TI Speaks Out About His Single "No Matter What" and Shawty Lo

TI Speaks Out About His Single "No Matter What" and Shawty Lo

T.I. has been waiting to get his message out there and he did just that with the release of "No Matter What," his new single off the "Paper Trail" album.

T.I. tells MTV that he recorded the record around the Holidays or January. He remembers because people were counting him out and the hate was real fresh, the rapper said. "I see things, hear things, observe things, When I sat down to write it, all those things, the things that seemed most important, just came out. I didn't intentionally write about one thing or another; I just wrote from the heart about the things that stuck with me throughout the ordeal, what I had seen on the news. It just came out at the time.

"God will take you through hell, just to get you to heaven," T.I. raps on the song. "Even though it's heavy, the load I will carry/ Grin and still bare it/ Win and still share it/ Even when winning's illogical, losing's still far from optional."

"There will definitely be more records like that," Tip said about what to expect on "Paper Trail". "You know how usually on the album, I'll do one record like 'I Still Luv You' or 'Still Ain't Forgave Myself'? It's gonna be significantly more of those types of records on this album. I guess you could say there are definitely more songs that are just as introspective, just as personal, just as well-written."

When asked about the references in the song to Shawty Lo T.I. lays it out. "I don't think [there are] as many references as people think," the King of the South said. "Only the obvious one in the first verse."

T.I. directly referenced one of Lo's catchphrases, "Let's get, get, get it" from "Dey Know," in the single. He was retaliating for what he calls Shawty's continuous subliminal jabs at him like on Shawty Lo's "Dun Dun." On "No Matter What" Tip spits, "I set the standard in Atlanta of how to 'get, get, get it'/ So you up-and-coming rappers wanna diss, just kill it/ I'm officially the realest, point-blank, period." But one verse from T.I.'s new song really set off speculation, "They couldn't wait to say, 'Good night, shawty'/ So they could try to rhyme, act and look like shawty/ Go get a beat from Toomp and make a hook like shawty/ Before you know it, I'm back/ What it look like, shawty?"

T.I. says these lines were not about Shawty Lo, "Just because I say 'shawty' - anybody who holds a conversation with me knows that 'shawty' is just in my vocabulary," he said. "I wasn't speaking to him throughout the record. I was speaking on people who took shots at me when I was down. He wasn't the only one; he was among the most consistent. But I'm focused on a greater goal. I'm not trippin' on that. Dude, that's not what's on my mind. I said what I had to say, and that's it. Whoever don't like it, so what? Earlier this year Lo told MTV radio that he claimed ownership of the Atlanta neighborhood where he and Tip both grew up. "I feel I'm the real Bankhead," Shawty said. "I am the King of Bankhead. Can't nobody tell you no different." This statement was sure to set off controversy.

"I sat still in confinement, listening to folks dance on my grave - so they thought," Tip said. "Now they gonna have to sit and listen to me. Take your medicine."

T.I. said he's trying to stay focused on his art, and a sustained back-and-forth isn't on his radar. "I'm not looking to getting in that kind of stuff. I'm too old for that sh*t," he said. "I'm not into going back and forth. Let your numbers speak. Let your success tell the story. Let your legacy speak for you. If the only thing speaking for you is your voice, then sh*t, you ain't saying much. That's how I feel about it."

"Paper Trail" is scheduled for August 12th.

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