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Rapper T.I., or Clifford Harris Jr., talked up his vision for his urban-contemporary line Akoo at the Project MVMNT show — and demurred getting embroiled in the recent legal wrangling surrounding “Blurred Lines,” his massive hit with Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams, which has been number one on the Billboard chart for 10 weeks this summer.
“Man, once it makes its way to litigation, it’s for lawyers to discuss. It ain’t got nothing to do with me,” he told WWD of the lawsuit filed last Thursday by lawyers for Thicke, Williams and T.I. in a Los Angeles federal court. The preemptive move was aimed to counter alleged claims that “Blurred Lines” may violate the copyrights of Marvin Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up” and George Clinton’s “Sexy Ways.”
Lawsuit aside, T.I. said it was “awesome” collaborating on the infectious hit but he’d like one all of his own.
“I’m focused on getting my own hit and my own record out there that could assume a fraction of that success,” he said, noting he’s so far recorded several dozen potential songs for a new, upcoming album and he has two more months of recording to go.
Setting the direction of the Akoo label, which is manufactured by Virginia Beach, Va.-based RP55 Group, is also a collaborative effort. T.I. sends the design team, headed by creative director Ralph Reynolds, a steady stream of inspiration throughout the season. “It’s things that I buy and I like that I feel we should incorporate into our style,” he explained. “They send me designs and I say, ‘No this can’t work. Yes, this is dope. Add this to that, add this detail to that cargo pocket.’ There’s so much meticulous detail that goes into it.”
The contemporary attitude of the collection reflects T.I.’s diverse tastes. “It can be as urban as raw denim jeans, Air Jordans and a white T-shirt. Or it could be as progressive and fashionable as a cardigan with a woven shirt, a pair of slick cargos and some wing tips, for that matter,” he observed. “It just depends on the occasion, my mood and what area of Earth I happen to be occupying that day. It’s the way the Earth and the moon and the stars come together to make me throw on this, that or the other.”
For his visit to Project MVMNT, those cosmic forces helped T.I. select a glittering, braided necklace of gold and diamonds to accessorize his casual look. He revealed his bling comprised “50 carats of diamonds and 36 ounces of gold.”