T.I. vs T.I.P.
Parental Advisory ed.
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T.I. VS T.I.P.
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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
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TI locked down all of 2006 in some people's minds just by dropping the song "What You Know (About That)". DJ Toomp, who was responsible for TI hits such as "24s", "Be Easy", "Bezzle", "U Don't Know Me", and "Motivation" provided TI with a track that was definitely one of the most memorable songs in all of rap music last year. This track was the 1st single to his 4th CD, "King". My favorite tracks ended up being the Just Blaze produced "King Back", a remake to the UGK classic in "Front, Back", "Live In The Sky" w/Jamie Foxx, "I'm Straight" with BG and Young Jeezy, "I'm Talkin' To You" and "Good Life" which was a nice collaboration with Common and Pharrell joining TI. "King" pretty much set up an expectation when it comes to TI CDs as the "self proclaimed" King Of The South is definitely expected to live up to. Some people will actually agree with TI's claim. However, when you're bold enough to make those claims, each and every CD has to back that up.
"TI Vs TIP" was released on July 3, 2007. The 1st single ends up being "Big Things Poppin' (Do It)" and it's produced by Mannie Fresh. I definitely like this track alot more now than I did when I first began to hear the track, but when you compare his 1st single from "King" to this track there is basically no comparison. As a matter of fact, I will even be as bold as saying that "The Greatest" which was Mannie's contribution to "Urban Legend", "Front, Back" w/UGK and "Top Back", which were Mannie's contributions to "King" are better than "Big Things Poppin'". "TI Vs TIP" starts with an intro that covers events that has happened to TI since the release of "King". The rap is definitely off the hook and as one reviewer said you wish the track was an actual song instead of an intro or interlude. The track also reintroduces TIP, which his fans already know from "Trap Muzik". "Raw" is a pretty good track as well, although you will wish that TI would leave the fact alone that he is better than most rappers from the South. TI you have an excellent resume with "Trap Muzik", "Urban Legend", and "King", I already know that you are better than most Southern rappers so you don't have to tell me how "Raw" you are. "You Know What It Is" should have been the 1st single, in my opinion, as Wyclef, Jerry Wonder and company provide TI with a refreshing track that does a better job of reintroducing TI than "Big Things Poppin'" did. "Da Dopeman" isn't one of the better tracks on here. The track is produced by Mannie Fresh and see my definition for the 1st single as Mannie's production doesn't do justice to the songs that he has done with TI in the past. "Watch What You Say To Me" isn't as bad as some people are making it to be, in my opinion. Now I have definitely heard better Jay Z tracks and I have heard better TI tracks but this track is decent and it's something you will want to listen to more than once. You wish that the 2 rappers would have came with a better energy, but the track is still pretty good. "Hurt" features Alfa Mega, who is a new member to Grand Hustle and Busta Rhymes. This track is clearly one of the better tracks on "TI Vs TIP" as Busta Rhymes clearly steals the show, but TI and Alpha Mega also give nice performances. Danja, who works with Timbaland on alot of his production produces the energetic track. Danja also produced "We Takin' Over" which featured DJ Khaled, TI, Rick Ross, Fat Joe, Birdman, Lil Wayne & Akon. The "Act 2" interlude comes up next as once again you will be wishing that the track was a complete song instead of an interlude. The interlude switches the TIP side of the disc over to TI. Although, the "TI vs TIP" theme isn't that interesting to me anymore, you can't take the quality of the rhymes and beat to the interlude away from TI or TIP. Just Blaze shows up with what is my favorite track on this CD, "Help Is Coming". TI clearly delivers a message to anyone thinking hip hop is dead or that rap music is slowly dying. He even goes as far as saying that he is the man that can single handedly save hip hop. I may not agree with that claim, however, you can't take anything away from this track. The concept, beat and lyrics are the best that you will hear on "TI Vs TIP" in my opinion. Things continue to get better on the cocky "My Swag" which is also produced by Wyclef, Jerry Wonder and company. If someone would have told me that Wyclef and company would have been responsible for 2 tight tracks on a TI CD, I would have laughed. However, Wyclef and TI provide a nice hook and TI does a good job of bragging and boasting on this track. However, after hearing 2 nice tracks in "Help Is Coming" and "My Swag", things go downhill with "We Do This", "Show It To Me" w/Nelly, "Don't You Wanna Be High" and "Touchdown" w/Eminem. "Touchdown" surprsied me the most because once I heard that TI and Eminem would be on the same track, I expected a 4 alarm fire. However, in the end it ended up being some sparklers that you can find at a convenience store on the 4th of July. I was extremely disappointed in this track. It sounded as if Eminem listened to Paul Wall's "Get Money, Stay True" 10 times and then called TI and said let's do a track together. TI tries his best to make a contribution, but in my opinion, things just don't work out this time around. After listening to the 1st bad interlude which has TI and TIP cussin' and fussin' at each other, TI or TIP...lol rebounds nicely with "Tell 'Em I Said That". Danja makes another contribution with the production and in the end you just wish TI or TIP would have made more songs such as "Help Is Coming" and this track. It seems that TI knows that he is one of the best rappers in the South and his swag ended up hurting him this time around. "Respect This Hustle" just doesn't work for me. The production is nice but when you compare this track to the best songs on this CD, you wouldn't even put this track in your top 10. "TI Vs TIP" ends out on a nice note with "My Type". You will easily call it "Live In The Sky" Part 2 but it's nice when TI takes a step back from the bragging, boasting and "King" crowning to make a track where he is saying something with some actual meaning behind it.
If you purchased "TI Vs TIP" from Best Buy then you also got 2 bonus tracks with "The Hottest" featuring Macboney from P$C and "Hustlin'" w/Governor. "The Hottest" is produced by Khao, who produced TI's jam for the ladies on "King" with "Why You Wanna". The thing about "The Hottest" is that it's better than any of the tracks from 11-14. Macboney makes a decent contribution and you'll wonder why it was a bonus track in the first place. I'll never forget my introduction to Macboney on a track entitled "Killin' Me" which has TI on the hook, Macboney on the 1st verse and Paul Wall on the 2nd verse. This track was better than anything on the P$C CD that was released in stores with the exception being "I'm A King" of course. Governor adds a nice touch to "Hustlin'" but in the end it just adds a lighter touch to TI's strories about being in the "trap".
In conclusion, TI still is one of the best rappers in the South. "TI Vs TIP" is a CD that is worth checking out and adding to your collection if you liked TI's earlier releases. However, there are some "duds" on here. You will also have yourself wondering why would TI go back in time to bring back an old "Trap Muzik" theme from 2003 with "TI Vs TIP". Some things are better left alone. To anyone that gave this CD 5 stars, I will ask you to listen to tracks 11-14 again and reevaluate what you wrote or thought in your review...lol At the same time, there are some hits on here as well. I am not saying that this is a pathetic release from TI. However, if you are the self appointed "King Of The South", every release needs to reflect that. After last year's "King", "TI Vs TIP" doesn't display that fact as well as "King" did.
James' Top 5
1) Help Is Coming
2) My Type
3) Hurt w/Busta Rhymes & Alfa Mega
4) You Know What It Is
5) Tell 'Em I Said That
My Swag w/Wyclef Jean
Act 2: TI
Act 1: TIP
Watch What You Say To Me w/Jay-Z
The Hottest w/Macboney
Ranking TI's Discography (Excluding "I'm Serious")
1) Trap Muzik
3) Urban Legend
4) TI Vs TIP