As shrewd a business man as T.I. is, he’s an artist first, so when he heard the original beat for his newest single “Memories Back Then,” he was so excited he recorded the track and even recruited B.o.B and MTV’s Hottest MC Kendrick Lamar to ride with him. The only problem is, Tip’s record sampled Gotye’s #1, Grammy-winning “Somebody That I Used to Know,” a sample that he just couldn’t get clearance for.
“We just remixed it and did our own thing to it. Took the sample out so we wouldn’t have any trouble in our due diligence,” Tip told MTV News on Wednesday while on the set of “Memories Back Then” in California.
“I didn’t want to waste the opportunity because it was such great performances and such a meaningful message from myself, from Bob and from Kendrick,” he added.
The song finds all three MCs spitting of love lost. T.I. raps about a relationship with an overly promiscuous girl, while B.o.B lays down a verse centered around baby mama drama. Kendrick rounds things out with a 16 about a female who paid him no mind back before he was paid.
Tip explained that the original version of “Memories,” the one with the Gotye sample, felt relevant and urgent and that’s why he rushed in. ” ‘Memories,’ it began as a record that my DJ MLK, he brought a record to me that was produced by Keno and it had a sample, the sample of the biggest record last year and basically I just rocked out as soon as I heard it,” he recalled of the track he originally intended to appear on his December album, Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head.
After Tip enlisted his producers to put an original beat over the track’s existing rap vocals, he snagged singer Kris Stephens to add a brand-new hook. Needless to say T.I. is excited about this new version of “Memories,” which he can now truly call his own.
“I think the record is just as hot, if not hotter without the sample,” he boasted. “No disrespect to the people whose record we sampled. If we could’ve done it that way we would’ve loved to, but we didn’t wanna step on no toes.
“I think it’s gonna be one of the year’s best collaboration records.”
What do you think about T.I.’s “Memories Back Then”? Let us know in the comments!