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

Posted July 3, 2007
Tags: T.I.,

T.I.’s not the only one with an identity crisis, I’ve got a little Jekyll and Hyde in me...

T.I. vs. T.I.P. Album Review

T.I.’s not the only one with an identity crisis, I’ve got a little Jekyll and Hyde in me too. Only I’m not talking about trappin and rappin, I’m talking about writing reviews. My good side wants to find the positives of every album, reward effort, and keep everything in perspective. But there’s always the pull of my evil side begging to call out every weak rhyme and materialistic front. Well today, in honor of the release of The King’s highly anticipated and schizophrenic album T.I. Vs. T.I.P., I’m letting both sides have it out.

Good: I’ve got to give T.I. a lot of respect. Most rappers that successful would have pumped out an album loaded with guest verses and collected a check, but T.I.’s taking a big risk with a concept album.

Evil: True, but T.I. and T.I.P. aren’t musically that different. They both have the same flow and rap about the same things; money, realness and respect. It’s not like T.I.’s other side is a militant revolutionary.

Good: But you’ve got to appreciate T.I. speakin’ on conflicts in his life. You think 50 Cent’s gonna admit he’s got emotional problems? Hip-hop can bring someone from the streets to the penthouse almost overnight; it’s got to be nearly impossible to stay true to both worlds.

Evil: Let’s take his first single Big Shit Poppin. It’s got that hard edge with the rock guitar line, the anthem chorus and T.I.P. spittin’ with his infamous violent swagger, but in the first verse he also name drops all his biggest singles and references his upcoming movie with Denzel. You telling me those aren’t calculated business moves?

Good: And by the second half of that verse he’s saying he’d throw it all away and go back to dealin'. That’s the essence of the T.I./T.I.P. conflict right there. We love seeing people self-destruct, that’s why T.I.P.’s always gonna be more appealing, he’ll choke out Ludacris’ manager. You telling me you weren’t feelin' the track Hurt?

Evil: You’re right, Hurt’s a dope track. Danja’s producing some of the best beats in hip-hop right now and T.I.P.’s got that faster flow that will break your jaw. Plus there’s one of the best Busta Rhymes verses in recent memory. But you also got the single You Know What It Is. The music’s courtesy of Wyclef and it sounds more like a dance track than some Trap Musik ridin. How is this in the T.I.P. section?

Good: Fair enough, I don’t really see the difference between that and the other Wyclef joint on the T.I. section of the album, My Swag. Speakin of the T.I. section, the Just Blaze produced track Help Is Coming is dope. The beat mixes a string section that sounds like it came from the Beatles with some blasting percussion and T.I. joins in on the hip-hop is not dead battle.

Evil: Except he’s mostly talking about record sales, not the soul of hip-hop.

Good: Man, who embodies the swagger and confidence of hip-hop right now more than T.I.?

Evil: Well, T.I.P. does for one. I really believe that if people were forced to choose they’d pick T.I.P. over T.I. every time. You want to see someone ready to die, not someone counting the interest in their bank account. Can we at least agree that the track Show It To Me is terrible?

Good: Come on, you need at least one track for dancing in the club, I kind of like the old school nightclub vibe. Although I admit that Nelly’s verse is a travesty, he spends half the time quoting Mims and R. Kelly. It’s like he can’t even be bothered to write original material, and it’s not like he’s been busy rappin.

Evil: Couldn’t agree more. That was a fine piece of hating there; we may have more in common than I thought. I’ll meet you halfway and say the last section of the album, after T.I. and T.I.P. have their showdown, is the best material on there.

Good: Definitely. Tell ‘Em I Said That is tight, and Respect This Hustle has the best lyrical content on the album. Listen, if people are disappointed with this album it’s because expectations were insanely high. It’s not as good as King, but it’s not that far off.

Evil: I’ll admit it’s a really good album, even if it’s not a classic. At the very least T.I. held onto his royal title.

Good: Ladies and gentleman, may I present T.I.(P.), still the King of the South.

DJBooth Rating - 4 Spins

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Posted July 3, 2007
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