Hip Hop

21 Savage Reflects On Being Turned Down By T.I. For Record Deal

21 Savage says he previously asked T.I. for a $1 million record deal.

For most up and coming artists, a million dollar deal sounds like a dream come true. However, taking a shiny record deal at the start of a promising career is not always the best option, as 21 Savage found out first-hand. The rapper has made a name for himself as one of the most business-minded artists in the industry, but becoming a savvy businessman meant first experiencing a few setbacks and learning to cope with rejection.

Speaking with T.I. this week on his “ExpediTIously Podcast,” Savage recalled approaching the Atlanta icon for a deal back before he created his own success as an independent musician.

It seems that Savage came to Tip for a $1 million deal and was turned down, but T.I. offered a tough love explanation for his decision. “I had the same the conversation with Thug,” Tip said. “If I give you $1 million, I’m going to take ten times as much because that’s just the way the game goes. If you want to maintain ownership of your art and equity in your art, you need to go through those tough times in the beginning. Can’t accept upfront money and cushion your blow. You have to go ahead and get it out the mud the same way you do anything else.”

Savage agreed that being rejected by T.I. was one of the best things that could have happened to him, considering he went on to build his own brand and release a ton of successful hits. Savage did eventually sign with Epic in 2017, but he maintains full equity over his music and struck a much better deal than he would have been able to pull off earlier in his career. Thankfully, T.I. was looking out for Savage’s best interest when he sent him on his way after turning down his request.