Review ·
Last year’s T.I vs T.I.P. -- a quasi concept album attributed to both the gangster and gentleman personalities of Clifford “T.I.” Harris --  was essentially a gimmick, a reminder that the refined businessman/actor/MC standing before the crowd today wasn’t that far removed from the ruthless street kid the man once was. But Paper Trail, coming as it does on the eve of the rapper’s year-long prison sentence for illegal weapons possessions, doesn’t need to work to remind anyone of the particular vagaries of T.I.’s lifestyle choices. And unlike T.I. vs T.I.P., it’s truly the product of a conflicted MC.

 

Harris would first like to remind us that despite it all he is doing quite well, thanks very much: “56 Barz” and “I’m Illy” are carefully constructed swagger demos. And then he gloriously blows all that detached cool with “Ready for Whatever,” the album’s best moment and a track that probably deserves its own individual review.

 

On King's “Live in the Sky,” Tip touched on the unfortunate realities of his superstar life with a few pointed lines: “Fuck how many millions I got, nigga, so what if I’m hot/ When I got prices on my head, feds rushing my spot/ A million haters want me dead, forced to carry a gat/ But you a seven-time felon, whatch you doing with that?/ It’s a catch-22, either you lose or you lose.”  But on “Ready,” he realizes a few lines aren’t going to cut it; he’s going to have to spell out for us exactly why he was armed to the teeth on the night of his arrest.  

 

He’s touched on this before but has never so blatantly made it clear that this is not just hip-hop bluster. Ever since the death of his lifelong friend and personal assistant Philant Johnson in 2006, T.I. is convinced there are people out there waiting to kill him: “I’m dealing with depression from my partner dying next to me/ Think 'cause no one’s arrested they come for me eventually … not mentioning New Orleans niggas coming in the city/ Killing all summer long nobody pay attention.” He spends half a million dollars a year on security, he tells us. “Is it that hard to understand if you listen?" he asks, “Either die, go to jail, that’s a hell of a decision.” And, finally, he resigns himself to his fate: “I had straps in my ride, gotta go to prison.”

 

And then, as if we could just forget a startling conversational turn and return to the cocktail-party-bullshit chatter we were mindlessly enjoying just a few minutes earlier, T.I. abandons the confessional tack altogether for party rap and vaguely inspirational tunes. Sure, he does it well --  lead singles “No Matter What” and “Whatever You Like” deserve every radio spin they’ve gotten, “Live Your Life” amazingly gets beyond a  "Dragostea Din Tei" sample, and even the sort of icky “Porn Star” is fun after a few turns. But it’s not until a full third of the album has gone by, with the beef-airing “What’s Up, What’s Happening” (a track that, for the record, features the second time on Paper Trail that the previously unheard of phrase “blogsites” is used) that we finally get back to the fucked-up personal stuff that makes T.I. so much more than just a radio-pop archetype.

 

And it’s not until nearly the end of the album, on “You Ain’t Missin Nothing” -- in which TI, seemingly addressing himself, doles out advice in the second person on how to handle a jail bid -- that the MC gets back to dealing with the arrest. It’s supposed to be a hopeful song, an invocation to keep your head up, but it comes off as something else: “You only do two days in the joint," he lets us know, sounding queasy and pissed off and not at all sure of himself, “the day you get locked up and the day you go home.” And on what has been for the most part an impeccably executed commercial rap album, TI  again reminds us what he’s really capable of.

  • 56 Bars (Intro)
  • I'm Illy
  • Ready For Whatever
  • On Top Of The World(feat. Ludacris and B.o.B.)
  • Live Your Life (feat. Rihanna)
  • Whatever You Like
  • No Matter What
  • My Life Your Entertainment (feat. Usher)
  • Porn Star
  • Swing Ya Rag (feat. Swizz Beatz)
  • What Up, What's Haapnin'
  • Every Chance I Get
  • Swagga Like Us T.I. and Jay-Z (feat. Kanye West and Lil' Wayne)

The title of T.I.'s sixth album is purportedly a reference to his approach to lyric writing. However, considering the extensive warrants obtained for his recent gun possession arrests, one can't help but see the irony. So, perhaps Paper Trail is less about artistic method than it is about Cliff Harris' penance. Old friends like Danja, J.R. Rotem and Just Blaze return to give T.I.P. the vainglorious beats.

