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T.I. “Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head”–Album Review

Atlantic Records (2012)

T.I. has definitely returned with a vengeance. After constant legal troubles landed the rapper in prison for multiple stints, T.I. went back to the drawing board and reconfigured his focus. That strong focus can be heard through your speakers on T.I.’s latest, Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head. This return to form is exactly what T.I.’s fans have been clamoring for. The “Kang” of the South reclaims his crown and once again releases an album for the trappers and the common folk.

“The Introduction” does exactly what the title implies: it introduces us to the hood veteran, who gives a thorough explanation behind his newest nickname. T.I.’s hustle lifestyle is perfectly captured through his fluid flow and the accompanying soul sample’s chorus. MMG’s Meek Mill joins in on the hustle talk on the song “G Season.” Both rappers entertain with lyrics about their everyday baller lifestyle and the suckers that don’t congratulate them.

T.I. doesn’t forget about the trap; in fact, he crafts an appropriate anthem for his old stomping grounds with the song “Trap Back Jumpin,” which brings hardest and most effective combination of lyrics/production on the record. T.I. goes in on what occurs daily in the trap, and the catchy chorus is sure to shut down clubs for weeks to come. This song stands out as a reminder of classic, hard edged T.I.P.

Dungeon Family members Andre 3000 and Cee-Lo Green provide some of the finest guest apperances on the album. “3 Stacks” takes the spotlight from T.I. over the apologetic “Sorry.” T.I.’s verses are respectable as always, but Andre’s unmatched cadence and penchant for reflective lyrics steals the show. Cee-Lo’s instantly recognizable voice is welcoming on the good life anthem known as “Hello,” while Pharrell’s production captures the calm and cool spirit of T.I. as he makes light of his many haters.

The rest of Trouble Man has T.I. delving into a bunch of topics that mean the most to him and his life: God (“Hallelujah”), love and loyalty (“Guns and Roses” and “Can You Learn”), and ridin’ clean (“The Way We Ride”). All of these songs are quality listens, especially the first two tracks. R. Kelly and Pink provide passionate choruses that increase the impact of their respective features.

The two most female-centric songs (“Ball” and “Cruisin”) aren’t exactly worthy of repeated listenings.  While these songs might appeal to the ladies, the uninspired lyrics and tired subject matter will have many hitting the fast forward button in a heartbeat.

When T.I. addresses the hater talk, this is when he’s most entertaining. “Addresses” is a biting track that puts certain rival rappers in their place. This video should provide puzzled fans with more backstory on the track:

Trouble Man is T.I.’s much requested return to form. The ATL representative hops on the hardest beats and commits to spitting his heart out. There may be a few song missteps here and there, but this album is still a great effort for the most part.

The King of the South shall remain on his throne, patna.

4 / 5 stars     

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About the Author


Elton Jones (no relation to the guy who sings "Bennie and The Jets") is a huge fan of rap, hip-hop and R&B. His favorite artists range from golden era rap crews such as A Tribe Called Quest and De La Soul, to today's current rap stars like Big Sean and Kendrick Lamar. Elton appreciates every facet of the urban music genre and follows the major developments that are made within the industry. Elton obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from Saint Augustine's College in 2010. With his degree in hand, he now looks to make a lasting impact in the world of music journalism. He also hopes to attend a SXSW and Rock The Bells concert someday.

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Posted in: Album Reviews, Featured, Hip Hop Music


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