood to Be Hollywood. That project is tapped for early 2008.