â€œPAPER TRAIL,â€ the new album from Grand Hustle/Atlantic recording artist T.I., has made a phenomenal arrival atop the Billboard 200, marking the multiple Grammy Award-winning superstarâ€™s third consecutive #1 chart entry (following 2006â€™s platinum-certified â€œKINGâ€ and 2007â€™s platinum-certified â€œT.I. VS. T.I.P.â€). With total first-week sales in excess of 568,000, â€œPAPER TRAILâ€ also enters at #1 on a number of additional Billboard charts, including â€œTop R&B/Hip-Hop Albums,â€ â€œTop Rap Albums,â€ and â€œTop Digital Albums.â€ The albumâ€™s unparalleled first-week sales success represents a personal best for T.I., as well as Atlantic Recordsâ€™ biggest-ever one-week scan since Nielsen SoundScan began tracking data in 1991.
As if all that werenâ€™t enough, T.I. has literally exploded into the top spot on Billboardâ€™s â€œHot 100â€ with â€œLive Your Life (Feat. Rihanna),â€ the second single from â€œPAPER TRAIL.â€ In only its second week on the chart, the single has ascended into the pole position from last weekâ€™s ranking at #80 â€“ the biggest-ever one-week leap to the top. The #1 success of â€œLive Your Lifeâ€ shatters the previous record for largest ascent to #1 â€“ a feat set just six weeks ago by T.I.â€™s own â€œWhatever You Like,â€ the RIAA platinum certified first single from â€œPAPER TRAIL.â€ That track rocketed to #1 from #71 the week of September 6th and has remained there until this week. This remarkable achievement establishes T.I. as the first artist to replace himself at #1 since Usher in 2004.
With sales of nearly 335,000, â€œLive Your Lifeâ€ has logged the biggest-ever first-week digital singles sales in history. â€œLive Your Lifeâ€ is now rocketing up the airplay charts at Urban and Rhythmic, where it earned the weekâ€™s â€œMost Increased Plays.â€ Whatâ€™s more, the single received this weekâ€™s â€œMost Increased Playsâ€ at Urban Mainstream â€“ T.I.â€™s biggest increase to date at this format. A companion video clip for â€œLive Your Lifeâ€ is now in post-production and will premiere sometime in the coming weeks.
The first solo chart-topper of T.I.â€™s remarkable career â€“ and second overall following â€œMy Love,â€ his Grammy-winning collaboration with Justin Timberlake â€“ â€œWhatever You Likeâ€ is currently dominating multi-format radio outlets nationwide. The single is now in its fifth week atop the Urban airplay ranking, as well as its fourth week at #1 on the Rhythmic airplay chart. â€œWhatever You Likeâ€ is also blowing up at CHR/Top 40, where it is poised to enter the top 10 after only four weeks on the chart. In total, the singleâ€™s combined national radio audience is nearly 140 million, with a cumulative audience for all tracks from â€œPAPER TRAILâ€™ exceeding 200 million.
In addition, the â€œWhatever You Likeâ€ companion video â€“ directed by Dave Meyers (Missy Elliot, Kid Rock) â€“ is in major rotation on BET, FUSE, and all MTV channels. Furthermore, â€œWhatever You Likeâ€ continues its #1 reign over Nielsen Ringscanâ€™s â€œTop 200 Mastertonesâ€ ranking, with sales now approaching three-quarters of a million. The chart success marks Warner Music Groupâ€™s second-ever #1 ringtone, following Flo Ridaâ€™s record- breaking â€œLow.â€
T.I. made a number of TV appearances celebrating last weekâ€™s release of â€œPAPER TRAIL,â€ including NBCâ€™s The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, MTVâ€™s TRL, and BETâ€™s 106 & Park. The ATL-based MC is now set to take the stage at the upcoming BET Hip-Hop Awards, which has nominated him in three categories, including â€œBest Live Performer,â€ â€œLyricist of the Year,â€ and â€œMVP of the Year.â€ The third annual ceremony will be held at the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center on Saturday, October 18th and then air on BET, Thursday, October 23rd at 8:00pm (check local listings).
Last Friday night, T.I. played to a sold-out crowd for his â€œMySpace Release Showâ€ at the Key Club in Hollywood. Surprise guests included Rihanna, who joined him for â€œLive Your Life,â€ and Kanye West, who performed on â€œSwagga Like Us.â€ T.I. also received a special plaque, celebrating his historic passing of the 2 million friend mark on his official MySpace page (http://www.myspace.com/trapmuzik) â€“ a new record by a hip hop artist.
T.I.â€™s MySpace page has seen record-breaking traffic in recent weeks, with â€œWhatever You Likeâ€ having now earned over 26 million streams and counting. In addition, the page is among MySpaceâ€™s top five viewed pages daily. Earlier this year, T.I. found additional success in cyberspace, with the launch of the social networking website, www.streetcred.com.
Currently starring on the cover of Giant, T.I. has been featured in a stunning array of recent national publications, spanning XXL, Vibe, Blender, Rolling Stone, People, and King (where he will serve as â€œGuest Editorâ€ on the upcoming November issue). In addition, â€œPAPER TRAILâ€ has drawn some of the most rapturous praise of T.I.â€™s already acclaimed career. â€œHis best album since 2003â€™s â€˜TRAP MUSIK,â€ declared the New York Timesâ€™ Jon Caramanica, â€œlargely because it’s so serious.â€ â€œT.I. has managed to craft an album that gives listeners the standout moments they expect,â€ wrote Allhiphop.com. â€œ(The albumâ€™s) achievements are enough to remind fans why they fell in love with T.I. back in 2003, and keep his tenuous title as â€˜King of the Southâ€™ in place for the immediate future.â€ â€œ(â€˜PAPER TRAILâ€™) shows a willingness to do something other than coast from hook to hook,â€ noted Pitchfork.com. â€œThe album manages to be a more detailed manuscript of Tip’s complexity: An impending incarceration has lit a fire under him, triggering an impulse to challenge himself.â€ â€œâ€™PAPER TRAILâ€™ starts and finishes strong,â€ hailed USA Todayâ€™s Steve Jones. â€œT.I. may be going away for a while, but his music wonâ€™t.â€