Although Atlanta rapper and self-proclaimed “King” T.I. will be heading to the slammer shortly, he’s anywhere but locked up or pinned down by his latest release Paper Trail. The 18 track stunner is laced with 7 singles, so far, despite it’s September 2008 release, and represents a softer, less gangsta’ side of T.I. On track 4 he celebrates his success with fellow southern boy Ludacris as they sing, “I used to dream, oh woah, about money and cars and girls, and now I sing, woah woah, because I’m sitting on top of the world.” The hook is catchy as ever and who can resist a little Luda?…not I!! It’s like the ultimate swagga’ celebration.
Track 5 is the infectious “Live Your Life” featuring Rihana, which has been blowing up radio lately, and rightfully so. T.I. tackles haters, has-beens, and dead hommies on this track and the lovely Rihana reminds everyone that staying true to ones self is more fun when you’ve got something to show for it.
Everyone’s favorite part of T.I. comes out on track 6 when he promises his “chick can have what she want.” With a lot of sexy and the perfect amount of hood, T.I.’s attitude on this track alone is enough. Forget the Patron on ice and vacations in the tropics, this track is officially all you need to get the party started in all the right ways.
One of the most artistically driven tracks on Paper Trail is “My Life Your Entertainment” which tackles the inevitable price of fame our homeboy is currently experiencing. With special guest Usher, T.I. outlines his battles with the law, giving models lock-jaw, and celebrity gossip at it’s best (“He said and she said, I did what, with they, No not me I said, she gave me no head, Won’t get me again, I pleaded the fifth.”)
Then there’s “Pornstar” and “Swing Ya Rag”, which were both huge singles last summer/fall and “Swaggar Like Us” featuring Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil’ Wayne, and M.I.A–even though she doesn’t receive a credit on track listings.
Perhaps the most artistically driven track on Paper Trail is hidden all the way back at number 16. “Dead and Gone” featuring Justin Timberlake just blew up all over the place thanks to their collaboration on the 51st annual Grammy Awards a few short weeks ago. As part of his “road to redemption” T.I. and Justin proclaim “the old me’s dead and gone.” Seems pretty convenient to me since playa’s headed for the big house pretty soon, but we’ll see if this whole thing comes into play when he’s back in the court room. It’s a powerful track though, and a powerful message either way you look at it. This one’s sure to inspire a whole slew of up and coming thugs to change their ways…and post up on that top spot for a minute.
I bought my copy of Paper Trail on iTunes so I got a bunch of bonus videos as well, which are incredibly entertaining, and only emphasize T.I.’s ridiculously sexy swaggar! (Yes I went there!)
Hip/Hop fan or not, it’s hard to deny T.I’s presence as of late, and if Paper Trail is any sign of what’s to come watch out kids! This python spits hot molten fire sex and his aim is dead on…that’s my own gettho slang for T.I. is the mother fuckin shit!