T.I.'s Urban Legend — which hit the streets on this day in 2004 — was the rapper's third full-length outing. But it might as well have been his debut, because while Tip showed promise on his first two albums (2001's I'm Serious and 2003's Trap Muzik), Urban Legend established him as a truly great MC and the kind of player who could really change the game and become a superstar.
He certainly lived up to said potential. Following the breakout success of Urban Legend (which sold over one million copies on the back of the singles "Bring Em Out" and "U Don't Know Me"), Tip went on an unprecedented creative roll, knocking out a series of memorable guest spots (including the Destiny's Child hit "Soldier," Justin Timberlake's "My Love" and remixes of Kanye West's "Drive Slow" and Fat Joe's "Make It Rain") and cranking out three instant classic albums in as many years (2006's King, 2007's T.I. vs. T.I.P. and 2008's Paper Trail, all of which hit the top spot on the Billboard album chart).
In fact, the only thing that has slowed Tip's momentum is the fact that he has been incarcerated for the better part of 2009. Still, he has managed to stay in the public eye, dropping the single "Hell of a Life" and continuing to enjoy the fruits of the singles from Paper Trail (including the Rihanna-assisted "Live Your Life"). Tip is scheduled to be released from prison in March of 2010, when he will no doubt have plenty to write about. Until then, we can continue to enjoy his past work — including his Swizz Beatz-produced breakout single "Bring Em Out."