There's a telling moment early on Dime Trap, smack dab at the end of the first track: "Was...was that good? For real." In context, it's largely meant as a job to others, but its hesitant tone sounds more like the artist asking his audience: am I still doing this right? Opening his album with more sermon than verse, T.I. is magnetic as ever, but his trademark confidence is, surprisingly, sagely tempered. To call T.I.
For the past year, T.I., Gucci Mane, and spectators have been embroiled in a debate about who invented trap music. Trap has become such a force--in hip-hop, in music, in style--that its creators can credibly say they have helped shape modern culture. T.I. staked his claim to the genre's origins on his 2003 album, Trap Muzik, arguing the proof was there in the title.