NEW YORK — What's T.I.'s reaction to having the #1 and #2 songs in the country? Well, it's not what you might expect.
"I was very disturbed and exhilarated at the same time," the King of the South said with a snicker in his hotel room Tuesday afternoon. "It's never nice to be knocked from #1, but it makes it feel better when you're knocked from #1 by your own song. ... Nah, I was joking. For real, it was cool. I didn't even know. Somebody told me in conversation. I was like, 'Oh yeah? Cool.' That's how I felt. Time to move on to the next one."
Almost everything about T.I.'s "Live Your Life" sounds different than what you'd expect from its makers. Producer Just Blaze really veered from the sound of his staples, such as State Property's "Rock the Mic" and Jay-Z's "P.S.A." That yodeling sample is out of left field. Tip, meanwhile, took a talkative flow from his I'm Serious handbook.
"Just Blaze brought it to me," Tip said of the track. "He already demoed the hook and everything. I just laid my verses down and had to figure who I wanted to have on it."
Rihanna got the call.
"I felt like the song had a lot of international appeal," Tip explained. "It was a lot of opportunities there. I knew she was an international juggernaut. It was a no-brainer. The only question was, would she be interested in doing it?"
Before "Live Your Life" landed at #1 on Billboard's Hot 100, "Whatever You Like" held the top spot. It was one of the first records T.I. penned after [article id="1574078"]his house arrest[/article] for [article id="1571888"]weapons charges[/article] was over.
"I wrote that on the way from the airport," he said. "I really was just playing around. I didn't intend on making a hit single. I was just f---ing around."
Tip doesn't have much playtime lately. He's still filming "Bone Deep" in L.A., while also travelling across the country [article id="1596932"]promoting Paper Trail[/article] and carrying out his community service.
"I sat still doing nothing for so long, it enabled me to do more than ever," he said. "I'm blessed. I don't know what it is. I guess I'll rest when I'm dead. I'm not really tired. Onstage, it's adrenaline. I don't feel tired, not even 50 percent of the time. I kinda just learned to deal with it."
Tip is planning his tour now. He just has to lock down who is going on the road with him.
"We're working on that right now," he said. "It's just a matter of who we gonna go out with. It depends, man. It depends a lot on the timing and who's available. It also depends on who's interested. Of course, I'm thinking of as many different genres as we can incorporate into it. That will make it a more diverse tour and make it a little more appealing. But an all hip-hop tour, I wouldn't have a problem with that."