‘I just need you to get those same sentiments, those same feelings on a record,’ Tip recalls the producer telling him. It’s no secret that T. I. is experiencing a difficult time in his career. The Atlanta rapper was on the cusp of releasing his comeback album, then titled King Uncaged, following a one-year prison stint when he was arrested once again. Tip was sentenced to 11 months for violating his parole and shipped back to the same Arkansas facility he’d just left. But through it all, the MC found inspiration for the track “Get Back Up” from his now-titled No Mercy album. “Yeah, ‘Get Back Up,’ produced by Pharrell of The Neptunes, one of the most passionate, genuine, artistic guys that I’ve met in the game and has had a hand in my movement since my very first album,” T. I. said. “He was one of the first big producers to work with me.”
Tip said the pair reconnected and were recording for his then-forthcoming seventh LP when disaster struck. “Prior to my arrest, we had done about three or four songs, considerably hot records, some of which you’ll definitely be hearing on this project,” T. I. said during our exclusive “RapFix Live” interview. “But … I left out the studio, and the next day, I go to jail, or I get arrested, which took me in a whole ‘nother, different direction. “When all of these things started coming to pass, Pharrell called me like, ‘Hey, man, somebody somewhere is trying to tell you something,’ and I’m like, ‘Yeah, you know, that may be,’ ” the MC continued. “Then we had a conversation at length about how I felt about the media’s portrayal of my circumstances. And he said, ‘You know what? That’s what you need to say in a song.’ And I say, ‘Man, I ain’t talking about no music right now, P.’ And he say, ‘But that’s what they wanna hear, that’s what you need to tell ’em.
Just ride with me on this. I’mma get it to you, and I just need you to get those same sentiments, those same feelings on a record.’ I said, ‘All right, man, give it to me.’ “It didn’t take the talented producer long to craft a beat perfect for Tip’s emotions. “So it might’ve been a week or two later, he called me and it might’ve been at 4 o’clock in the morning, like, ‘I got it!’ ” T. I. recalled. “I immediately heard the potential, I immediately heard that this was a special record, a personal record, a statement record … and one that could be delivered with humility and not as defensive as it may sound in conversation if I said it.”
T. I. – Get Back Up feat. Chris Brown