T.I. Was ‘Surprised And Confused’ By Taylor Swift Duet

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(T.I. on the differences between a hip-hop show and a Taylor Swift show)

By Nadeska Alexis

One of the first phone calls T.I. received in late September, after completing an 11-month prison sentence, was from pop princess Taylor Swift. Swift requested that Tip join her for a duet on his single “Live Your Life,” during the Atlanta stop on her Speak Now tour, and so he did. The collabo was T.I.’s first post-release performance and if fans were surprised by it, then the Grand Hustle CEO was floored. “I was pleasantly surprised and confused,” T.I. tells MTV News, of receiving the phone call from Swift. “I was confused because I know it’s a phenomenal opportunity, but being T.I. — the Rubberband Man — and Taylor Swift being America’s Sweetheart, I had just gotten out of prison like two days [earlier] and all of a sudden my phone rings.”

Tip says that on episode three of his new Vh1 reality series “T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle,” fans will see how the show came together, but he gave us a brief summary of his experience. “There were significant differences in a Taylor Swift show from a T.I. show,” he said, clearly amused at the thought. “You could take the biggest of the biggest hip-hop artists — even a Kanye West or Jay-Z show — and their concerts or tours, they gon’ be just a world away from a [Taylor Swift] show.”

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According to T.I., the most notable difference was having a drama-free experience. “Everything is so calm and cool and arranged and on time, and everything is so neat and people are quiet and polite,” T.I. said of the concert, still in disbelief. “Everything just flows smoothly, not a hitch, not a wrinkle, not a hiccup. Whereas hip-hop shows, no matter how big the production, no matter how elaborate it is, it’s always friction and ups and downs. With her, everything was smooth; nobody raised their voice.”

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(Taylor Swift on her duet with T.I.)

When MTV News caught up with Taylor back in October, the pop star told her side of the story, explaining that she was just grateful T.I. had even fielded her request.

“Well, I called T.I. the night before the show, so I felt like it’s such short notice that [he wouldn't do it with me], and he’s just like, ‘Hey, yeah, sure,’ ” she recalled. “And it was just amazing. I was so excited ’cause I’m such a fan and I thought, ‘This is such short notice, this is so ridiculous that I’m asking him to do this the night before.’ And he’s like, ‘I’ll be there.’ And he showed up for soundcheck and we were all just so starstruck.”