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You can stream and download T.I.’s out-of-jail track, “I’m back.”  Atlantic Records, in hopes that an incarcerated Gucci Mane (or Lil Wayne) doesn’t snatch all of T.I.’s thunder, had their star southern rapper take media calls yesterday, fresh out of a stint in prison on federal weapons charges. Rappers and guns, rappers and guns. One of my first published stories was a co-byline on a piece about Naughty by Nature” getting caught with guns.

T.I., wasn’t in trouble for “a” gun, but several.  I bumped into him at the fashion industry convention called MAGIC in 2008.

I always like to point out to people the connection T.I.’s global success has to New Jersey. The Great Migration meant a cross-roads such as Jersey would always share a connection with the lands across the Mason-Dixon, including T.I.’s home state of Georgia. But to have this link represented in contemporary pop culture, I mean … that’s what Sinatra lived for. So, what’s the Jersey connection to T.I.?

Jason Geter. As legend has it, Geter was a guy from Montclair, who discovered T.I. in a barbershop, after he moved to Atlanta to stake his claim in music. An internship and a front-desk job later, he struck gold.

He now not only manages the Bankhead rapper, but also runs his Altantic imprint, Grand Hustle records. He even got his 15 minutes of TV fame when he did a co-cameo on HBO’s “Entourage,” above. You can read more about Jason and see pics, here.

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Furthering the N.J. connect, T.I.’s Akoo clothing line got some free publicity in the states biggest city, Newark. A billboard put up down the street from my high school was thought to be too suggestive for the people ambling through Downtown.

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The Akoo line, sort of preppy thug style, is under the Christian Audigier umbrella. It premiered during MAGIC in 2008. We all know how the Ed Hardy line faired after Von Dutch took a much needed rest from mainstream cool. I think this means you can expect Akoo to be available at  a bootleg T-shirt street vendor near you, too.

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Photos taken in Las Vegas, 2008. Many of the photos shown here originally appeared in an latimes.com blog post I created.

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One thought on “The T.I., N.J. Connection

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