The battle within continues for rapper T.I. or should I say rapper T.I.P.? Either way, they’re both on the fifth studio release for the rapper(s) entitled… you guessed it, T.I. vs. T.I.P.
Most T.I. fans thought the dispute between the two was settled back on the rapper’s second album with a song of the same title. But the feud has resurfaced and is now an album itself. The album is a concept record divided into three parts: T.I., T.I.P. and T.I. vs. T.I.P.
“It’s the struggle of power between two personalities within one self,” T.I. explained. And with each segment “separated by a narrative explaining who each personality is.” There are three interludes/songs on the album: Act I, II and III. Part one is about T.I.P. coming to power and making wild demands of his record label. Part two is about T.I. waking up and hearing people saying he did things that he doesn’t even remember. On the final segment, T.I. and T.I.P. collaborate.
For those who don’t know or might have a hard time telling the two apart, T.I. is a laid back business type. His flow is smooth and somewhat lazy. T.I.P. is a self described loose cannon. His flow is aggressive, fast and has an “I don’t give a fuck” attitude.
“Big Things Poppin” is the first single off of the album, the beat provided by Manny Fresh. It’s been a hot song since it’s release and shows T.I.P.’s hard-hitting raps. The second single, “You Know What It Is” was produced by Wyclef and has a club-like feel to it. The two singles show the contrast of the rapper’s personas.
On “Watch What You Say To Me,” T.I. teams up with rap great Jay-Z to send a message to the fake rap busters out there in the game. As expected, Jay steals the spotlight with his verse: “I hear you baitin’ me lately/I’ve been doin’ my best to stay hater-free/Still, watch what you say to me/Sooner or later I’ll take you up on your offer and put you all in your place like I’m replacing your father/You talking to the author/The architect of The Blueprint/My DNA in your music/Mothafucka’ you stupid?”
The track “Hurt” features Alpha Mega and Busta Rhymes on the guest spots. The double bass makes for a fast-paced track. Producer Just Blaze laced the beat for “Help Is Coming,” a track where T.I. says, “Say hello to the man who can save hip-hop.”
Undoubtedly, the song everyone will be talking about will be the collabo with rapper Eminem. Known for having split personalities of his own, Em teams with T.I. for a laid back track called “Touchdown.”
While it’s really cool to hear the two on the same track, the song is flat out boring. Em’s verse is disappointing with his fake southern drawl and rapping about things that don’t even seem relevant to him.
“Tell ‘Em I Said That” and “Respect This Hustle” are both hard songs with a beats provided by Timbaland protégé Danja (pronounced ‘Danger’). The song “We Do This” also adds a nice track to the album.
However, songs like “Raw,” “Show It To Me” featuring Nelly and “Don’t You Wanna Be High” are decent, making you say “Ehh” when you hear them. It makes you wonder why songs with Lil Wayne, Akon, and Ciara were left off of the album.
While the album T.I. vs. T.I.P. is a great concept, the record doesn’t meet the standards of what hip-hop fans might expect. And even though T.I. is a very skilled rapper, he is not skillful enough, nor creative enough, to pull of the dual personality battle on wax. It is often hard to tell which songs are T.I. and which are T.I.P. What we are left with is another average-at-best album from self-proclaimed King.
Album grade: C/B-
- Big Things Poppin
- Watch What You Say To Me feat. Jay-Z
- Hurt feat. Alpha Mega and Busta Rhymes
- Tell ‘Em I Said ThatPowered by Sidelines