Review ·

If there's one hip-hop artist has held the crown for 2006 so far, it's Tip "T.I." Harris. From starring in motion pictures to selling half a million copies of King in its first week, the self-proclaimed "King of the South" has been on the cover of countless magazines, putting his mark on mainstream America. First, though, T.I. has been a musician, so you'd think he'd put his best foot forward with his fourth full-length.


In a brilliant move, T.I. decided not to release a soundtrack for his movie, ATL, instead making King the musical focus of the picture. With that, the album served as a solo joint for T.I. while receiving the same push of a movie soundtrack. That may have helped give T.I. the highest-selling debut of his career, but it doesn't mean it's his best.


The record opens with the intro "King Back," followed by the single "Front Back" featuring UGK, the latter getting points simply for T.I.'s Ric Flair-inspired dance in the video. In fact, some of the best material appears in the beginning of King, with at least five single-worthy songs coming early on, including the Just Blaze-laced "I'm Talkin' to You," "What You Know" and "Ride With Me." Perhaps the biggest song of all, though, will be "Why You Wanna," which takes a simple Crystal Waters beat and turns it into a surefire summer smash.


The roster of guest spots features some big names and some strange ones too, at least in terms of what you'd expect from a T.I. album. B.G. and Young Jeezy help out on "I'm Straight," which is a decent track that further shows how overrated the Snowman is as a rapper. Young Buck and Young Dro also stop by on "Undertaker," but it's the Neptunes-produced "Goodlife," featuring Pharrell and Common, that will likely get your attention. The song features one of Mr. Williams's profound choruses -- "I keep telling myself, Man, I'm living the good life; I'm living the good life" -- which does nothing but ruin a great sixteen by Common.


King lacks an overall cohesiveness or direction. There are some good tracks splattered throughout the album, but eighteen songs is a bit too much here. Luckily for T.I., he has that certain swagger and charisma, almost like a New York artist, to appeal to the fans who once idolized Nas and Big Poppa.


So is T.I. the reigning king of rap? It depends on how you look at it. As far as sales, marketability and hit singles, perhaps no one has it better than Clifford Harris Jr. But for those who still value concepts, metaphors and hip-hop quotable lyrics, T.I. still has a way to go to earn the crown that rappers such as Christopher Wallace and Nasir Jones have rightfully worn in the past.


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T.I. Web site (streaming audio/video)

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Streaming audio

Prefix review: T.I. [Trap Muzik] by Dominic Umile

Prefix review: T.I. [Urban Legend] by Rafael Martinez

Prefix review: T.I. [Urban Legend Chopped and Screwed] by Rafael Martinez

  • King Back 4:38
  • Front Back (Featuring UGK) 3:43
  • What You Know 4:08
  • I'm Talkin' To You 5:06
  • Live In The Sky (Featuring Jamie Foxx) 5:46
  • Ride Wit Me 4:05
  • The Breakup 1:57
  • Why You Wanna 3:50
  • Get It
  • Top Back 4:42
  • I'm Straight (Featuring BG and Young Jeezy) 6:36
  • Undertaker (Featuring Young Buck and Young Dro) 4:13
  • Stand Up Guy 3:02
  • You Know Who 2:54
  • Goodlife (Featuring Pharrell and Common) 4:28
  • Hello (Featuring Governor) 3:35
  • Told You So 4:23
  • Bankhead (Featuring P$C and Young Dro) 4:26
Armin Van Buuren - Shivers Koenjihyakkei Angherr Shisspa

what it do????


Following up his classic "Urban Legend" was a huge task for T.I.. Commercially he succeeded, with the chart-topping "What You Know" and having the highest selling CD of 06. Personally, it's a slightly weak follow-up. The fact that it went double platinum worldwide doesn't surprise me at all, with Mannie Fresh, DJ Toomp, Just Blaze, The Neptunes and Swizz Beatz on the boards. The production is top-notch, filled with big bass and synths. I guess this gave T.I. an excuse to dumb his lyrics down and the album suffers because of it.

The first 5 songs are definitely royalty (King Back, Front Back, What You Know, I'm Talkin' To U, and Live in The Sky). This alignment of great songs may have been it's downfall. I'm Talkin' To U is a diss track to anybody who doesn't wanna acknowledge the fact that he isn't the King of the South. He does this by acknowledging he who isn't talking to (Young Jeezy, Scarface, Bun-B, Outkast, Jay-Z, Young Buck, Pimp-C, and B.G.). Towards the end, his Twista flow gets annoying, but the beat helps him out. Get It and Undertaker are underwhelming & guest spots from Dro and Buck on "Undertaker" are uneventful. "Good Life" is one of the calmer and more introspective tracks with T.I.'s best verse on the CD and great verses from B.G. and Jeezy. "Top Back" brings the heavy bass and synth combo back to KING with T.I. doing with Southerners do best; Boast about their cars.

Overall: Great production, but lyrically lazy. B


'Urban Legend' is my favorite T.I. album but I thought this album was a respectable follow-up.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/daba/me-bermudajpg.jpg Daba


taylor rapier

I love all ur albums frm Serious 2 Paper Trail n he sexy

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