In 2001, during the days of P$C is when T.I. stole the hearts of hip-hop fans in Atlanta. Trap music was heavy in the underground scene of the south and T.I., along with Jeezy and Gucci Mane, were the original trap artists that globalized it's sound and paved the way for artists like 2 Chainz who made an appearance to promote his recently released album entitled Pretty Girls Like Trap Music.
In 2003, T.I. formed the imprint Grand Hustle Records that skyrocketed the careers of rappers like B.o.B. and Young Dro who also came on stage during Sunday's show which was primarily focused on the up and coming artists on the Grand Hustle label with a grand finale from T.I. to conclude the evening.
My fiancé and I have both grown up listening to T.I. so when I found out he was playing in Atlanta on Father's Day I knew it was the perfect way to celebrate. This was our first trip to SunTrust Park and we both felt a little odd heading to Cobb County to see T.I. perform given he spent time in jail there for violating his probation in 2003. When someone thinks about Cobb County, it's not exactly a place you would imagine rappers from Atlanta hanging out, but here we were and T.I. made sure to call this out during his performance.
The venue where the show was held is the brand new Coca-Cola Roxy Theatre. It's a stunning venue with a large general admission floor and terrace seating above. If you are familiar with Atlanta venues, it's like Terminal West and the Tabernacle had a baby and named it after Atlanta's favorite soft drink with the middle name of the former Buckhead venue now known as the Buckhead Theatre.
T.I. didn't make an appearance until about 10:50 PM as we were being entertained by several of the up and coming Grand Hustle artists beforehand. He opened with "Ride Wit Me" off of the album King, "Where them killers livin at and T.I.P. be trillin at/Ride wit a G, come and ride wit a G/All through the ATL, come and ride wit a G."
Everyone was crunk.
He played all of his hits, some in their full-length but most of them in snippets. As I mentioned before, he brought out Young Dro and B.o.B. along with a few other artists throughout the evening causing us to "Shoulder Lean."
The crowd lost it when that familiar beat from "Dope Boyz" came through the speakers off of his first studio album I'm Serious. His performance was full of energy and he gave us the same T.I. gestures, silly faces, and that memorable smile we fell in love with nine records ago. People in the crowd were shouting, "He's the King!" with non-stop hands up in the air and rapping every word of every song.
This was definitely a check off of my bucket list. Thanks, T.I. you never disappoint the home team.
Photos by Sidney Spear for Bullet Music