Just a few days after completing an 11-month prison sentence in September, T.I. received a phone call directly from Taylor Swift, requesting that he join her on the Atlanta stop of her Speak Now Tour.
Tip graciously accepted Swift's offer to duet on his single "Live Your Life," and the October performance — T.I.'s first post-release — made plenty of headlines. While promoting his new VH1 reality series, "T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle," which premieres Monday night (December 5) at 9 p.m. ET/PT, the Atlanta MC told MTV News that he was just as shocked as his fans were about the collabo.
"I was pleasantly surprised and confused," T.I. said of receiving the phone call from Swift. "I was confused because I know it's a phenomenal opportunity, but being T.I. — the Rubberband Man — and Taylor Swift being America's Sweetheart, I had just gotten out of prison like two days [earlier] and all of a sudden my phone rings."
Tip says that on episode three of "The Family Hustle," fans will see how the show came together, but he gave us a brief summary of his experience.
"There were significant differences in a Taylor Swift show from a T.I. show," he said, clearly amused at the thought. "You could take the biggest of the biggest hip-hop artists — even a Kanye West or Jay-Z show — and their concerts or tours, they gon' be just a world away from a [Taylor Swift] show."
According to T.I., the most notable difference was having a drama-free experience. "Everything is so calm and cool and arranged and on time, and everything is so neat and people are quiet and polite," T.I. said of the concert, still in disbelief. "Everything just flows smoothly, not a hitch, not a wrinkle, not a hiccup. Whereas hip-hop shows, no matter how big the production, no matter how elaborate it is, it's always friction and ups and downs. With her, everything was smooth; nobody raised their voice."
When MTV News caught up with Taylor back in October, the pop star told her side of the story, explaining that she was just grateful T.I. had even fielded her request.
"Well, I called T.I. the night before the show, so I felt like it's such short notice that [he wouldn't do it with me], and he's just like, 'Hey, yeah, sure,' " she recalled. "And it was just amazing. I was so excited 'cause I'm such a fan and I thought, 'This is such short notice, this is so ridiculous that I'm asking him to do this the night before.' And he's like, 'I'll be there.' And he showed up for soundcheck and we were all just so starstruck."
"T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle" premieres tonight at 9 p.m. ET/PT on VH1.