On this day, Dec. 18, in hip-hop history...

2012: Following his release from prison after serving an 11-month sentence for violating probation, Atlanta, GA rapper T.I. dropped his eighth studio album, Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, on Dec. 18, 2012 through his Grand Hustle Records imprint.

When T.I. finished the second of his two back-to-back prison sentences in August of 2011, it seemed as though the Grand Hustle CEO was determined to put the past him. Throughout his career up to that point, T.I.'s lyrical content was often introspective, containing a certain degree of knowledge of self, but between the way he was conducting himself in interviews and on camera through his family-oriented reality show, T.I. & Tiny: The Family Hustle, it was clear that that the "Rubber Band Man" had reached a new level of maturity. The album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head is reflective of that.

The title of the album was inspired by the Marvin Gaye song, "Trouble Man," with T.I. explaining that when Marvin put that song out in 1972, he personified what the term "Trouble Man" meant in society at the time. With all that had been going on in T.I.'s world during this stage in his life, he felt that he also demonstrated all that defined a "Trouble Man."

With production from some of the game's heaviest hitters, like Pharrell Williams, No I.D. and Jazze Pha among others, and guest appearances from an abundance of the biggest names in music, like Andre 3000, P!nk, Lil Wayne and Meek Mill, just to name a few, Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head saw the release of five successful singles. The most critically acclaimed of those singles was "Sorry," which featured a more-than-stellar contribution from Outkast's Andre 3-stacks and peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard Hot Rap Songs chart.

The LP as a whole was met with a ton of positive reviews, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 and finding itself ranked among the best albums of 2012 by many outlets, including XXL. As of September 2013, the 16-track project was certified gold by the RIAA.

With Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, T.I. found an even balance between all of the things that had made him successful to this point, and rolled them all into one very solid project. The self-proclaimed king of the South added soul to his impressive body of work as his mind, musically at least, seemed to be at ease once again.

Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Grand Hustle/Atlantic

See Photos of T.I.'s Different Looks Over the Years

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