Rapper T.I. pronounced himself "ecstatic" and "overjoyed" after setting a record for the biggest jump to top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Whatever You Like," the first single from his upcoming
Rapper T.I. pronounced himself "ecstatic" and "overjoyed" after setting a record for the biggest jump to top of the Billboard Hot 100 chart with "Whatever You Like," the first single from his upcoming Grand Hustle/Atlantic album, "Paper Trail."
"Whatever You Like" moved from 71-1 in its third week on the survey, giving the Atlanta-based artist his first-ever chart-topper as a lead artist.
"I guess people like the song -- I hope that's what accounts for it," T.I. told Billboard.com Friday in Detroit, where he was making a pair of community service appearances to speak to local youth. It's part of 1,000 hours he's required to serve in conjunction with his 2007 federal weapons conviction. "I think it's a new sound for me, something people aren't necessarily used to hearing. It's one of those risky records. It just happened to work in our favor."
As to how this bodes for "Paper Trail," which comes out Sept. 30 and follows two previous No. 1 albums (2006's "King" and 2007's "T.I. vs. T.I.P."), T.I. cautioned, "I can't be overly optimistic. Sept. 30 is still on the way. I can't count numbers until they actually hit the paper, but I'm always optimistic when my albums are about to be released. I have very high expectations of myself, and very seldom do I meet them. But it's definitely off to a great start."
When "Paper Trail" rolls out, however, T.I. will be starting a new film, "Bone Deep," an action drama in which he's starring with Chris Brown, Matt Dillon, Jay Hernandez and others as "a group of young, fly, intelligent bank robbers." The film is slated to wrap in November, after which T.I. -- who faces a year in jail at some point on the weapons charge -- says he plans to tour to support the album.
"I'll be able to tour," he confirms, adding that he's currently "working on" an itinerary and plans for the production.