Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr. aka T.I. was born on September 25, 1980, in Atlanta Georgia. T.I. started rapping at the age of eight. The name T.I. originated from his childhood nickname TIP. He was once known as Rubber Band Man, which is reference to wearing rubber bands around the wrist to denote wealth as a drug dealer.
Word of T.I.’s lyrical skills spread through Atlanta. In 1996, T.I. and Big Kuntry King started selling mix tapes out the trunk of their car. Kawan “KP” Prather, a record executive, noticed the young T.I. and signed him with Arista Records subsidiary Ghet-O-Vision Entertainment. At the time, he was going by the name TIP, but changed his name to T.I. out of respect for Q-Tip.