Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. (born September 25, 1980), better known by his stage name T.I. or T.I.P., is an American recording artist, film & music producer, actor and author. He is also the founder and co-chief executive officer (CEO) of Grand Hustle Records.
T.I. has released seven studio albums (I'm Serious, Trap Muzik, Urban Legend, King, T.I. vs. T.I.P., Paper Trail, and No Mercy) with latter five being highly successful on the commercial market. He has released such successful singles as "Bring Em Out", "What You Know", "Big Shit Poppin' (Do It)", "Swagga Like Us" (featuring Kanye West, Jay-Z and Lil Wayne), "Whatever You Like", "Live Your Life" (featuring Rihanna), "Dead and Gone" (featuring Justin Timberlake), "Got Your Back" (featuring Keri Hilson) and "That's All She Wrote" (featuring Eminem). He has served two stints in county jail, twice for probation violations and a federal prison bid for a U.S. federal weapons charge. While currently serving 11 months in prison he released his seventh studio album, No Mercy. T.I. has also had successful acting career, starring in the films Takers and ATL.
T.I. was born Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. on September 25, 1980, in Riverdale, Georgia, the son of the late Clifford "Buddy" Harris Sr. and Violeta Morgan. He was raised by his grandparents in Bankhead, Atlanta, Georgia. His father lived in New York and he would often go up there to visit him. His father suffered from Alzheimer's and later died from the disease. T.I. began rapping at age nine. He attended Douglass High School, but later dropped out. As a teenager, he was a drug dealer. He was once known as Rubber Band Man, a reference to the custom of wearing rubber bands around the wrist to denote wealth in terms of drugs or money. By age 14, he had been arrested several times. He was nicknamed "Tip" after his paternal great-grandfather. Kawan "KP" Prather, a record executive, discovered and signed T.I. when he was a teenager. Upon signing with Arista Records subsidiary LaFace Records in 2001, he shortened his name to T.I. out of respect for label mate Q-Tip.