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T.I. Passed Up Signing Drake Before He Was Famous — Thought ‘Emo Sound’ Wasn’t It

Posted On : October 5, 2018

NEW YORK, NEW YORK — During a recent interview, Clifford “T.I” Harris, Jr. let it be known that he, once, had the opportunity to sign ultra-mega star Drake to Grand Hustle…and passed on it.


In an interview with The Breakfast Club, Harris confessed to giving Drizzy Drake the ol’ shrug when the Canadian rapper was still trying to make his name.

In the segment, around minute-marker 00:36:00, T.I. mentions as follows.

“It was Drake before the beard….It just hadn’t caught all the way up yet. That type of music, that sound of music, the emo sound wasn’t necessarily prevalent at the time. I didn’t see the curve just like I never thought skinny jeans was going to happen.”

Harris says Drake’s sound and pending megastardom was something he came across while in a “deep sleep of his success.”

Well, now, Drake’s career is wide awake and running on a full case of Red Bull per day.

If you’re interested in the interview, check the video below.


You never know who’s going to become who. Life has a funny way of changing everything you thought you knew; and it can happen faster than Donald Trump can send America back 70 years.

Nevertheless, when life changes, it’s important to remember adaptation.

Can you imagine the look on T.I.’s face as he constantly watched Aubrey Drake Graham  — to borrow a term from Jamie Foxx — “blowupuate”?

Tip’s “if I could go back” moments must’ve run more rampant with each new release from the Canadian rapper.

Drake has over a billion streams to his music and has taken up residence on the Billboard 100 as a permanent tenant — sometimes renting out its “Top 10” suite for weeks at a time.

With this in mind, when you hear something different in music, it may not be popping at that particular moment. But nurtured properly, it could grow into a trendy, record-breaking force.

You’ve seen it time and time again.

Gangsta Rap branched off from Rap…Crunk branched off from Gangsta Rap. Trap branched off from Crunk — a more toned-down version of the same message.

Now, there’s Trap EDM.

NOTE: If you’re ever wondering what happened to Lil’ Jon, that’s where he went. While it may not be as popular here in the States, the rest of the world is loving it. And he’s making more than he ever did pushing “Crunk.” And he’s held on to his signature sound.

WARNING: The following video contains explicit language. Viewer discretion is advised.

All in all, don’t professionally dismiss something because you, personally, don’t like it. In business, you have to research, look at data, check out fan bases, recognize growth, etc.

As T.I. said in the interview, this was all before Drake even had the beard. Things were still building in the OVO Sound empire. Now, it’s almost untouchable — by comparison.

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[Featured Photo via Twitter]

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