5:35pm PT by Erika Ramirez, Billboard
T.I. Signs With Columbia Records
This story first appeared on Billboard.com.
T.I. has announced that he and his Grand Hustle imprint have signed to Columbia Records.
The rapper plans to release his upcoming ninth studio album, under Columbia Records, early in 2014. Tip has recruited Pharrell Williams, who was influential in his move to Columbia, to executive produce the LP, according to the label. Their collaboration comes after the success of Billboard's song of the summer, Robin Thicke's, "Blurred Lines," which features both Pharrell and T.I.
Tip has also been working with Timbaland and longtime collaborator and friend DJ Toomp.
"I'm honored to be partners with such a successful, passionate and creative conglomerate like Columbia Records, who respects and supports the vision of their artist and partners. Nothing but love, respect and appreciation for Doug Morris, Rob Stringer and the entire staff," T.I. says via press release. "Also, a special thank you to my big bruh, Sk8board P, for always believing in me and also executive producing my upcoming project."
His latest album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, which hit No. 2 on the Billboard 200, was his last record under Atlantic Records. His 10-year record deal with the label reportedly expired earlier this year.
In May, T.I. told Billboard that he was in talks with record labels but wasn't going to sign until it was right for him and Grand Hustle. "I done sat with all the people; everybody says they're interested, but they don't want to cut that check," he said. "We're going to motivate them to cut that check. We're gong to incentivize each and every institution, each and every place of distribution, we going to motivate them. They going to cut that check, man, and it's going to be eight figures. I ain't doing no deal if it ain't eight figures."