One of the most successful rap MCs of the early 2000s, T.I. (born Clifford Harris in Atlanta in 1980, and occasionally credited as Tip Harris) earned the moniker "the Jay-Z of the South" for his ability (like the said East Coast rapper) to meld toughness and smoothness with great dexterity. With such album releases as the 2003 {^Trap Muzik}, the 2004 {^Urban Legend}, and the 2006 {^King}, T.I. not only seemed able to do no wrong in terms of numbers, but attained such popularity that he could soon be heard within a couple of hours on any major urban radio station. T.I. segued into film work in the mid-2000s with two parts: the lead in the gentle, slice-of-life ensemble drama ATL (2006) -- a picture about a young man and his friends growing up amid a difficult and confusing life in Atlanta -- and a small role in the Denzel Washington-headlined period crime drama American Gangster (2007), directed by Ridley Scott. ~ Nathan Southern, Rovi

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