Release Date: Dec 18, 2012
Record label: Atlantic
Atlanta rapper T.I. was in jail for a parole violation when his last album, 2010's No Mercy, was released. But now he's a free, and unrepentantly swag, man: "Bankroll on loco/Still ride with that .44/Don't let my P.O. know," he boasts in his infectious drawl on the crisply stomping "Go Get It." Incorporating everything from sex rap with R.
T.I. :: Trouble Man: Heavy Is the HeadGrand Hustle/Atlantic RecordsAuthor: Emanuel WallaceThe 1972 blaxploitation film, Trouble Man was the story of a private detective that simply went by the name of T. He also does what he can to help people in the neighborhood...but never for free. Eventually he is framed for the murder of a local crime boss' man, setting off a city-wide war.
An unexpected leader figure to the younger generation, Wiz Khalifa’s perseverance has paid off with his Taylor Gang brand becoming grand in scale after years of industry setbacks. His ongoing ascent has taken on wings from the mixtape circuit to the business acquisition of reignited Southern icon Juicy J, enabling him to put on for Pittsburgh as both an artist and potential mogul. With a growing number of reasons to stick out his often exposed and underdeveloped chest, O.N.I.F.C.
Despite his family man imagery and relative crossover success, T.I.'s image is still linked to his nefarious come-up. This is due in part to a recent jail stint, but also to the fact that for all the (excellent) Justin Timberlake collabs and movie cameos, he remains a fiercely compelling rapper. Hollywood, you can have Common, but don't take T.I. Trouble Man is his eighth record and first since being released from jail in mid-2011.
It’s been an odd if not incredibly taxing six years for Clifford Harris since he released King and laid claim to the throne room of both pop and street rap. T.I. vs. T.I.P. followed just a year later and revealed that T.I.‘s inner conflict between those two personas may have been threatening to ….
Inspired by Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man soundtrack, sampled during the intro, T.I.'s eighth album is almost as pieced together as 2010's No Mercy -- a quality somewhat smoothened by a handful of dramatic street-scene skits. No producer handles more than three tracks, and there's another extensive list of featured artists: Meek Mill, ASAP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, R. Kelly, P!nk, Cee Lo Green, and even Akon, who makes for a poor stand-in for Elton John and spoils one of the album's many meditative tracks.
Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head’s title alludes to T. I. ’s long history of legal transgressions, which begins when the Atlanta native was a teen in the late ‘90s and ends (for now, anyway) with a 2010 drug charge that led to an 11-month sentence.
The 13th song on T.I.'s awkwardly-titled new album Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head is called "Hello". This, in and of itself, is not noteworthy event: many rappers have made a song with that title. But T.I. has now made two: a completely different and altogether better song named "Hello" appeared on his world-conquering 2006 album King.
Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head starts promisingly enough. “The Introduction” is classic T.I.: the oil-slick sneer, the hiccoughing “Rubber Band Man” vocal tic, and a slick beat by DJ Toomp, the maestro behind the hit “What You Know.” But the problems begin on the very next track: “G Season” is a perfectly serviceable gangsta strut that suffers from the anonymity of T.I.‘s verses (“Getting blown like a blunt” is a particular lowlight), especially in comparison with the squalling electricity Meek Mill brings to his cameo. Over the course of Trouble Man, T.I.
Two winters ago, T.I. went away on a parole violation. His parting gift: No Mercy, an overstaffed slog that wasted Kanye West and Scarface in the first 10 minutes alone. Post-incarceration “atonement” Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head is unlikely to reimburse those misspent millions. In his not-so ….
More than a year removed from his latest prison release, T.I. cooks up Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head, a superlative album that finds Tip back in his comfort zone, no longer defensive or overly remorseful of his past troubles. On his stellar LP Paper Trail and the underwhelming follow-up No Mercy, traces of deep regret were rightfully present yet so were several hints of T.I.’s sense of need to defend his character.