T.I. Can Still Rhyme

A lot of tracks from Detox are recently leaking with T.I. either ghostwriting and referencing or hired just to reference (which I fail to believe he is just referencing because other artists such as Game, Xzibit, or Bishop Lamont sound more like Dre and would serve as a better reference artist). So it came to my attention that if T.I. is capable of songs like this?

The obvious answer is to sell records but when TIP first came in the game with I’m Serious or even Trap Muzik he was hard body and everyone loved it(or over a million people loved it). But his last LP played like that of Curtis with all this Pop music. Is this what the music industry became; a place where crossover records; by way of lost of artistic integrity, and hardcore fans is the only way to sell millions. Wayne definitely thought so. Here I though T.I. fell off, lost a step ran out of rhymes or whatever have you; but NO he just wants to push units like he supposedly did coke. I don’t know whether to be excited one of my favorite rappers still can rhyme with the elite or upset that he’s selling out for sake of the possibility of selling a couple thousand more records.

This is the problem with Hip Hop now, too many artists want to sell records but few want to make actual good music. This causes more die hard real Hip Hop fans to go underground like Master Splinter. Slaughterhouse, Drake, Jay Electroncia, Mickey Factz, Blu, and Evidence, have become my G-Unit, Lil Wayne, Jay Z, Common, Snoop, and T.I. I have no problem with these new leaders of the new school, but what happens when they make it big time, which I pray doesn’t happen because then I will again have to look for a new group of starving artists.

If T.I. is any indication of what the mainstream superstar psychy is then this game is all fucked up. Pop, Rock, and Jazz artists rarely ever try just to sell records. Most of the time Rock Albums only come out once every other year or may even take longer because they want to make sure they put out the best product possible. Maybe that is the reason so many of the groups from the 70′s and 80′s are still relevant… Maybe it isn’t the fault of the Hip Hop “artists” maybe the blame should be placed on the record companies for making the bottom line the dollar or the producers for crafting songs where 30% of what they get AFTER the Label, has to go to the Sampled artists. Who knows… But what I do know that if T.I. and other artists bring that real shit more they might get my attention again.-Bonga

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  • amar

    if paper trail hadn’t had a single commercial hit (ok maybe one, the rihanna one) but still had the exact same songs, it’d be hailed as a classic or at least a really really good album, because it is.

    However, once people hear the same shit over and over on the radio (ie the anti-underground), they become biased and start calling the album too poppy or not lyrical, which is bullshit.

    Paper trail is a wicked album and when it came out, everyone knew that. Now i wouldn’t be surprised if, like u, ppl start claiming that it’s a poppy commercial album and sucks because of it.

    Commercial? definitely. Bad/not lyrical/what’s wrong with the game? not at all. Of course trap music was better though, but this is my second favorite tip album!

    • OG Matt Herbz

      I gave Paper Trail another go just 2 days ago in the truck. It still is a pretty good listen, and if niggaz were still buying CDs these days, I’d tell ‘em to go cop that shit. You’re right, though, too many singles and it appears as if the album is just fodder for radio play and album sales–having no content.

      And don’t blame T.I. for nothing–he’ll be cashing in big time for ghostwriting Dre’s lyrics, beliedat.

      –OG Matt Herbz–

  • yoprince

    no one cares about your attention. hit records are hit records for a reason. they’re better.

    Trap Muzik >> I’m Serious.. why? better records!

    I also like that earlier era TIP better than this era T.I. in general, but you can’t dismiss Paper Trail as “falling off” just b/c of your personal connection with the younger TIP. It’s still a great album.

    Paper Trail >> T.I. vs. T.I.P.. why? better records!

    Trap Muzik >> Paper Trail.. why? b/c it’s the TIP we knew and liked first.

    it amazes me how ppl refer to reaching a larger audience as “falling off”

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$

      This is a business. Artists go where the money is, plain & simple. Especially when they’re @ a point in their careers where there’s nothing left to prove. Tip’s proven he can sell records. He’s proven (more or less) that he’s knows “what’s up” & /or “what’s hapnin”. Literally, the only direction he can move in with his music is forward. His current life situation kind of makes it hard for him to stay in the “trap or die” lane. He’s basically being forced to grow up & mature.

