It’s been four years since 21 Savage had his breakout moment, thanks to his mixtape Savage Mode, with Metro Boomin. Since then the Atlanta rapper has only gotten bigger: He’s had a Grammy win and a pair of No. 1 albums, his most recent being Savage Mode II. During a recent sit down with T.I. on the Atlanta legend’s ExpediTIously podcast, 21 Savage spent some time reflecting on his career and spoke about an early interaction he had with his host before he took off.
21 Savage speaks on asking T.I. for a million dollar deal, but T.I. not signing him because he knew he would be his own boss? pic.twitter.com/jOtnSUJbcV
— Daily Loud (@DailyLoud) December 18, 2020
During the podcast, 21 Savage revealed that he asked for a $1 million record deal from T.I. before his mainstream breakout. T.I. turned him down, but he explained he did it in his best interest. “I had the same conversation with Thug,” T.I. said. “If I give you a $1 million, I’m going to take 10 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.” He added, “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.”
Besides, it all worked out in the end. In 2017, Savage signed a deal with Epic Records where he was able to leverage 100% control of his masters.
You can watch the ATL rappers’ conversation in the video above.