T.I. said he has cut professional ties with Iggy Azalea, the divisive Australian rapper he signed to his Grand Hustle label and helped introduce to America, during an interview with New York radio station Hot 97.
When asked about the current state of their relationship, the Atlanta rapper told Ebro in the Morning that it “took a bit of a rest stop,” adding they hadn’t spoken personally. Later, T.I. explained that the split occurred after Azalea’s Twitter beef with Azealia Banks inspired Q-Tip to post a lengthy Twitter missive urging the Australian rapper to be more aware of hip-hop’s inextricable relationship with race, politics and history.
At the time, Azalea replied with the dismissive tweet, “I’m also not going to sit on Twitter & play hip-hop squares with strangers to somehow prove I deserve to be a fan of or influenced by hip-hop.”
T.I. explained, “After I kind of had smoothed it over like okay, ‘What is really meant to be said here is…’ After it was cool, everything was cool, and then they kind of came back and undid what I had just [done]. I’ma be all the way real, I’m a loyal partner. If I rock with you I’m gon’ rock with you … I really do feel that they [Iggy’s team] just needed a little more time to adjust, which I feel they can do. They have the talent, they have the charisma.”
A rep for T.I. declined to elaborate on the interview. A rep for Azalea did not immediately responde to a request for comment.
While T.I. may not be involved with Azalea’s future, he did show sympathy for the embattled musician, noting, “It’s very difficult to be the new kid and to be the butt of the jokes … And it came at a time where culturally, in this nation — which, she’s not from here — we were looking for a source, for somewhere to place some pent-up aggression. They just kind of got it for no reason, in some cases — some stuff they brought upon themselves.”
T.I. recently addressed his working relationship with Azalea in an interview with Rolling Stone, admitting it was difficult to impart wisdom to independent-minded upstarts like her or Grand Hustle signee Travi$ Scott. “Everybody has their own way,” T.I. said. “And they have been very successful. I think there’s some things that could have been avoided had we applied just a little different strategy.”
Elsewhere in his Hot 97 interview, T.I. discussed his surprise five-song EP, Da’ Nic, the difficulties of resurrecting ATL for a sequel and his upcoming LP, The Dime Trap, which he hinted could be out by the end of the year.