T.I. Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head

T.I. Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head
7
Between all the court dates and jail time, T.I. has actually found a way to remain fairly prolific. There might be a correlation here though; it would be safe to assume that he has some debts to square up and rap is the most legal way he knows how to make money. Normally, that's a recipe for disaster, as money-grabs tend to come off as rushed, transparent and suffering from lack of cohesion, but T.I.'s eighth album, Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head, doesn't fall into this category. The album is more about his passion for music and defeating the demons that pull him away from it rather than cashing in. T.I. re-stakes his claim as "the king of trap" with a strong sense of urgency that sees him outperforming his formidable, well-chosen guests at every turn, including on "Sorry," which features expert scene-stealer André 3000. The pair of tracks ("Trap Back Jumpin" and "Who Want Some") he does with DJ Toomp, who's produced numbers on all but one T.I. album, are the foundation of a well-thought-out LP, recalling the influence T.I. has had on rap and confirming that he has more left in the tank. He only misses the mark when he opts to do an awkward Future impression on "Cruisin" and on a skit towards the end of the album that's almost identical to one on Kendrick Lamar's good kid; it has to be a coincidence, but that doesn't stop it from feeling like a blatant rip-off. Otherwise, when he's being himself, T.I. still carries the magnetism and cool he's built his career on. (Atlantic)