I’m a Tip fan. Been rollin’ with the King since I’m Serious, but unlike most of my favorite rappers, it’s not because of his skills as a writer, it moreso has to do with everything else that surrounds the art of being a dope MC.
For a long time the argument against T.I. has always been, dude can rap, but he never delivers any memorable lines. Problem with that argument is that Tip isn’t a punchline rapper, he’s a songwriter, and a great one at that. The King has hits, plenty of them; songs the girlies like, songs the thugs like, songs white people like, songs that even mothers like. He has a great ear for beats, he knows how to craft catchy, infectious hooks and you can’t fuck with the flow. On top of that, Tip makes some ill albums, (and arguably has a few classics under his belt). This new one, No Mercy, is also surprisingly, pretty dope, despite all the problems leading up to its release.
But in the long run, are all those characteristics enough to put T.I.’s name up there with the greats? Sure he might not deliver any quotables, but in the same respect, he doesn’t exactly have any wack lines, either.
What do ya’ll think? —Jesse Gissen