Friday, rapper T.I. put another check on the bucket list after providing color commentary for the first half of the Atlanta Hawks game at Phillips Arena. The Grammy Award winning entertainer talked to reporters about his experience as commentator and his eighth studio album Trouble Man set to be released in December. “I got a call from the team and they asked me to fill a slot that was open,” said Tip. “I am always open to the opportunity to give any assistance I can to any Atlanta organization.”
T.I. went from shooting a video for one of the tracks off his new album earlier in the day to sitting next to veteran broadcaster Bob Rathbun and former Hawk Duane Ferrel. During the broadcast, T.I. gave his friend and talented Hawks forward Josh Smith advice he’s heard from former coach Mike Woodson, current coach Larry Drew and every fan in the arena, “I told [Josh] to quit settling and be more aggressive to the basket.” If Tip can get Josh to stop shooting those ill-advised jumpers and play to the bucket, Danny Ferry should add him to the coaching staff A.S.A.P.
One couldn’t help but wonder if T.I. ever thought of joining the ranks of Usher, Jay-Z, and Justin Timberlake and become a celebrity owner of an NBA team. In his customary cool and calm fashion, he chuckled, “Baby steps! I would love to get involved with the organization, if I can add something significant to the team.”
It remains to be seen if the new album Trouble Man will be an instant classic like some of his earlier albums. T.I. notes: “My definite intention of this album was to take the nostalgic sound of T.I. from the Trap Musik and I’m Serious days and mix it with the more mainstream appeal of Paper Trail. I just want to raise the bar of what is considered stellar and make classic music.”
With the likes of Andre 3000, Cee-Lo Green, Kendrick Lamar and Pink making appearances on the album, Trouble Man could appear on year-end lists.
Regardless of how the album sells, we know that T.I. is an example of how to fight through your struggles. When asked what song sums up his career, he responded, “’No Matter What’ because through all the adversity, ups, downs, peaks and valleys; due to grace of God, and the support of my friends, family, and my support system, I’m able to remain here with a significant level of respect and success.”