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Interview:
Rapper Wants To Champion The Dirty South
 

By GARY GRAFF
Of the Oakland Press

» See more SOUND CHECK

With a starring role in the fi lm “ATL” and his chart-topping album “King,” T.I. spent 2006 establishing himself as the ranking monarch of the Atlanta rap scene. Now he’s extending that reign to the concert stage, where he’s headlining the Dirty South Invasion tour.

“It’s untapped, uncharted land,” the 26-year-old MC (real name Clifford Harris Jr.) says of his home town’s hip-hop community. “Nobody really knows about it. They’ve heard about it, but they haven’t seen it.

“That’s that ‘ATL’ was all about. In ‘Boyz N the Hood,’ you saw L.A. In ‘Colours,’ you saw L.A. ‘Juice,’ you saw New York. ‘Bad Boys’, you saw Miami. ‘Hustle & Flow,’ you saw Memphis. What we’re doing now is just as authentic and significant to the ATL scene and the city.”

T.I. — whose own label, Grand Hustle, released the “Hustle & Flow” soundtrack — is so committed to Atlanta that one of his side ventures is New Finish, a construction company whose projects include a private subdivision in the downtrodden Bankhead section, where the rapper was raised. He has other contributions planned for the city, but he demures from extolling Atlanta’s virtues at any other communities’ expense.

“I can’t say anything because it’s the only place I’ve ever lived,” he explains. “I’ve visited other cities; some are faster in pace and some are slower and some have more to do and some have less to do.

“But (Atlanta) is home for me. I like it. So it’s not a far comparison when I haven’t lived anywhere else.”



T.I. headlines the Dirty South Invasion tour, which plays at 7 p.m. Friday (November 24th) at Cobo Arena, 301 Civic Center Drive, Detroit. Rick Ross, Young Dro, E-40, TPain, Young Joc and DJ Unk also are on the bill. Tickets are $37.50-$57.50. Call (313) 471-6611 or visit www. olympiaentertainment.com.

Web Site: www.olympiaentertainment.com

Send your thoughts and comments to Gary Graff

 



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