T.I.(then) = Plies(now)
Those Dirty Awards must have been better than what I'm admitting too because I keep using this show as frame of reference for my blogs.
Eventhough the show was hosted in Atlanta, Georgia, it was obvious that Florida was running shit. I kept seeing T-Pain, Rick Ross, DJ Khaled and Plies winning shit. I can't say that it was surprising because really, they pretty much had shit on lock for a good portion of this year.
But what did surprise me was the crowd's (the girls mainly) reaction to Plies everytime he either opened his mouth or was shown on camera. Winning awards and shit is cool, but I like to think that you've officially made it when that whenever you are seen or mentioned, dudes say "I fuck with that nigga" and women say "ooh, that's my baby daddy." Getting complements like that eclipse any award a room of voters can give you.
But anyways, one of the times he went up to the podium to either accept and award or present one, all the girls started going crazy whenever he spoke. Almost as if he was the grilled-out Barry White or something. When he started talking with his loooooong-drawn out drawl he sounded very familiar. Yeah, he sounded like a couple I've seen posted up downtown. Yeah, he sounded like a couple cats I used to hang with. But he sounded like someone else too, someone that I hadn't seen in a while. Then it clicked...he sounds like T.I. from 5 years ago.
Then I took a good look at him [pause like a mah fugga] and saw that damn, Plies kinda looks like T.I. from 4-5 years ago too. Seeing how people react to Plies "real nigga-isms" reminded me of my Senior year in college when I was wondering just why all those freshmen were going goo-goo-ga-ga over T.I. at the time.
This made me dig in my catalog to see if I was actually onto something or if I was overthinking. I like to think it was more of the former. A few of Plies' songs leading up to, and actually appearing on The Real Testament took me back to T.I.'s I'm Serious/In Da Streetz days.
1.) You have the "pussy" songs:
T.I.: "What's Yo' Name"-I'm Serious, 2001
Plies: "Ms.Pretty Pussy"
2.) You have the heartfelt "damn, I be fuckin' up" songs:
T.I: "I Still Ain't Forgave Myself"-I'm Serious, 2001
Plies: "Runnin' My Mama Crazy" The Real Testament, 2007
3.) The "object of my desire" song:
T.I.: "Do It"-I'm Serious, 2001
Plies: "Hypnotized"-The Real Testament, 2007
4.) Even the "I got the last verse on the state-anthem posse cut" song:
T.I: On Bonecrusher's "Neva Scared"
Plies: On DJ Khaled's "I'm So Hood"
There are a few more parallels, but I'll stop with those.
Granted, I don't think personally think that Plies' 36 Ounces and 100% Real Nigga mixtapes were are as dope as T.I. and P$C's In Da Streetz series, but it can't be denied that both had equally strong impacts on their respective fan base/region and led to both of them getting signed to major deals. Plus, much like how T.I.'s I'm Serious album was recieved in 2001, Plies' The Real Testament is getting looked at as one of those "you know what, this guy might not be that bad, I'ma check it out, eventually" type albums.
Then again, like I said, I might be overthinking all of this. I mean, we all know how this music industry is sometimes. Music and images tend to go in a cycle, thus making it possible to for lightning to strike twice.
So who's to say whether its swagger jacking or just pure happenstance. After all, there's nothing new under the sun.