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Interview: T.I. Speaks About ScreamFest, His Album, and His Movie

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ScreamFest is not your little sister’s music festival.

So says T.I., reigning king of hip hop and ScreamFest headliner. Yes, the fest was started six years ago and named for the (mostly female) screaming fans who greeted their idols. But after six years ScreamFest, like its audience, has grown up.

“We were definitely going after a different market this time,” said the multi-platinum and two-time Grammy Award winning T.I. about his decision to headline the fest. “Once that was concurred upon, we moved forward. It is the ScreamFest tour, not the little kid ScreamFest tour.”

If the upcoming shows are anything like the recent Washington, D.C. gig, there will still be a healthy dose of young women in the audience. But expect plenty of young men to also turn out to hear T.I., Grammy Award winning artist Ciara, rappers Yung Joc and T-Pain, and R&B artist Lloyd.

“This is my second time being a part of the Scream and… it feels bigger and better this year,” said Ciara. “I am very excited about the lineup. It's the hottest names in music and I can guarantee that fans will be excited as well. Expect a lot of energy on this tour..”
Ciara
In DC and other venues the all-star line up was supplemented by 50 Cent, Ciara’s rumored-to-be-beau, who unexpectedly performed.

But despite the high-powered line up it’s clear that this year’s ScreamFest is the T.I show. The former Atlanta drug dealer turned platinum selling rapper and CEO of Grand Hustle Records is coming off an incredible 18-month stint that included triumphs – including the Best Hip Hop Artist Award at the BET Awards and tragedies – such as the stillborn birth of his daughter.

T.I. turned what he called “triumphs and miseries” into T.I. vs. T.I.P., his latest CD that nearly hit gold status during its first week on the charts. Now the man, known for plenty of charitable giving, is headlining ScreamFest.

“There are not many events in hip hop right now. You got some songs. But there’s no events,” he said. “I feel like I want to continue to make these events. Like this Scream tour. It is an event. This is made up of the most [brilliant] hitmakers in the industry right now.”

T.I.T.I. has had a whirlwind 18 months of major awards and best selling albums interspersed with personal tragedies such as the shooting death of a close friend and the stillborn birth of his daughter. Here’s more of what T.I. told BlogCritics about his past and where he hopes the future will lead him.

Tell us about your latest album, T.I vs.T.I.P

I wanted to beat the competition, but if I’m going to compete with anybody it was going to be myself. I’m very proud of the CD. I wanted to familiarize the fans with what I've been going through. I feel like this is a documentary of the last 18 months of my life, what I been going through.

What has been the most trying thing in the past eight months?

It was one thing after another from my daughter [who was stillborn] to a lot of different things that it just created constant challenges.

You’ve said before you’re beyond competition. You are clearly the Hip Hop king and have been for a time. Why do you still have the crown? 

I feel like I have a relationship with the fans. Other artists have songs you might hear a lot or a video you see on the TV but what is the connection? What is the artists’ connection with fans? T.I. vs. T.I.P. is an event. If a kid is 13 now when he turns 21 he’s going to remember where he was when this album dropped.

Is your next movie American Gangster (with Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe,) wrapped?

It’s coming out Nov. 2… I was honored I was able to do it. Denzel said just keep it simple, man. That’s what I did. It is one of the [best] black gangster movies ever to grace the screen.

You are involved in so many other businesses, should your fans worry you’ll stop performing rap?

At some point in my career I will definitely back up way away from rap and focus more on film, fashion, production, film production. There is so much out there to do, I love to create opportunities.

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About Nancy Dunham

  • jazlyn orosco

    This girl right here rocks!Man i love her songs n how she dances is cool!My fav song of hers would have to be Like A Boy!My second is Get Up!

    YOU ROCK CIARA!

  • ladajah

    you know girl thta i like that outfit that you are weraing and you look pretty in thta outfit an da outfit and you roking it my name is ladajah jumper and my nuber is 2062099 and i would really like to meet you one day and yes girl i can sing and want to really meet you one day please manke my dream come true thank you ciara you can work it i can dance but you can dance way better then me and you know sometimes i put on some clothes like you and play ya song and yes girl 50 cent is hot and you should not care whta know one say bout ya going wit who evere you want to and you had to drop bow wow but and words are getting short so see ya and if you can call me thank you. talk bout you all the time love you so much ya my girl ciara ciara ciara know thta song also

  • ladajah

    know ciara thta gurl thta wrote you she is wack and she know thta she just put that up there cause she said thta you were a boy and i am gonna get that b***************** for you dont respond to hers love you

  • ladajah

    whta are you doing you know that i have been talking bout how i am going to meet you and i hope thta it come true and love thta you have the tipe of attutude thta you have cause it fun with you

  • http://VB MONICA

    CIARA BIG GRILS HAPPY

  • mike

    ciara is nice but not better than rocsi

  • véro-xxx-

    hey .T.I. you a sex body so… i’m the québecoise and hot.i’m the *PA*(playa anonyme)and I love the music and dance!!! véro

  • jordan jenkins

    HEY T.I. I LIKE YOUR SONG CALLED NO MATTER WHAT AND I LOVE YOU WHOLE ALBUM AND YOU ROCKED ON ATL AND I HOPE WHEN YOU GET OUT OF HOUSE ARREST MAYBE YOU CAN DO A MOVIE WITH ME.

  • c’alra bradley

    ciara i really admire your songs and i wish i had a nice body like you.But what i really want to find out is that,i heard a roomer saying that you dance good because you were a boy ,and you got plastic surgery and now you a girl, but i don’t think that’s true.Whoever said that is hatin on you,thats why they sayin that.But you don’t worry about that, you just keep up the good work. We’ll i got to go now talk to you later.

  • JOSLYN

    HI GIRL I LOVE URE MUSIC AN U HAVE A HELL OF BODY LET THE GOOD STUFF FLOW GIRL AN WHEN ARE GOING TO CAME HERE IN MY LAND SOUTH AFRICA