Published Jul 18, 2014Over the next few months, Grand Hustle Records head honcho T.I. is preparing for a journey of new movements not just in music but reality TV as well. While his new album Paperwork: The Motion Picture has been completed, with an expected release date sometime in September on Columbia, it's his reality television shows that have successfully made him a household name.
While VH1's T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle is in the midst of its fourth season, it's been confirmed that T.I.'s wife Tiny (a.k.a. Tameka Cottle) will be grabbing her own spotlight alongside fellow cast mate Shekinah.
"Well, Tameka has a spin-off show," the rapper tells Exclaim! "She and her hairdresser are gonna be moving around and doing their thing."
And as for the rumoured T.I. spin-off show, he acknowledges that ideas are floating around, but none are confirmed.
"Now, there are a couple ideas that derive from episodes, and one of them is [that] they want me to do a spin-off that happens to be a cooking show — I interview different artists, athletes, actors, so on and so forth, as we prepare a meal together. I think it's ambitious and I don't know if I'm going to authorize it as of yet, but I allow them the opportunity to explore and present it, and see how it turns out once it hits the screen."
T.I. and Tiny aren't the only ones getting into the spotlight, as their son, 13-year-old Domani, has also expressed interest in being a star.
"He's a very outgoing, outspoken, ambitious type of a person who'll take on any challenge that presented [to] him," T.I. says. "So, we've thought of a dare-based show called Domani Does Everything, where we present him with [things] like bull riding, skydiving, swimming with sharks — you know, things like that. I guess it depends on how much he'll actually do, but he's just about open to anything [laughs]. They're definitely conversations being had about it, we're just focusing on one thing at a time. I believe the most ever-present spin-off is Tameka's show — we're focusing on that now. And once we get that out of the way, we'll have a better idea of what's to come next."
On the other end of the spectrum, T.I. has also seized a role as executive director for the new VHI show, The Sisterhood of Hip-Hop, which will premiere on August 12. Realizing the trials and tribulations that Grand Hustle protégée Iggy Azalea has faced as a woman in the hip-hop industry, T.I. explains that, "It makes a person observe that for a woman to step into a predominately male-driven industry, the journey documented would make for great television. There must be other women out here that are going through the same thing and have some of the same obstacles to overcome."
If we take any cues from current reality television shows that push several women in the same scenes, there's bound to be cattiness — and following the paper-chase of five female rappers may make this a cesspool for bad behaviour. However, T.I. firmly states, "I believe that when doing television or reality television that your code of ethics or integrity compels you to not contribute it, to not enhance it, to not glorify it, to not instigate it... that's not our focus. But if it comes along without reason and there's a purpose or something significant to be learned from it… [If] one of them has to outdo the other for whatever reason to get to where they have to go, that's a part of the game. At that point, the weak shall be eaten — that's the circle of life."