Hip-hop star T.I. was "surprised and confused" to be asked to join Taylor Swift onstage when her tour hit his native Atlanta, Georgia - because he couldn't understand why "America's sweetheart" would want to be associated with a recently-freed convicted felon.
The Live Your Life hit-maker completed an 11-month prison sentence for a probation violation at the end of September and one of his first live performances post-jail was with Swift on October 2nd. T.I. admits he couldn't believe his ears when he received the call from Swift's manager.
He tells MTV News, "I was pleasantly surprised and confused... I was confused because it was a phenomenal opportunity... but it's T.I., being T.I.... and Taylor Swift being America's sweetheart. I'd just gotten out of prison, like two days, you know what I'm saying? Two days and all of a sudden my phone rang and I was like, 'For real?'"
And the rapper was even more surprised to see how well-organized Swift's gigs were, compared to the usual loud and chaotic atmosphere at hip-hop shows.
He says, "There are significant differences between a T.I. show and a Taylor Swift show... they're a world away. Everything (at a pop concert) is so calm, and cool, and arranged, and on time... Everything is so neat and people are quiet and polite... Everything flows smooth (sic); not a wrinkle, not a hiccup."
"Hip-hop shows, no matter how big the production, there's always friction, ups and downs."