T.I.’s final album, Kill the King, is well underway. As fans may recall, he announced his plans to retire from the rap game in the summer of 2021.
“The process is ongoing,” he told TMZ about the pending EP in a recent interview. “This is my favorite part of it, recording and coming up with the music, the DNA of the project. Once you have a concept for an album, the body of work, that’s the fun part,” he added.
The “Bring Em Out” artist noted that the album will signal not only the end of his successful 20-year run but also the end of the King of the South era, one that the project’s name alludes to. “It’s a representation of killing the ego. I feel like the King of the South moniker, you know, is very egotistical, self-gratuitous, and it’s a persona that kind of enters the room before I do physically,” explained the three-time Grammy winner.
From the sounds of it, T.I. is welcoming the end of the king’s reign and the turmoil that came with it. He recalled consulting notable hip hop figures as he weighed the idea of declaring himself southern rap royalty. “Big Boi, he actually cautioned me of this back when I was just coming on to the scene, man… I went to all the legends that I respected and that I had access to, southern legends like 8Ball [&] MJ[G], Bun B — Pimp C, he was away on a mandated vacation, so, you know, Bun B proxy — Outkast, Big and Dre, Goodie Mob, Scarface… I went to them, and just you know, ‘The King of the South thing, that’s what I’m going with, and I just want to, out of respect, just you know, see how you guys feel about it,’” he recalled.
While he garnered their support to run with the name, he said that Big Boi warned him that wearing the crown would come with turmoil. “At the time when he said it, I didn’t really think much of it. It didn’t resonate to me, but you know, standing here 20 years later, looking back on my career, looking back on just the experiences I endured, I kind of can see what he meant now,” said T.I.
View what else T.I. had to say about being the King of the South below.