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Grammy-winning rapper T.I. recently updated fans on the status of his Akoo Clothing line and promised to keep the brand striving to innovate throughout 2010.

Tip said he still places a high emphasis on the line growing and offering top-notch urban appeal.

“The direction of the clothing line, in my eyes, is upscale urban apparel,” Tip said in an interview. “I just wanna continue to diversify. Continue to grow. Continue to speak to the cool kids of America. That’s my idealistic outcome. It’s all gonna be comfortable. Everything is gonna be comfortable, casual. To me, we got V-neck tees, crew-neck tees, wovens. Denim is a big part of the lines. We actually pride ourselves on the quality of our denim, especially at the price point we at. We got fleece. We got a lot of imagery, distinctive imagery on our pieces, that sets us apart from everything else going on out there.” (MTV)

Last month, Tip talked about applying a military-style look to his line.

“I definitely think that military-inspired gear is fresh just as long as it’s not overdone,” he said in an interview. “Akoo’s gear stays pretty subtle and pays attention to detail. Our brand’s inspirations draw from the outdoors to nautical to aeronautics, which are all components of military. Our tag lines reflect this sort of culture with slogans including ‘Always Hunted’ or ‘Trust Nothing With Teeth.’ … I’ve tried to be part of every detail as much as I possibly can along the way, from fabrication through to certain elements of design. I pay attention to the materials that make theclothing right down to the conditions of the places for the employees who manufacture it…I’ve always had a vision for my own line, but I wanted to do it right, and really be able to inject my creativity and persona into it, and right now it feels right.” (The FADER)

Akoo’s Newark, New Jersey billboard created some controversy in February.

The billboard for AKOO — which, incidentally, israpper T.I.’s clothing line — is pretty clearly suggestive of some naughty behavior (a woman sitting in front of a man … holding onto his unbuttoned jeans … ahem), and the reaction in Newark and the surrounding area since it went up has been pretty intense. Barry Carter for the Star-Ledger first wrote about the billboard on Sunday, calling it seemed like a specific blow to Newark, even quoting City Council President Mildred Crump as saying she was “sick of people seeing Newark as a place where they can just do whatever they want … They think they can just put it in a black community and nobody is going to say or do anything.” (NBC New York)

It was later taken down as a result of the public outcry.

This ad was not just explicit, it was demeaning to women. After public pressure, including Barry Carter’s column in the Sunday Star-Ledger, billboard owner CBS Outdoor removed it yesterday. In its place is another, more civilized ad for the same clothing company, rapper T.I.’s Akoo line. (Star-Ledger)