The Moondoggies - Don't Be a Stranger Xavier Rudd Dark Shades of Blue

My expectations for this and Jeezy's 'Recession' are really high.

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

jEEEZY'S NEW ALBUM IS OFF THE CHAIN.ITS UP THERE IF NOT BETTER THAN THUG MOTIVATION.WAITIN FOR TIP TO COMEBACK AND SHUT IT DOWN.ATL STAND UP,ALL DAY EVERYDAY.

ANT

This album is off the chain!

Arieonna ~AKA~ Arie!

I'm definitely looking forward to this. TI VS TIP was in my Top 10 last year, so I have pretty high expectations.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif noise redux

da m man the album is sick i think the album well be in the top 5 man

dj eze

EVERY ALBUM THAT TIP PUT OUT BE STRAIGHT SICK I WOULD NEVER EXPECT NOTHING LESS FROM THE RUBBERBAND MAN...DO YA THANG TIP.

P

Someone tell T.I. he is a rapper and not an R&B artist. This able is not him.

aj

u can have wateva u like

Mike G

Ti is just the boom and then he sexy

Tishena

T.I is the new the king this boys is raw man. If any body was doubtin this man must be crazy cause you what it is.

Mike Mc

t.i i dah ish yO! waheva yew lyk b mah nu-nu fav sOng!!!! hz sO hawt!!!! shOt t.i mah babez! hahaha

wah?!

this album better be great, probably the last we'll hear from him for a long time.

eric

aj you jus hatin and talkin ish altogether.
T.I. is as talented as they come and this album, jus like those before, will be a major hit. I don't expect anything less from da king ah da south..u do ur thing rubberband man!!!

Dee Jay (T'dad)

T.I I jus wanna say is you n lil wayne and the game should sing a song see how it would be aight peace my brotha.

JAY-P

This is going to be a Classic!! T.I. do ya Thang

Eric

T.I. is a great rapper but he needs to make more RAW RAP SONGS (ASAP, U dont know me,Hurt etc.) and not that p*ssy *ss songs like Live your life. Whats that for bullsh*t man tip rubberband man you cant put out songs like that.
Someone needs to tell him hes a rapper and not a r&b artist. He needs to be raw like before!! and not a popartist. But a real NIGGA

Rubbrband man

9/10. His best work since Urban Legend.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif BlackMan90

i love t.i. i hope this album is a sucess he is a hard working young man i wish him all the best god bless you and your family

bacon

dame t.i is so hot

chelz

Yo...I have not enjoyed a T.I. album since Urban Legend, but this right here is some fire. Keep WRITING T.I. because everybody now claims to just come off the top of the head...and the results are not that inspiring. Paper Trail should do big numbers.

D.Nep

TURN MY BEAT DOWN.. TURN MY BEAT DOWN.. I WILL NEVA EVA EVA EVA TURN MY BEAT DOWN!!!!!!!!!

K* STONE

yo tip i fuc wit dat wats happen song dat thing crazy

ace

damn boy this album is the best.....keep them cummin...

felisha Lynn

i heard Eminem was going to be on it.

DLa

dont hate rite now tip killing these niggas and shawty lo just digging hisself a hole missin wit the king peep t.i. out in his new video wats haapnin all rappers need to repect da king of da south

mo betta

t.i swagg is the best and this album just proved it.

msj

ti is the st peoples are haters always trying to put him down let him live his life. YOU haters live yours and get off his f**king back he is only human.

kathy

TIP IZ 2 RAW T.I VS T.I.P WUZ NUMBER ONE N STILL IZ UNTIL PAPER TRAIL DROP N DATZ REAL T.I.P DU YA THING

boo

'a better day' kll trakk aswel lv t.i. ..best rapper !

g3m

Shawty lo ain got nothing on my Nigga T.I so He might As well sit down cuz its a Rap But All I got 2 Say is Wat Up Wats Haapnin All u haters can Get at Me

Hadjii G

ay t.i.p. keep doin ur thing by. let dem haters hate. i kno this album is gonna b sick. lyke u said u get betta n beta err tie. by da way "ready for whatever is sickkkkkkkkkk."

