T.I. discussed the inspiration behind and the collaborations that comprise his 10th studio album, Dime Trap, in a new behind-the-scenes documentary.
T.I. released Dime Trap in October, marking his first full-length effort since 2014’s Paperwork. In the 10-minute doc, the rapper said he took his time with the new record because he was waiting to find the spark that would make the album worth doing. He said he began to feel that urgency as the 15th anniversary of Trap Muzik approached, but T.I. also noted that debates over the origins of the hip-hop sub-genre of trap also pushed him to return to the studio.
“Really it was when all of the back and forth happened about who started what, who did what,” T.I. said. “I’m like man, ‘For real, we still talking about this now?’ It was a bit of a fire lit up under me, and I just said, ‘Man fuck – I’m finna put this shit out.'”
Dime Trap boasts an array of collaborations and T.I. noted that he has personal relationships with every artist he tapped for the record, such as Young Thug, Meek Mill, Yo Gotti and Jeezy.
“Everybody that I work with, I call them personally and ask them to do this,” T.I. said. “I like that way because I think that the people that i have relationships with, they have a good idea of what I expect as far as my music is concerned. I think that’s valuable. Music is all about energy, it’s about coming together in collaboration.”
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Elsewhere in the documentary, T.I. discusses his numerous ventures outside of music, including his clothing line and his acting career (he points out that the hardest part about acting hasn’t been memorizing lines, but sticking to the strict production schedule). He also addressed his own longevity and what keeps him going after 10 records.
“I can attribute 10 albums to the fans,” he said. “I can make all the music in the world, but if nobody listens to it, shit don’t matter. I just really appreciate being put in a position to be a voice for the voiceless, to speak for people who don’t have an opportunity to say the things i’m saying. To do that for 10 albums, get people through certain parts of their life, through certain stages of their struggle, that’s important.”