I really wanted to hate this album. I find rappers south of the Mason-Dixon line to be monotonous, immature, and they do nothing to move hip-hop forward. Boooooring!
But them southern beats is dirty, dirty, what it do!
Wow. I have no idea where that came from. Anyways, I still downloaded TI's "new" album, Paper Trail (I really should have written this last year), because I spend a lot of time in the car and I need a fresh supply of new music to keep my road rage down to brow curl instead of a fist clench. Best case scenario, I actually like it. Worst case scenario, I can tune out the lyrics, and nod my head to the production of Swizz Beatz, Kanye West, and Just Blaze.
It turns out that I like this album. I really like this album. Shit is off the hizzle, ya dig that!
TI brings the kind of swagger that draws me to rappers like Jay-Z and Nas, and he also has the same comedic touch in his lyrics:
The bullshit I'm addressin check I'm on some next level shit
Never been fucked in the game, I'm celibate
He shows a lot of maturity in his lyrics as well, evidenced in "Dead and Gone", "Ready for Whatever", and "Live your life". TI talks about responsibility, family, and maturity, the kind of stuff that separates him from someone monotonous, like 50 Cent. But really, this is TI we're talking about, so I'm not going to get carried away. When you have lyrics like:
Broads hit they knees eyes closed when they greet me
Mouth wide open, just beggin me to skeet skeet
...then you haven't completely matured.
My favourite track is the club-banger Swing Ya Rag, produced by Swizz Beatz, which I've turned into a ringtone for my iPhone. It makes me want to jump around and push people, and then punch someone in the face!
You got guest appearances from Kanye West, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne, Rihanna, Ludacris. You got Justin Timberlake singing hooks. But really, you've got my endorsement, and that's all you really needed. Hopefully you've already checked out this album, but if not, then you get nothing but my head-shaking disapproval.