G-bay

man forget shawty lo he a hater nigga keep doing yo stuff you the real nigga from bankhead this cd gone be fire

T-west

Best album of 08 indeed!

fAtbOi

album of the year, no doubt.
any song on the album could be a hit

J MAY

this album is off the chain! just copped it earlier today. gonna be in constant rotation for quite a while

rick

Man i been saving ma money for while to get this album man can't wait to get this best alum of da year!!!

Jus

man this album is sick, i cant stop playing it, defintitely album of the year!

simon cowell

daaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaammm
dis off da head sonnn

YO SHOUT OUT TO NORTH CAROLINA!!!!!

n-e-wz ... yeah t.i. doooooooooooo yuh thanggg boo

b neezy

This is a really good album. This album should be considered a classic.

kevin

Classic album..

terry

TI is the best rapper alive f**k weezy!!! Cuz Baby u can have whatever you like!!!

/site_media/uploads/images/users/babykaykay1/KAYLA.JPG Mz.Matt Lemay (thats my baby)

MZ.MATT suckks balls =]
waynes the b e s t biiiitch!!!
f**k YUUU

ur mom

I heard that T.I was snitching so i dont know about this album his im serious album went hard

devan jerome young

wayne lyrics:

kdjdkjfk

T.I. the king of the south!
Best album of the year.. We all gotta get his new album.
His sales SHOULD have to be higher than Weezys fake ass.

Slinky*~

THIS ALBUM IS SUPA SICK AND ALL THA HATER FALL BAC IIGHT

MRZ.TIGGER1

http://jaydonscave.blogspot.com/2008/09/ti-paper-trail-review.html

Jon

Yeah fu-kin sweet CD!

T-Feezy

Babe we miss yeh!
damm your fine, we want you to
be our grad dates and please
bring lil wayne!
Talk to you later
Call me tonight!
the usual time ;)
talk to you than!

KaitlynFrankie

Babe I love you.
I love the way you look, and the way that you rap.
I wish you good luck in the future.
Call me about 11p.m.
My number is ************
But i forgot you already know it
See you tonite
I really can't wait to see your sexy self
Love your queen,
Sexy Lady

Ms. Sexy Lady

Its really a classic he a real nigga at least we know he live saome of the shyt he talk about like lil wayne say he do it but neva heard about him gettin into tourble

Baby T.i

u already know what it is T.I.P.is dat cat that always deliver.The man is so versatile and just one the realest cats in da game from rapping to da business and just getting that paper pimp.So hi haterz do what ya do the cat is on fire.STAY UP 100%

blacboi30233

Dam baby your so hot ass hell i love paper trail its the s**t

Kristian

that track listing above is missing a few songs....

this album goes hard, if it doesnt go hard to you, then go home

stated from a TRUE ti fan

from i'm serious to paper trail, in da streets vol 1 - 4....

li

yo t.i.p fink ya should make a new ghetto trask man youl brake the hits# records for jokes bro

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif playboii

Nice album pimp. I'm a big fan of your rap, you flow sick. you should come and visit my school, Mendon High School. Its in Michigan. Its a little town close to Vicksburg, M.I. the zip code is 49097. So I hope you can come and show love to your fans the way your fans show you love...
iight, one.

G-eezy

ti is the sh!t peroid. all you haters need to get a fuc!!n life, i dont see no of yall niggas doin anything. so stop bitchin beacuse hes got talent. his beats are the best and his flow is hard so f!!k yall haters

other king of the south

anybody gonna comment on that cause i would really like to see who aggrees on a scale 1-10 9.8
NOW WHOS A HATER?

other king of the south

dat niggas i fagget we all know t.i is the sh*t and no one is hating on him so shut the f*ck up u b*itch a*s nigga

big mike

"so what can I say, the better to make the best"

Robert

DIZ ALBUM IS BY FAR THE BEST ALBUMS DAT T.I MADE...REALL NIGGA S--T..

CKASSANOVA

fuc8 all yall dat said wayne aint da best all yall suck balls. T.I you is doing yo thing tho.

porn star #1

dnnzzll

THiS ALBUM iS H0T STUFF.. P0iNT. BLANk. PeRi0D.! He 0UT DiD HiS SeLF.. i`M LAUGhiN` HARD AT THe 0NeS WH0 D0UBTeD THiS MAN.. W0W..