      But on a general level, an artists needs will always come before those of “fans”. For whatever reason, there isn’t a lot of loyalty to a fanbase in hip hop nowadays. Blame the labels, the industry or in some cases, the artist themselves. What we call pop/crossover, they call revenue, & an opinion doesnt mean shit when bills are due.

      Crossover songs are nothing new, it’s just the way our generation looks at it. Run DMC didn’t get dismissed for “Walk This Way”, they got praise. Hip hop is so fickle that we want to pidgeonhold a dude, then criticize him for appealing to a broader base. What “fan” doesn’t want to see their favorite artist get the recognition he/she deserves?

      TI’s decent to me. But, I’m a fan of music more than any particular artist, so I guess I could give a fuck either way, but I understand.

    • Yayza

      “no one cares about your attention. hit records are hit records for a reason. they’re better.”

      *rolls up newspaper and begins to hit yoprince over the head with it*

      No. Just, no…

      • yoprince

        lol ok i OD’d a little bit.. b/c it’s true some songs become hits out of pure stupidity..

        but we’re talking about T.I. and I’m saying in his case his hits are well-constructed songs with mass appeal. you can’t just label it automatically as trash b/c of that. Live Ya Life is a great song. so is Whatever you Like. so is Still Ain’t Forgave Myself, 24′s, Rubberband Man. I like the latter better, but I can’t discredit the first two.

  • Curtis75Black

    What is this Blogger trying to say ? Once a emcee lounges out and give a more subtle smoother perspective, He’s lost it ? This is the major reason why I stop debating so called fans because they forget it’s about the music, fuck the image he’s pushing. If the song is clearly spit and he’s on beat and actually saying something that makes sense, what’s the problem ?

    Artistic intergrity is lost when you stay the same because you’re afraid to fail or better yet dissapoint your “fans”. A Hardcore emcee is just the starting point. If you come the 2nd time smooth, jazz it up, Rock it up, R&B it up and it’s still crazy, there shouldn’t be any complaints.

    All these Hardcore emcee’s still spittin’ about their crack selling endeavors 10 to 12 years in the game is the peeps you should critique.

    • Dub Sac

      All these Hardcore emcee’s still spittin’ about their crack selling endeavors 10 to 12 years in the game is the peeps you should critique.

      except for Ghostface and G Rap, i totally agree…

  • Pierzy

    Who said T.I. couldn’t rhyme? His flow is sick and his subject matter can be deep too.

    The Crooked I song that I heard from Dre’s perspective was ridiculous too.

  • romil

    I have to disagree, T.I. hasn’t changed much. If you Really listen to Paper Trail the album is deeper than a commercial sellout album. T.I. serves the streets with trax like, Im Illy, 50 bars, You aint missing nothing, What up whats happenin,No matter what, and My favorite READY FOR WHATEVER!! Top singles live your life, and dead and gone. Now Dead and Gone is as real as it gets being a commercial success. He kept it real and spoke on what most fake azz rappers will never do. Give up the thug life to be a standard for kids to live by. T.I. also has 3 club Bangers, Swing ya rag, Swagger like us, and whatever you like.

    How did he sell out. only 3 club songs, 3 motivational songs and the rest STREET. Whoever made this blog up doesnt make no sense at all. T.I. was smart with this one, the dude has lost money and about to serve a year down. This album helped him out, he knew he needed commercial success but yet stuck to his roots. Go do your homework before you type up some bullish!!!! This album is no way like Curtis, it will be remembered years down the road.

    • Yayza

      Just because a record is “for the street”, doesn’t make the artist more legitimate. You could just as easily say he’s pandering to the street the same way Whatever You Like panders to the club. Same shit, different wrapping paper. Most of the records you listed as “street” were pretty bad songs that I skipped over through my listens of Paper Trail. I’ve noticed more artists making fake ass street records than ones making crossover or club ones lately. Bullshit is bullshit, no matter the flavour.

