DOWNLOAD: T.I. – Dope Ft. Marsha Ambrosius
Once dubbed “the Jay-Z of the South” by Pharrell Williams, T.I. gradually came into his own and established himself as one of rap’s most successful MCs during the early 2000s. Like Jay-Z, T.I. — born Clifford Harris in Atlanta, Georgia — carried a balance of smoothness and toughness, and although 2001’s I’m Serious didn’t shoot him out of the gate à la Reasonable Doubt, he consistently grew and launched a string of major hits with 2003’s “24’s.” Throughout the six following years, T.I. maintained a consistent presence on urban radio stations in America: 2003’s Trap Muzik, 2004’s Urban Legend, 2006’s King (released in tandem with T.I.’s debut screen appearance in ATL), 2007’s T.I. vs T.I.P., and 2008’s Paper Trail — all released through the MC’s deal with Atlantic — were Top Ten albums, with the latter three even spending time at the very top of the chart. For better or for worse, T.I. also courted a good deal of controversy during his rise to superstar status.