T.I. says he is killing his title as “King of the South” with his next and final album, “Kill the King.” His music catalog features 11 studio albums, three Grammy awards, and classic trap songs.
The 42-year-old rapper and actor revealed the news about closing the chapter on his solo career in a video last month.
“‘Kill the King’ to me it’s a representation of killing people,” he told TMZ on Feb. 18. “I feel like the ‘King of the South’ moniker, you know, is very egotistical, self-gratuitous. It’s a persona that kinda enters the room before I do, physically.”
The “Dead and Gone” artist said he asked several Southern rap legends that he respected, such as 8 Ball, Bun B, Outkast, and Scarface, what they thought about him using the “King of the South” label back in the day.
T.I.P. said although everyone gave him their support, “Scarface straight up told me, ‘I don’t want to be king. You can have it.”
Yet, Big Boi had some words of wisdom for the “Takers” star.
“Big said, ‘Well, you know, yeah, s— should sound cool, you know. I like it. I like it. Just understand, if you’re the king, you’re gonna put a big bull’s eye on your back, you know what I mean? You can’t be lookin’ for no favors.’
He continued, “I’m like, yeah, OK, but you’re all right with it though, right?’ And he’s like, ‘yeah, but just understand the name of the game. I mean, life is a game of chess, or chess is the game of life, and the name of the game in chess is to kill the king, so, just understand that’s what you’re kinda setting yourself up for.'”
“The L.I.B.R.A.” rapper went on to say that what Big Boi said didn’t resonate with him at first. “Standing here 20 years later looking back on my career, looking back on, you know what I’m sayin’? Just kind of the experiences that I’ve endured, I can see what he meant.”
T.I.P. was with his friend Philant Johnson when he was shot and killed in 2006 following an after-party at the Ritz nightclub in Cincinnati following an altercation.
He noted that he chose the “king” label after he heard Mystikal refer to himself as “Prince of the South” on his album “Tarantula.”
“I really ushered in the idea that it’s ok to call yourself king,” he stated.
“If everybody before me thought they were ‘King of the South,’ they woulda said it,” the entertainer once said about his self-proclaimed title.
T.I. plans to stay busy after finishing his final album and recently partnered with Soulja Boy and Lil Durk for the smoking lifestyle brand Cignature.