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T.I. Chats ‘Paperwork,’ Pharrell, Iggy & More

If there’s one thing T.I. knows, it’s how to hustle.

The self-proclaimed “King of the South” is gearing up for the release of his ninth studio album, Paperwork, due on October 21.

During a recent visit to JET, the star of VH1’s T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle, described his latest project as a “fusion of classic sounds.”

“It’s capturing a classic sound of soul and funk, R&B, hip-hop,” the artist explains.  “I believe examples of future and classic sound are ‘About the Money’ and ‘No Mediocre.’ ‘Stay’ is classic. We were able to take these records to another level sonically.”

But there isn’t one particular track that stands out to the Atlanta rapper.

“They all have a meaning for different reasons,” he shares. “‘New National Anthem’ really speaks to the signs and times of today. I love them all. I’m more of a body of work kind of guy. I believe the album should be a story and really paint a picture. It’s like trying to pick a favorite page out of a book … I like the whole body of art.”

The title track, which was released Tuesday, features longtime collaborator and super-producer Pharrell Williams

“He is the most eclectic, artistic, futuristic human being. He has next-level thinking. You can tell his brain processes things differently … he’s different from the rest of us,” T.I. explains. “When he gets in the studio, he approaches things from a different level, which allows me to experiment. I can go further to the left because he’ll go to the right.”

The rapper also weighed in on his protégé, Iggy Azalea, who has received her fair share of backlash from the hip-hop community due to her “lack of talent.”

“Everyone has the right to their own opinion,” he starts. “The problem is when you try to pass it off as fact. People with negative opinions of her–the only thing they see or hear is that she’s different. If we let differences divide us, it’s incredibly wack. No matter what race, color or creed, when need to get back to what people are producing. If it deserves to be noticed, let’s notice it.”

And the CEO of Grand Hustle Records is careful not to let his personal life overshadow the positive. When asked if viewers would be privy to the behind-the-scenes drama with his wife, Tiny, he nonchalantly responded, “Why would we see it? It’s not exactly Love & Hip Hop Atlanta, no disrespect to them. But why would we see it?”

Keeping the focus on business, T.I. also shared details on his upcoming film projects.

“I’m filming Ant-Man with Paul Rudd. I also finished a movie with Will Ferrell and Kevin Hart called Get Hard coming out in March 2015,” he says. “And I have a cameo in the Entourage movie. I hope to do four films next year and some more in 2016.”

The hustle never ends.