Everyone knows the details of T.I.’s murky past few years.
An album that strayed from his roots coupled with a foray into pop culture in which he went to jail a tragic hero. A year and a day later, he was free again to much buzz. He was set to release both a movie and album, reminiscent of his ascent to the throne with 2006’s King and ATL. Except this time something went wrong. Getting caught with various illegal drugs less than six months after being freed from jail and saying you’re never going back seems to mess up public relations just about every time. When coupled with a very disappointing album that added nothing to his catalog, T.I. went to jail on quite the losing streak.
Fast forward 11 months.
T.I. came out of jail with a bang on August 31st, quickly announcing both a book and another reality show. Yet after the way that
King Uncaged No Mercy had flopped, the real judgement was to lie in the music.
First came “I’m Flexin’ (with Big K.R.I.T.)” Which showcased a vintage T.I. flow, and held much promise
Next was “FAME” another in a line of successful collabs with Young Jeezy.
Though T.I. destroyed both the beats and other rappers on these two joints, it still wasn’t enough to garner much mainstream attention. Stealing an old Lil Wayne trick, the King began remixing about every beat he saw, further decimating all of the original songs. Highlights for this included Drake’s She Will and Headlines, and most of all N*ggas in Paris off of Watch the Throne. Paris has one of the best beats of the year, but somehow Jay and Kanye’s rapping wasn’t quite up to par. “How about the crown meets the the Throne right here” T.I. quips in the remix’s intro, though by the end of his verse, it appears the crown is a couple levels higher than the Throne, at least in this instance.