T.I. Is 'In A Zone,' The-Dream Says

The Atlanta MC is 'rapping like he's in space,' singer tells MTV News.

The recently freed T.I. said his next album (due August 24) will be more about "feelings" than his last project, Paper Trail, which he described as driven by "thoughts." The Atlanta rapper has said fans can expect "classic T.I."

[artist id="2801312"]The-Dream[/artist], who sought out Tip for a collaboration on his forthcoming album, agreed with that early assessment, telling MTV News that T.I.'s skills are otherworldly right now.

"Tip is in a zone, man," said The-Dream, whose second single, "Sex Intelligent," will feature T.I. "He's in one of those things. But me just being a lyric guy, what makes songs, I think, hits is when it comes from the heart and you really are saying something you mean. And you can feel it through the passion.

"Every record he played me, I was like, 'Wow.' I could just feel it. It wasn't about judging it. It wasn't about, 'Is this a single or is this that?' It was just, 'Wow, where have you been? Where'd you go?' It was just elevated, and he's elevated. Right now, he's rapping like he's in space. Not a place we don't know — it's in the same area — but his vibe is just wider now."

While Tip is hard at work on his yet-untitled comeback album, last month he released "I'm Back," the first track he's delivered to the public since beginning a federal prison stint last May on charges stemming from a 2007 arrest. Recently sprung a couple months shy of his yearlong sentence, the rapper is serving out the remaining months under home confinement.

T.I. has been mostly quiet since his release in December, with the exception of a brief conference call with a group of DJs (though he declined to take questions) and a video interview he posted on his Web site, TrapMuzik.com.

Are you excited to hear T.I.'s next album? Do The-Dream and Tip have a hit on their hands? Let us know in the comments below!