T.I. is a loving family man, reality star, and Marvel actor these days. He’s come a long way from being the “Rubber band” man that he claimed to be at the start of his career. The streetwise rapper has grown up over the years, but there was a time when he was young and dumb and picking s with other rappers. T.I. historically had issues with Houston MC Lil Flip that resulted in a 2005 incident.
Things between Flip and T.I. began due to T.I.’s claims that he was the King of the South. The Atlanta-based rapper was a rising star in the early 2000’s fresh off his 2001 debut I’m Serious. On it, Neptunes frontman Pharrell Williams shouted him out as the “Jay-Z of the South.” Since Jay-Z was already being considered one of the greatest rappers to come out of New York and Pharrell one of the top producers in the world, this was a high honor that T.I. made his own.
By 2003, T.I. was starting to see his buzz match the claim and was become a household name with hits like “Never Scared.” He began to boast about being the King of the South, but this did not fare well with rappers from neighboring cities, like Houston rapper Lil Flip.
Flip was coming up around the same time, having just scored his major label deal with Columbia Records in 2002. His major label debut, Undaground Legend, was a platinum hit with the single “The Way We Ball.” He was also featured on major records like David Banner’s “Like a Pimp” and Three 6 Mafia’s “Ridin’ Spinners.” By 2004 he was already on to his biggest hit, “Sunshine,” and making claims to being a King of the South, even naming a 2005 mixtape with Z-Ro “Kings of the South.”
While T.I. was placed behind bars in 2004 due to violating probation from a 1997 conviction, Lil Flip spoke out about his issue with T.I. calling himself the “King of the South.” T.I. did not like that Flip waited till he was locked up to say anything, and it began a beef between the two men.
At the time, T.I. had made a comment to HipHopDX.com about Lil Flip’s lyrical abilities but tried to keep it classy, claiming he “wasn’t raised like that.” However, in other interviews, T.I. spoke more candidly about the whole thing, arguing that Flip spoke ill of him and his family and called him a snitch. “Next time you speak bout my kids, next time you holla about ima snitch and all that other [stuff] imma see you.”
T.I. would eventually bring the beef to Lil Flip’s front door. While in Houston, TX promoting his album Urban Legend, it is said that T.I. began shooting a documentary to “expose” Lil Flip. T.I. would go down to Cloverland, a historically part of Houston, to show people that Lil Flip was not really from that part of town.
Lil Flip got word of T.I. pulling up, and he, too, popped up the same day. According to Hated Opinions, a situation broke out between T.I., Lil Flip, and a friend of Lil Flip’s named Al Capone. Capone would land a punch on T.I., and the men continued to brawl until someone let off a gunshot to break it up.
In an interview clip, Lil Flip seemingly takes shots at T.I., claiming that the rapper may have gotten locked up, but has not learned his lesson. “You look at a [man] who took a b-llet and wised up and learned how you treat [people]. And you looking at a [man] who never took a b-llet, been [locked up], didn’t learn how to treat [people], and still gone be ignorant.”
Jay Prince reportedly got involved and organized a sitdown where T.I. and Lil Flip squashed their issues. Lil Flip talked about the incident in 2015 and claims he does not even remember how the beef started. “It just came out of nowhere, honestly.” Flip believes that he handled the situation appropriately and says that the sitdown that Jay Prince organized allowed them to settle things amicably and go their separate ways.
This is not the first time T.I. has been swung on. Floyd Mayweather reportedly put hands on him too, around the time the boxer was speculated to be hanging out with Tiny.