TiNK08

This album iz amaizin ,beats r so played high, n his flow iz hot he iz da king of this game n no body can refuse that, so f**k all da haters. T.I yo da best bro

/site_media/uploads/images/users/prefix/no-user-pic.gif DAVIE

This Ti's latest albulm paper tail is the best by far for me personally I think paper tail's sales are going through the roof when the media hear's the amazing callabo he has with rihana which is my favorite by far also this album gave him the oportunity to express what really happend to the fans before he serves his bid this album is really shown the media how ti has grown from a boy to a man from I'm Serious to paper trail has been and amazing acomplishment for ti and soon ti will to be label as a living legend such as jay-z and lil' wayne piece out and remember ti keep ya head up and never let anyone take the gift god has bless you with which is entertaining us your truly #1 fan Tony from the MIA

Tony

His CD was da bomb idk y ppl iz frontin d'z dayz

Day'Z'Haine

We love yoo T.I =) =) xxx
Ur actulli Fit Az ...
Paper Trail, Boomin xx
=) =) =)

x..3ss&Chelz..x

T.I ur musics r off duh chain, your duh best rapper alive
i feel dat i wanna live with you

jackie

hala BOY, PAPERTRAIL is damn HOT BRO, as for Rihanna, she doped da album with IDAN PERI-PERI

S'bo

T.I. UR the DAMN BOMB......U rock...man so does Rihanna....I love U so does all of my friends!!!!!!

AMANDA KEEN

oooh! another great album from T.I!! He da best ever!! (@@,)

T.I.'s LiL AngeL

i like this new album
t.i. it's the best

flo

Man.. do any of you actually listen to his lyrics? Now seriously... Many of you talk like ur some hood ass black dude that just listens to him, but are you hearing anything that the man is saying? For instance, song 7 - no matter what, or live you life, or song 16 which is not listed on most website track lists, hes trying to make a point in many of his songs, song 16 is about how he would just pop off acting like a mad man when someone started sh!t with him or just pull heat and spray, but how he turned what he was doing into thinking about his actions, the same damn thing were taught from the start? Stop talking hard sh!t, yea hes one of the top rated artists, but none of you even know why... come on now

r3demption

t.i is the realist of the realist!!!
lyrically an potentially this is the king of tha south..
tell T.I.P

stacy

wat it is dis ya boy bl00d-m0n3y 4 all yall girls out der call dis # **********

bl00d-m0n3y

t.i you are the king in hip-hop game...

general de 5-xtrelas

t.i. is the best their is and on that paper trail album he killed that WHATS UP WHATS HAAPIN on his album and thats dead shawty lo cant come back with nothing this beef is done and he dont have nothing to say about that cuz t.i. diz him so hard

YOU BETTA KNOW THAT WHO EVER LIKE SHAWTY LO AND THINK THAT HE IS RAW AND THINK THAT HE CAN WIN THE WAR WITH T.I. THATS DEAD

mz.t.i. AND YOU BETTA KNOW THAT !!!!!!!!!

My favorite from him is still Trap Muzik, but this album bangs! Tip always delivers. No Matter What, What's up What's Haapnin, and Ready for Whatever I can listen to all day everyday.

tmuzik

i liking whatever i like u ar te best man alive

laban

T.I is definitely the KING..paper trail is dope..go get ur copy..plus he's a fineboy

Syn

I've been listening to this all weekend *yet again*.

/site_media/uploads/images/users/countessian/n669480319_1120716_1209.jpg rachel juarez-carr

i been lovin him and wen he came out wit dis cd it blew my mind away...i love ti to death

miss redbone

dis album is da best.av got sum wacked nigaz talkin bout weezy,pls weezv should go bury his face in the mud cos he's nowhere near da KING OF THE SOUTH!!!

lil floweyy

hi ,i think that this album is nice and i wish for him to continue like this that is cool and i love him so much

nirere nadine

oh wow its so boring

delorise

wat itz iz pimp lord crazy but anyway T.I.did his thang in dz mufukn album so ya'll need to go cop dat 5hit real talk shawty

loud pack shawty

man this album is the best; I lyke all the song.

Tae

T I-I LOVE YOU SO MUCH HOMIE I BACK YOU FOR EVERYTHING YOUR DOING FOR YOUR SELF FOR YOUR FUNS FOR THE HATERS AND YOUR FAMILIES GOD BLESS YOU

TYGA TERA

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