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

CD Review: T.I.

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The Deal: The man, who came out proclaiming he's serious, then put some music out for the trap, became an urban legend and was later crowned King of the South, fights internally on fifth album.

The Good: T.I. worked with a diverse group of producers including Wyclef, Just Blaze, Eminem and Mannie Fresh, but people shouldn't sleep on the Runners who produced two of the albums best tracks. "Watch What You Say To Me" featuring Jay-Z is a decent track while "Hurt" (featuring Alfamega and Busta Rhymes) and "Help Is Coming" standout as highlight tracks and possible singles. "Don't You Wanna Be High" sounds like stripped down Pharrell-esque beat and is probably the album's best song.

The Bad: I've loved T.I.'s braggadocios lyricism on his last four albums, but this album struck me as stale. The same ol' flow, the same ol' lyrical content. I don't know if T.I. and Wyclef mesh well together as an artist and producer. ESPN and urban radio has made me hate the song "Big Shit Poppin'" and it doesn't hit nearly as hard as lead singles from King or Urban Legend.

The Verdict: For T.I., this is a disappointing album. When your expectations are high in the streets and with the casual listener, you have to come harder. The T.I. vs. T.I.P. never really develops -- you can't really tell the difference. This album needed some spice and came out bland. On the album's last song T.I. says, "I guess you can't win em all ..." and this one's not a winner.

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