      • romil

        You might consider a street track something different from what I consider it. Street to me is just regular ordinary, non radio, non club heart felt lyrics. Street = The people. Muzik made for the real listeners not the promoters. It doesnt have to be about violence. I’ve studied this game along time. And I say T.I. has a chance to hit the Top 10, due to his hard work ethic, time and consistency. Most of those old skool rappers came and went. Didnt really put in a good 10 year history.

        #10 50-cent has a chance, T.I. has a chance, Lil Wayne, Luda, UGK, Common, Three 6 Mafia, Ghostface, Any artist thats consistent. And this choice is reallly up to the people I beleive if it came down to it it would be Wayne, or T.I. next to 50 & Kanye But right now as an artist that has more popularity we all know T.I. or Wayne would get it.

  • romil

    Oh yeah me being a father and having kids, Im glad T.I. has made trax I can hand 2 my son and say listen to what this man has to say. Paper Trail is a classic by all means. Because even the commercial radio songs like Live your life have deep meaning to them instead of him rapping about, shake ur azz, and spend cash. When the 1st single No matter what dropped I knew T.I. was on a mission with this album and he accomplished it. This dude cant rap about being in the Trap when he has a family and kids who listen to him dying in the streetz. XXL is falling off whoever wrote this bullsht should be fired.

  • romil

    Oh yeah, also I never thought T.I. could be considered to the top 10 of all time list. But after this album everyone knows he deserves that title. Best rapper alive right now is T.I. besides Jay -Z & Nas. But T.I. lives what he says he goes through controversy and lives it in his music. No rapper has been realer since Tupac. real talk… He deserved that Grammy as well. Carter 3 was good but subject matter paper trail is better. One sounds better, the other has better meaning. Wait till the next album drop with the Dr. Dre produced trax on it.

    • Silky Johnson

      Yo all of you fools saying T.I. is top 5 dead or alive need to step back…because you got it twisted.
      The general consensus on Top 10 DoA is in no particular order:
      1. Jay-Z
      2. Nas
      3. Biggie
      4. Pac
      5. Big Pun
      6. Andre 3000/OutKast
      7. Rakim
      8. Big L
      9. Eminem
      10. Ten is debated on, some people say Slick Rick, others say Kanye *pre 808′s and him going insanity…*, some say Common, or Ice Cube, or even Talib Kweli.

      But I digress *props Matt Herbz* are you honestly telling me T.I. is better then any of those people? I liked Trap Muzik a lot…but it does not compare to Illmatic, or Aquemini, or Marshall Mathers LP, or shit even Reflection Eternal or anything of that sort.

      People say T.I. is good because there is lack of honest comparison. Who else is rapping at the level of T.I. about the same subject matter, Jeezy? When your only competition is Jeezy, Shawty Lo, or Gucci Mane or whoever, naturally you look good by comparison. Now don’t get it twisted, T.I. is good and all…but he’s far overrated and worries too much about commercial sales.

      P.S Theater of the Mind > Paper Trail

      • romil

        Big Pun, Big L ?? Both great artist amazing in what they did as M.C’s but. They couldnt get that 10 because the amount of work they put out was only 2 albums. Then you have to decide if they were classics, Capital Punishment was close. Rappers like Jay, Pac, Nas, even LL, put in alot of work they kept their names hot for 10 years and over. Thats why I say T.I. 2000, he came in 2009 still releveant 3X platinum artist thats not an easy task. Jeezy has more work to do he only been in the game 3 albums deep. How can you compare T.I. with Shawty Lo ?? seriously or a gucci Maine, TI can appeal to EVERY fan base. PERiod.

      • yoprince

        Big Pun? Big L? consensus? nah, homie..

  • http://xxl ryan

    T.I. best albums were trap muzik n urban legend after those 2 CDs he wanted to appeal to a bigger audience to sell records. dats exactly when he lost me as a fan. when artist start to change who they were when they started they lose their original fans. dats y jay-z has the same fan base from when he started.

  • http://www.incilin.blogspot.com Incilin

    We need to stop dissing artists like this. The reason why do what they do is because for all the analysis guys like us on this blog can create, we don’t but records. Its a fact. TI’s selling out because WE don’t support good music. If he made another I’m sersious, ne wouldn’t sell shit. Say what you will about the Live Your Life crowd – though I like that song – at least they pay for music they like (shitty it may be).

