Exclusive: T.I. Unfazed by Chart Success

T.I. is sitting on top of the charts with his new album Paper Trail, which sold over half a million copies in the U.S. last week, becoming the third highest debut of the year and a career-best for the rapper. His first two singles, “Live Your Life” featuring Rihanna and “Whatever You Like,” are No. 1 and No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. Rap-Up.com caught up with the man of the moment over the weekend in New York to ask him about his record-breaking accomplishments.

Unlike his hit song “Whatever You Like,” the King of the South is not celebrating his smashing feats by indulging himself with Patron on ice or a shiny new Bentley. Instead he’s putting more effort into what got him here in the first place—more work.

“I haven’t indulged, really. My need to work supersedes my need to celebrate. I think you celebrate one accolade by setting the stage for more accolades,” said the MC who performed with M.I.A. at Diesel’s xXx “Rock and Roll Circus” on Saturday. “There’s more to be done, lots more work.”

And just how did the executives at Atlantic Records react to the news that T.I. has the best sales week in the label’s history? By showering him with a bonus or lavish gifts? “Nope, nope, nope. [They said], ‘Congratulations.’ I don’t take a lot of time to celebrate this whole No. 1 record in the country thing. I’m more like trying to move on to the next thing. That’s just the way I am.”

–Reported by Rajul Punjabi