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'The Grand Hustle' is T.I.'s 'Apprentice,' but don't compare him to Donald Trump

Kevin Polowy
Senior Correspondent, Yahoo Entertainment

If BET’s new business competition reality show, The Grand Hustle, looks like host T.I.‘s own version of The Apprentice, there’s good reason for that. T.I. recruited Johnny Petillo, a longtime producer on the Donald Trump-starring show, to help shape and run The Grand Hustle, which positions 16 budding entrepreneurs against one another in a bid for a post at T.I.’s eponymous business empire.

The difference, according to T.I.?

“A much better host,” the rapper-actor-lifesaver declares during a recent chat with Yahoo Entertainment. He then pokes further fun at the 45th president of the United States.

“My hands are not tiny,” he laughs, referencing the oft-memed mockery of Trump that’s oftentimes put the president on the defensive. “I would pay to watch him catch a football.”

The genesis of The Grand Hustle, which marks T.I.’s third foray into reality TV after T.I.’s Road to Redemption (MTV) and T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle (VH1), was all about necessity, he says.

“This idea came from the dire need of adding more hands on deck. Because I work so hard, I demand the same from the team. They had an intervention with me, and it was like, ‘Yo, we need help.’

“I was like, ‘Now this is a TV show.'”

The Grand Hustle premieres July 19 on BET.

Is T.I. an angel? Watch him talk about helping save three people’s lives:

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