News Trending Viral Worldwide

T.I. Says He Refused To Sign 21 Savage For $1 Million Because They Couldn’t Be Friends If He Did

Trap rap godfather T.I. has been instrumental in the careers of many of the modern generation of trap rappers like 21 Savage and Young Thug, but he’s rarely actually signed any of them to his label, Grand Hustle Records. In a new interview with ESPN’s Shannon Sharpe, he explained why.

The conversation opens with Sharpe asking T.I. what a so-called “360 record deal” is. After T.I. explains it (very eloquently too, I might add), Shannon’s shocked to learn that the deals give labels access to “ancillary” income, such as sponsorships.

“Most artists are only looking for what they’re getting right then,” Tip says. He breaks it down as an exchange of ideas (from the artists) for access (from the labels), which can lead to artists giving away too much for too little.

He says that he learned the business side of the music business early on, and now finds it “honorable” to pass on what he’s learned. “21 Savage, [Young] Thug,” he names as examples. “A lot of them come up to me, ‘Aye man, give me a million, Tip. I don’t care what you do, just give me a million and let me handle it from there.’ And I’m like, ‘Nah, I ain’t gonna do that.’”

And while that might sound unhelpful to some new artists, he explains, “‘If I give you a million, I gotta take back something that’s gonna be worth way more, and we ain’t gon’ be able to be friends from there.’ I always tell ’em, man, ‘Don’t worry about the money up front ’cause it’s gon’ come.’ I remember telling that to Slime, I remember telling that to 21. And even Savage, every time he sees me now, he’ll hit me and say, ‘Ay, it came.’ And that put a smile on my face because I just know how impactful every generation has the opportunity to be even more than the last.”

That game has apparently paid off for his young proteges: 21 Savage owns his masters rights, which he says allows him to make more from albums sales than touring (which is fortunate, considering his immigration case prevents him from maximizing his revenue from touring — which is usually where most artists make most of their money).

Young Thug, who signed to Gucci Mane’s 1017 Records before securing distribution for his own YSL Records under 300 Entertainment, also turned out to be one of the more successful rappers from Atlanta. However, YSL is now being accused of also being a criminal enterprise by Georgia authorities, with the RICO trial scheduled to begin in the coming weeks.