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T.I- T.I. vs T.I.P.

T.I- T.I. vs T.I.P.

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Genre: Rap
Release Date: 07/03/2007

T.I. has been playing with the split-personality concept for years, most notably on 2003's "T.I. vs T.I.P.," where the only strict differences were laid out like this: T.I.P.'s women sell weed and have gold teeth, while T.I.'s women have jobs and good credit, and T.I.P. is neither as paid nor as laid-back as T.I. Four years on, after getting real paid (King was the most successful rap album of 2006), the MC constructs an entire album around the penthouse and pavement concept, dividing the program into three acts: T.I.P. (seven tracks), T.I. (seven tracks), and T.I. vs T.I.P. (four tracks). This is also signified in the album's outer sleeve and booklet photos. Roughneck T.I. scowls from a beat-down stoop, gripping a wad of cash; dapper T.I.P. kicks back in a plush den, holding a shot glass. T.I.P. tends to scowl through his rhymes, while you can picture a heavy-lidded T.I. in the vocal booth. Otherwise, the concept is only somewhat perceptible through the sequence of songs, and it's the only way of positioning the album as something beyond just another T.I. release. After the sustained greatness through Trap Muzik, Urban Legend, and King, a fall-off of some degree had to be expected -- especially after reaching the top after a steady climb -- and that's exactly what happens. Though he undeniably remains one of the top MCs, T.I. tends to either reheat familiar material with less fire or tread dangerously close to unrelatable Kingdom Come-like "Look at who's obnoxiously shedding his underdog status!" routines (as on "My Swag"). The productions similarly do not match up to past successes, and even some of obvious choices for singles fall short of past tracks that were never thought to be released as singles. The album is generally enjoyable, and it's doubtful T.I. has to worry about being dethroned within the near future.

~Andy Kellman, All Music Guide
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Last Updated: 17 Dec 2007 19:13:31 PST home  |  about  |  terms  |  contact
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