T.I. Says Taylor Swift Duet Highlighted Difference Between Hip-Hop and Pop: 10 Other Odd Collaborations
Shortly after T.I.’s release from prison in September, the rapper was fielding a number of calls about potential collaborations, but no other request stood out as much as the one he received from teen pop star Taylor Swift, who asked him to join her on stage during the Atlanta stop of her “Speak Now” tour. T.I., of course, accepted Swift’s request and hit the stage with the pop star in October (his first time since his release) to perform his hit song, “Live Your Life.” After making headlines for the unconventional duet, Tip recently spoke with MTV News and explained that, like fans, he was shocked by the collaboration as well.
“I was pleasantly surprised and confused,” T.I. said of receiving the phone call from Swift. “I was confused because I know it’s a phenomenal opportunity, but being T.I. — the Rubberband Man — and Taylor Swift being America’s Sweetheart, I had just gotten out of prison like two days [earlier] and all of a sudden my phone rings.”
According to T.I., performing for Swift’s teen pop fans was starkly different than performing for his older, hard-core rap fans.
“There were significant differences in a Taylor Swift show from a T.I. show,” Tip said. “You could take the biggest of the biggest hip-hop artists — even a Kanye West or Jay-Z show — and their concerts or tours, they gon’ be just a world away from a [Taylor Swift] show.”
“Everything is so calm and cool and arranged and on time, and everything is so neat and people are quiet and polite,” T.I. continued. “Everything just flows smoothly, not a hitch, not a wrinkle, not a hiccup. Whereas hip-hop shows, no matter how big the production, no matter how elaborate it is, it’s always friction and ups and downs. With her, everything was smooth; nobody raised their voice.”
Now that T.I. has gotten a taste of the pop side of things, perhaps we’ll see him doing more collaborations with pop artists in the future. But if you can’t wait for another unconventional T.I. collaboration, check out our list of 10 other odd hip-hop collabos. –nicholas robinson