Glasses Malone has enjoyed commercial success with hit singles like the Akon-assisted "Certified" and the fun, summer anthem "Sun Come Up", but delays and setbacks have kept his Beach Cruiser debut in the vaults.
That's all over now, because the album hit stores Tuesday (August 30).
Obviously, Glasses has been through some ups and downs in his journey through hip-hop. But apparently, as he explained to us in a recent interview, at one point, he contemplated giving up. What stopped him? A few casual words from T.I., who he ran into by chance, gave him the inspiration to continue ... and TIP may not even realize it.
A few years ago, the Watts rapper was sitting in a McDonald's in LAX, waiting to catch a flight to Atlanta ... and by chance, T.I. came walking in. At first, the pair exchanged a quick "What's up?", but shortly after Glasses went back to what he was doing, he noticed someone standing over him. It was TIP, who told him ... exactly what he needed to hear.
"I look over and he's like 'Glasses? G. Malone?' I'm like 'Yeah.' He's like 'Man, I f*** with your sh** homie.' I was just like 'Yeah?' He said 'Yeah dog, I heard the sh** you did with [DJ] Toomp, and some other sh**. You cold,' " Malone explained.
"I was like that was big to tell me that," he continued. "Just to see him saying he acknowledged who I was and knew who I was, and heard some of my music, that was big to me."
The two chopped it up for a bit, and planned to collaborate, but never exchange phone numbers. For Glasses, it didn't matter, because those few words from T.I. put him back on track, because before the meeting, he was ready to revert back to the streets.
"He was like, 'We need to get up and do something,' but I was so tripping off the fact that the n**** acknowledged me, I didn't even get his phone number," Glasses explained. "I just thought it was big and it was what I needed to hear at the time. I was thinking about getting 100% back with my street sh**, and what I knew how to do best at that time."
The experience resulted in a new song.
Just over a week ago, Glasses invited a select number of media outlets to a cruise down Southern California's famed PCH highway for an advanced preview of his Beach Cruiser album ... during which, he unveiled a track off the LP, titled "Call Me T.I."
According to the rapper, he recorded the song because he felt a connection to T.I., because their careers began so similar to each others. Like T.I., difficulties breaking through have been one of his biggest obstacles. Glasses, of course, also wanted to pay homage to him for the inspiration.
"I just felt like we had so much in common. I remember ... I think it was 'I'm Serious.' People didn't realize how dope he was and him having to reset his offense and go through all this sh**, to come back and drop his next album," said Glasses of his TIP tribute. "People not believing in him, even though he was talented from Day one. I just felt like our situation was similar, so I went ahead and made a song that just was like, having fun and paying homage to a n**** that really just inspired me to keep going when I was thinking about quitting."
So far, the two have yet to collaborate on any music, but Glasses says it will happen one day... "naturally". For now, he's focused on making his own mark.
Beach Cruiser is in stores now.