David Banner's lazy organ-laced beat is damn hypnotic on the newer "Rubber Band Man" single and it's in good company with some funk from Kanye on "Doin' My Job" and "Let Me Tell You Something." But DJ Toomp -- holy Christ, man. What is it with this guy? Strings, scattered miserable piano keys ... bloody hopeless melodies serving T.I.'s ghetto characterizations well.[more:]
Sweet beats aside, T.I., the subject at hand, constructs what sounds like a web of gangsta imagery with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, he offers a drug-game narrative and the unlawful troubles that coincide with it, but the album is his medium to retract his previous troubles with the law and begin anew. Toward the end of Trap Muzik, in "T.I. vs. T.I.P." and "Be Better Than Me," he glorifies nothing. Instead, he reasons with the record-buying youth about being "better than [him]" by making smarter decisions about life. If only our politicians knew this much about contrition.