T.I. - T.I. vs. T.I.P - Review

When you mention the current southern music movement in Hip Hop, a few names come to mind, but one stands out above the rest: T.I. The self-proclaimed “King of the South” has been crowned with numerous awards for his music and has also ventured into other art forms, such as acting and producing music for other southern artists.

Clifford Joseph Harris Jr. has had a successful career in the rap game and recently released his fifth album, T.I vs T.I.P. If you are already a T.I. fan, you’ll appreciate what this album has to offer. If you’re on another T.I.P., this album will not win you over.

There is no question this project has been granted a generous amount of dollars to produce, promote, and market which I believe is a large part of its success from a commercial and business prospective. If crisp-engineered southern bounce beats, catchy hooks and tight flows are all you look for in album, then this album is a worthwhile pickup.

However, I must say I’m truly disappointed with the lack of effort put into this album. It is almost an insult for T.I. to assume Hip Hop heads would be satisfied with the lack of creativity and maturity from an artist with his credibility and longevity. It’s almost even more insulting for the executive producers to think it could be covered up by lyric printouts in the album cover, crisp photography and well-engineered beats and production.

There is no doubt this Bankhead-native put his fingerprint on the game with his trademark sloppy, yet addictive, southern flow which has had us all reciting his catchy hooks single after single. One question still remains, however, why would the production team print out his lyrics if they don't showcase his questionable lyrical ability?

I meticulously read through nearly 10 of his tracks only to come to the conclusion that I was endlessly looking for something that just did not exist. I felt as though I was being bombarded with shallow-minded insights about money, drugs, girls and guns. Regardless of whether he is speaking about his reality, the loose-ended lyrics, lifeless wordplay and half-witted punchlines amount to the creativity of a stencil. Every track sounds the same and the album quickly becomes monotonous. I could barely stomach the thought of leaving the album on ‘play’ the entire length without being tempted to press the ‘skip’ button.

Granted it takes a while for an artist to fully come into their own, but seven years is more than enough time. It seems as if with all the fame and media hype, T.I is more than comfortable with being a one-dimensional rapper. My guess is that it won’t be long before the "King" steps down from his thrown, unless he realizes that he needs to take a lesson from the veterans that helped pave the way for southern rappers to acquire success and pay homage to the art form by releasing albums with some sort of depth.

The hot tracks on the album are the lead single "Big Sh!t Poppin’ (Do It)" and "Hurt" featuring Alfa Mega and Busta Rhymes. On this track, Busta shines by showing T.I and Alfa how to rhyme with delivery and flow. The live instrumental beat production on "Show it to Me" adds a touch of flavour, disrupting the typical southern bounce of the album and the chill rider track  "Don't You Wanna be High" is a guaranteed favorite.

 

Rhyme Revolution Rating: * * (1/2)

Download: Big Shit Poppin’, Hurt, Don’t You Wanna Be High

Written By: Alias