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T.I. Stood Next to a Real Lion for His Album Cover

Yes, the just unveiled cover for T.I.’s upcoming comeback album, King Unleashed — which, as seen to your right, places the king of hip-hop next to the king of the jungle — looks like an illustration. You should know, though, that T.I. insists he, at one point in the recent past, totally did stand next to an actual ferocious lion. Respect magazine grabbed this incredible quote:


I’m known as “the King.” Although it’s disputed by some, concurred by most, there ain’t no disputing that lion — that is what it is. So I went and told them, “Get me as close as you can to a lion.” He had a trainer holding him on a chain. They took the chain out [in post-work]. It really went down. I wanted to pet him. I said, “Let me get hands on.” They were like, “No. We could only let you do but so much.” So I did as much as they would allow me to do.

Also:


They tried to a artsy kind of drawing. It looked good, but it didn’t serve my purpose — it was just a painting. I figured, if it got to be a controlled environment, we may as well just keep it all the way simple make it black and white, white background, me, him, cool chair.

So this isn’t a drawing? Not to cast any aspersions on T.I., but this sure looks like a drawing! (There’s also this video, which places T.I. in the vicinity of a lion, although it more comes off as slick editing). But, yeah, cool chair, absolutely.

T.I. Wanted to Close Down Times Square for His Album Cover [Respect via RapRadar]