Before he turned 20, ATL rapper T.I. (real name: Clifford Joseph Harris, Jr.) was already signed to a major record label, and he’s maintained a dogged work ethic since: He’s racked up several Top 10 hits collaborating with other big names — with Kanye and Jay-Z on “Swagga Like Us,” Justin Timberlake on “Dead and Gone,” Rihanna on the No. 1 single “Live Your Life” — and has a reputation as a go-to producer and ghostwriter. And don’t discount his (relatively new) career as a film actor, having appeared in, among others, the Melissa McCarthy-Jason Bateman comedy Identity Thief and Marvel’s Ant-Man.
— Nathan Weinbender