T.I. vs T.I.P.
Parental Advisory ed.
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T.I. vs. T.I.P. (Deluxe) [Clean]
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A Jekyll and Hyde styled story of the two sides of rapper T.I. takes the listener through the struggles of being a hip hop icon. Together, both personalities craft a brillant album of the complexities within the roles we all play.
T.I. may take alter-egotism to new heights on T.I. vs. T.I.P., an album that's essentially a spinoff of a song (Trap Muzik's psychologically charged "T.I. vs. T.I.P."), but few artists have been known to spin something so compelling out of a concept so silly. T.I.P. is the hoodie-wearing hustler we get to know in the first part of this exceptionally long disc--he curses and boasts behind the beats with a lazy bravado that manages to be both slouchy and sharp (check out "Da Dopeman," "Watch What You Say" featuring a fired-up Jay-Z, and "You Know What It is," with Wyclef), and T.I. is the right-minded tycoon-type who takes over for a while in act two. As smooth an operator as T.I. is--"Show It to Me," featuring Nelly, finds its groove and never lets up--he's more compelling in the grittier parts of the disc, including a four-song final act in which the two halves of his deeply divided personality square off. "Respect This Hustle," the M.C. commands on the next-to-last track; detractors will try not to, citing the slightness of his concept. T.I. is at the top of his game, though, and he makes it heard. --Tammy La Gorce