    Rappers sell out because there simply isn’t enough people who want to support the music they really want to do.

  • Oneofthemyo’s

    The nigga who wrote this shit just took an L. If u dont like the songs then nigga say so, there’s basically 2 songs on their on some B.S. and thats cause they for women so niggas prolly aint gonna like em.

    Everyother song is either street,club,or inspirational! When u come out with a pop smash and the shyt still gotta message u cool with me.

    And worse of all he just compared this shyt 2 curtis????????? nigga go do what ice-t told soulja boy

  • $ykotic

    No matter how neatly placed or organized, what is in a trash can is considered trash.

    Be the best at what you do, stay humble and focused, strive for perfection and you will reap the awards of your labor.

    Any artist is a fool for not wanting to expand their horizons. If you don’t try then how will you know if you can succeed?

    Like for real, what would you wanna be, a local yokel rapper, or an international mc?

    At least sell to the downloaders who have a credit card on file.

    Because you can have a shelf life in the stores, or a shelf life @ the label.

    • http://tonygrands.blogspot.com tony grand$


  • Curtis75Black

    A Sellout in my eyes is someone who str8 up abandons their Hip Hop roots for finacially gain. Turns their back on the very people that supported them.

    A Rapper who “Falls off” is someone who can’t get a deal to save his life and even if they do, the music won’t be pushed. It’s someone who hasn’t put out music for the fans in 5 to 10 years. Now I know there’s plenty of emcee’s we “love” who fits that category, so If I haven’t heard at least a verse from you here and there – Sorry, you can always make a comeback. It’s also someone who hasn’t grown with the years. They stay a certain way because “keeping it Real” is right thing to do, so their music becomes a script.

    Now if you’re the type to judge a rapper off their singles, you wasn’t interested in the first place, so it’s easier to dismiss. And to the Nas – Jay-Z era of fans, Hip Hop has always been for the clubs cause we was dancing and Hip Hop has always been for the females if you’re not gay !! Don’t let mainstream media dictate how you feel about your artists and their music.

  • Master Cheef

    T.I.P. embodies what it means to be hip hop.
    One of the absolute best doin it. And, that’s the bottom line.

  • the legend

    t.i. is decent but nothing compared ot the mcs of the 90s and im a 16 year old people saying he is top 10 are dum also he is not the realest since tupac dumass romil u sound smart but i think ur biased to him and t.i. has progressively released worse albums he did sellout as his music has decreased in terms of quality

  • Ali

    I agree with the starvin artist part…..but I dont think TI fits into that category…..50 & Wayne do, but not TI…..i actually thot paper trail was his best album becuz the insight and truthfulness…..he aint sellin shit no more so he dont speak about it….he talks about movin on, turnin his life around, i like it….some songs got played out quick but its a good album he didnt sell out….yet lol i hope he doesnt but it seems every1 does nowadays

  • matty21

    I don’t think T.I. didn’t come with dat REAL shit on Paper Trail…He can’t help but keep it real in my opinion, but artists can’t help but conciously or subconciously want to make music that is going to be played on the radio and/or is poppy, so sometimes it just comes out like dat because deep down dey do wanna be on da radio….sht, it’s wher da moneys at too lol…but u also gota remember, in t.i.’s case: he was on house arrest for part and was living a completely different life and it completely changed his music…dat in my opinion is keeping it real, his life changed and it came out in his music…dats shows he is OBVIOUSLY making music based on his life and feelings

  • Deuce53

    i think u guys are missin the overall concept of wat he did on Paper Trail, and i actualy dint realize it til recently, but even the layout of his tracks told the story of how everything happened with him from 56 bars to dead and gone, it went from street shit (made prolly after his homie’s death, or after he got caught up) to that celebration/inspirational shit (prolly after the trial, and during it) and then the somber shit at the end as it got his lil countdown or watever to lock up, i cant front on the dude’s genius, it told a story, and i cant hate on puttin his experiences and feelings on wax, thats wats real about hip hop…however, i do feel he was pressured to be a verbal PSA due to his trial and image rebuilding wat with the MTV show and all, so im hopin that he come back to do that real shit again as well ya diiig? im gone, peace

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