On November 22, 2013, T.I. announced that he had signed a deal with Columbia Records, to release his upcoming ninth studio album. T.I. revealed he recruited Pharrell Williams to executive produce the LP and planned to release the album in early 2014. Originally, T.I. had planned to release Trouble Man II: He Who Wears the Crown, a sequel to his 2012 album, but since getting into the studio with the album's executive producer, Pharrell Williams, he changed his mind. He stated: "Since we started working on the project and the project started has taken a different shape, I think we're going to postpone that title. We're gonna rework that. I got a couple of things in mind. On December 16, 2013, it was reported that T.I. decided to name it Paperwork. On June 17, 2014, T.I. released "No Mediocre", as the official lead single from Paperwork, which features his protégé Iggy Azalea and was produced by West Coast hip hop producer DJ Mustard. T.I. talked about the track on MTV News saying: "For me I think it was something to uplift women. It's a get-your-sh—together-type of-record".He explained: It's denouncing mediocrity, man; all things sub-standard or below average or even moderately average should be set aside, man, and I think it starts internally. You must first have confidence and security within yourself, it goes from the heart, to the mind and then it is conveyed through your actions and your presentation of yourself.
Commercial performance Edit
The song debuted at number 58 on the US Billboard Hot 100 chart and peaked at number 33. It was certified Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America on March 5, 2015. It also reached number one on Mediabase's Rhythmic top 40 chart. On January 28, 2015, "No Mediocre" was certified Gold in Canada after peaking at number 59 on the Canadian Hot 100. The song became T.I.'s first U.S. platinum song as a lead artist in 6 years following his 2009 single "Dead and Gone".
Music video Edit
The music video for the song was shot in late May 2014 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and premiered June 18, 2014, on MTV and VH1, and was later available on VEVO. Directed by Director X, the visuals begin with T.I. in the Tavares Bastos favela and making his way through the village, playing a quick game of football before heading to his home, where some exotic-looking women await him. He then meets up with Azalea, as she dances alongside T.I. at an outdoor party. It was named one of the sexiest videos of 2014 by VH1.
Live performances Edit
T.I. and Azalea performed "No Mediocre" for the first time at the BET Awards 2014 at the Nokia Theatre L.A. Live on June 29.