On December 28, 2013, T.I.'s Grand Hustle artist Doe B died after being shot at a club in his hometown Montgomery, Alabama. The Hustle Gang family mourned the loss and promised to keep his memory alive -- "U'll never be forgotten & U WILL NOT DIE IN VAIN," Tip tweeted at the time -- and he meant it.
His latest album, Paperwork, includes a special tribute to him on the song "Light Em Up (RIP Doe B)," and T.I. explains that the 22-year-old was actually on his way to record with him and Pharrell before he was shot.
"That record was recorded the day he died, so the feeling was very surreal and it was extremely heavy on my heart," T.I. told MTV News, adding that Pharrell encouraged him to do it while the pain was fresh.
"The night we made 'Paperwork,' I was telling Pharrell about Doe and he immediately said, 'Get him down here, let's work.'"
T.I. says he called Doe B two days after Christmas to share that news. "I told him Pharrell wanted to work with him and he immediately said he was on the way," he recalled. "He just had a stop to make at a club that some DJs were doing a party at and they was looking forward to him showing up. He felt obligated, he had to go do that."
And unfortunately that was the last time he heard from him. "Before that morning came, he died," T.I. said, noting that he had to break the devastating news to Pharrell.
"Pharell was expecting him. [I had to tell him], "Man lil' bruh died last night." At that point, P insisted that they document it on record immediately.
"Lil' bruh was definitely on the verge of being one of the coldest -- he was the coldest in his class," Tip said. "There will never be another Doe B. He was the Southern Biggie. I think that's the closet the South has gotten to the Notorious B.I.G."
Hear T.I. talk about Doe B in the video above and check out his new video "King" below. Paperwork is in stores now.