“Even if you ain’t a rapper…Somebody else out there got to be able to relate to this. I don’t care if you work at McDonald’s. It got to be somebody on the night shift hatin’ on you ‘cause you got the weekends off.”
As the recently re-caged king and VH1 now know, a lot can change between the recording and airing of a concert. In late August, T.I. took to the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York, promoting his new album, King Uncaged and VH1 was there for the taping. Between then and now…yeah, we know. Moving on.
Unfortunately for fans who are looking to get some additional insight into the mentality and creative processes of Mr. Harris, the only things he sheds are layers of clothing. Anyone who has followed T.I’s career, or even mainstream Hip-Hop in general, is likely to have already heard nearly every story he tells. While radio cuts like “Rubberband Man” and “Bring Em Out” fill up airtime, ol’ Cifford kept oft-discussed classics like “I Still Luv You” off the stage.
Still, the performances, not the stories, are the draw as T.I. lets high-octane passion pour from his lungs with an energetic band matching his intensity at every turn. The artist runs through a handful of career notables: “Rubberband Man,” Bring ‘Em Out,” Live In The Sky,” “Dead And Gone” and No Mercy’s bonus track, “I’m Back.” The opening performance of “Still Ain’t Forgave Myself” off his debut album stands out, not only for nostalgia’s sake, but because it’s a television first. So even if T.I. abstained from breaking new ground, his fans can dig up a couple of gems in the episode.
Below, an exclusive conversation around and outtake performance of “No Matter What” that was recorded but not included in the show’s television airing.