T.I. recently talked about the motivation behind his "King Uncaged" album artwork, which features him sitting next to a lion. TIP says that he first planned to do a photoshoot in New York City's Times Square. "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…I figured we had to do some kind of slick and meaningful imagery to say the obvious without doing the obvious. I tried to flip it as much as I could. I wanted it to be a a busy city street. My original idea was to lock down Times Square and let me and the lion do the same thing right there, but we couldn't quite pull that off; they said it had to be in controlled environment. 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."
T.I. – Talks New Album "King Uncaged"