Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. (born on September 25 ,1980), aka T.I. or Tip, enjoyed a steady rather than meteoric rise to stardom that has been dogged by his penchant for breaking the law. Although T.I. fell into a life of crime and prison in his early teens, he had been rapping since the age of seven and was signed to Arista Records before he reached his twenties. Debut album I'm Serious was released in 2001 and while it didn't exactly announce his arrival on the hip hop scene with any fanfare, and he was dropped by Arista soon after, the album was a sign of things to come. He continued working with independent labels, and a second album Trap Muzik, released in 2003 on the Grand Hustle Records label, hit Number 4 in the US chart and featured singles “24s” and “Be Easy and Let's Get Away.” Despite this success, T.I.'s past caught up with him and he ended up back in prison for violating his probation for a drug charge back in 1997. He was sentenced to three years but was allowed work release during which time he recorded album number three, Urban Legend, in 2004. The album's lead single, “Bring ‘Em Out,” gave T.I. his first Top 10 hit on the Billboard Hot 11. His fourth album, King (2006) went straight to the top of the Billboard 200 chart, while T.I. vs. T.I.P. arrived in 2007; both bringing numerous hit singles and awards. Entirely written under house arrest, Papel Trail (2008) debuted at Number 1 on the US Billboard 200 chart and featured a star-studded lineup featuring Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Lil Wayne, among others. The LP spawned several Number 1 hits such as “Whatever You Like,” the Rihanna duet “Live Your Life,” and “Dead and Gone,” with vocals by Justin Timberlake. The double-platinum album paved the way for No Mercy (2010) and Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head (2012), both of which enjoyed moderate success in comparison to their predecessor. With Pharrell Williams as executive producer, Harris released Paperwork (2014), his first full-length for Columbia Records and the first installment of an upcoming trilogy. Propelled by lead single “About the Money,” the album peaked at Number 1 on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and featured guest appearances by Chris Brown, Iggy Azalea, and fellow Atlanta MC Young Thug. Despite not faring as well commercially, Dime Trap (2018) garnered praises from critics for its versatility and was followed by The L.I.B.R.A. (2020), an album that finished cementing Harris’ status as elder statesman of Southern hip-hop.