The uncertainty that followed [artist id="1225081"]T.I.[/artist]'s 2007 arrest for attempting to illegally purchase firearms in Atlanta on the eve of the BET Hip-Hop Awards inspired most of his latest album, Paper Trail.
Songs like "Live Your Life," "No Matter What" and "My Life, Your Entertainment" recalled the rapper's emotions during the embattled period in his life, mostly from his arrest until he struck a plea deal last March. The project was both critically acclaimed and commercially successful. Paper Trail went gold its first week of release, scored Tip his first two #1 singles ("Whatever You Like" and "Life Your Life") and earned him accolades and praise within the music industry.
So what is he gonna do for an encore?
"The celebration, putting these things behind me and moving forward," Tip told MTV News about the direction of his next album, scheduled for a 2010 release, following a re-release of Paper Trail this year. "Showcasing a new resilience, you know? Laughing in these suckers' faces. I'm going to get back to some of the old elements that put me on people's minds."
Tip said he has upward of 20 songs for his next album, which is still untitled. T.I. has once again returned to writing down some of his rhymes, as he did for the first time since his debut on Paper Trail. He also said he intends to veer into some subject matter similar to the material on his first album, I'm Serious.
"I'm doing it half and half," he said of writing and freestyle composing. "It depends on the type of record I'm doing. I have records now I did and I just went and did it like I used to, and I got some where I wrote it down. I'm not committing myself to one way or another. It'd have to be an infusion, just depending on what sort of album I want to make."
Some of the songs T.I.'s recording now could make it on the re-release of Paper Trail. Tip said he's looking to add five more songs to the new version, along with other bonus content.
"Recording is never a problem for me," he said. "I'm able to record any time. Through the best of times and through the worst of times, I'm still able to record. It may change the sort of song you do, but you never can tell. You never know until that moment gets there."