T.I. Ranks No.25 on XXL’s First 5 List
Time Span Between First Five Albums: Six Years.
An MC, or any artist for that matter, has a good thing going when fans can’t decide which album is his or hers best. That’s the kind of situation T.I. finds himself in, getting ready to drop his eighth studio album. And he couldn’t have gotten to eight without the first five. From initially making a splash with his debut album, I’m Serious, in 2001, the Atlanta rapper instantly began to show hip-hop fans that he was someone worthy of their ears. That only continued with his 2003 sophomore album, Trap Musik, which featured hit singles like “24’s” and “Rubber Band Man.” His third LP, Urban Legend (2004), brought him mainstream success via the Swizz Beatz-concocted “Bring Em Out,” which sampled Jay-Z’s voice on the hook. By 2006, Tip had did away with the “of the South” in King of the South to proclaim that he’s King. Like rap royalty would, T.I. scored big another monster single, this particular one, the “What You Know” street anthem, produced by frequent collaborator DJ Toomp and the smooth, female-friendly, “Why You Wanna.” Tip’s fifth album out the gate, T.I. vs. T.I.P. (2007) had the ATLien having an identity crisis of sorts, collaborating with the likes of Jay-Z, Wyclef Jean and Eminem.
_________________________With apologies to De La Soul, five is the magic number. It’s usually the amount of albums in a standard record deal, but few MCs ever fulfill their contractual obligations with as much aplomb as they started. Whether an artist peaks early or late, staying consistent over the duration of five albums has proven challenging no matter the era in hip-hop. XXLmag.com decided to rank the best first-five album runs in hip-hop history (First 5). A new act and their ranking will be revealed each day of the week throughout the month of October and the Top 5 will be revealed on November 5th. Get in on the conversation on Twitter using the hashtag #XXLFirst5.