T.I. – Paper Trail – review

t.i. paper trail
Artist: T.I.
Title: Paper Trail
Label: Atlantic
Rating: 7.5/10

Corporate line:
T.I. has grown to truly be one of his generation’s most captivating speakers. Whether he’s conversing frankly with a room full of youth about the positive side of staying in school and following their dreams, or moving tens of thousands at one of his concerts, the audiences are immediately engrossed by the King of the South’s words. T.I., here delivers his most potent and important LP to date; “Paper Trail.” The title is a direct reference to T.I.’s return to literally writing down his lyrics- a practice he hasn’t engaged in since his debut. By going back to the basics T.I. has evolved into a better MC. The album features guest appearances and production by Lil Wayne. Rihanna, Usher, The Dream, Fall Out Boy, Kanye West, B.O.B, John Legend, DJ Toomp, Swizz Beatz, Drumma Boy, & Danja.

The good:

“I’m Illy” – When T.I. burns he’s hot as an inferno. This is the way we’d like him all the time.

“Whatever You Like” – It’s made for radio–it doesn’t matter when its good.

“Ready For Whatever” – “Can’t afford the price of fame/ ’cause it cost to much.” Perhaps T.I. finally realizes that being a hip-hop artist puts a big target on your back and he was hit in the bullseye. The best songs are written when depressed, under stress or in some sort of pain. And T.I. has some serious worries with jail on the horizon.

“On Top of the World” f/Ludacris – T.I. and Ludacris are hot duo. Ludacris hasn’t sounded this fresh in awhile.

“No Matter What” – A different flavor keeps the album fresh. Good to see T.I. mixing it up and doing it in a way that shows his multiple skills.

“Swing Ya Rag” – T.I. again has some new flavor thanks to Swizz Beatz. Then again its got some serious southern fried hip-hop and you know that’s all T.I.

“Swagga Like Us f/Jay-Z, Kanye West and Lil’ Wayne – An all-star party. The digital vocals are the only thing that keeps the song down.

The rest:

“Live Your Life” f/Rihanna – T.I. never gets off the ground and Rihanna does what she can with what she’s given–which isn’t much. Please someone stop with the digital effects to vocals–its beyond cliche at this point.

“My Life Your Entertainment” f/Usher

The terrible:
“Porn Star” – T.I. couldn’t have believed this was a good song–he probably fell in love with the title and just couldn’t let it go.

Finally:
T.I. has outdone himself. “Paper Trail” is his best release to date. The good news is T.I. shows that he can get better.

Watch the video for “Whatever You Like”

Watch the video for “No Matter What”

11 thoughts on “T.I. – Paper Trail – review”

  1. I would have to disagree with the reviewer, I have listened to the entire Paper Trail album and it only has about 3 or 4 good singles, the rest sucks. If your deciding between purchasing T.I. album or Lil Wayne go with Waynes because T.I. album is a waist of money.

  2. maybe you should begin by spelling waste properly before you say that most of paper trail “sucks”

    honestly, every song on this album is fire..except for maybe porn star.

    The KING is back folks!
    T.I just took the crown away from Lil Wayne…

  3. I completely agree with reviewer.. I think this album is a lot deeper than his last couple’a albums.. still gettin thru it at the moment but I’m enjoying just about every song!

  4. The reviewer is right. In my own words T.I stepped back to the throne especially with this album. It’s fire and of course there are going to be haters but let em hate. Just goes to show you T.I is ever popular NO Matter What. Lil wayne is cool but T.I has him on this. The Kings Back

  5. How does Wayne get brought into every hip hop discussion? He is on the cd and has by far the worst verse on the song, and for some reason people still talk about him. For what its worth the cd is fire, I agree that porn star isnt very good and seems out of place.

  6. I have every T.I. cd that has came out and I have liked every one of them. I do think this is his best yet. The only song that I like but am not crazy about is Porn Star. I think he wanted to have another song veered toward the ladies other than whatever you like and its ok but not great. But I have had this cd since the middle of september and I am still listening to it. I love it!!

  7. I have never bought any of T.I.’s music, but have found myself increasingly enamored with his persona. For that reason I bought Paper Trail and think that this is a great offering to the canons of contemporary hip-hop! I am not a big hip-hop head, but this one has my head bobbin’ (good choices in collaborations) and it actually makes me use my head too with his cunning linguistics. Lastly, as a lady I have to say that Porn Star speaks to my not-so-ladylike side, so I am going against everyone else and giving it my vote!!

  8. This cd is truly amazing. I was definitely not crazy about the last album T.I. put out, T.I. vs. T.I.P. That’s what I was kind of hesitant to get this one, but I am SO happy I did. It is really an incredible album. My personal favorite is the track with Justin Timberlake, Dead and Gone. It’s really a great song. Wow, I love Paper Trail.

  9. Surely anyone with a negative remark is not aware of true creative prowess and doesn’t recognize versatility nor can they understand diversity in its rarest form. This album is a form of address to the issues faced in a time of pending trouble and blatant adversity. And well done at that.
    Hate it or Love it don’t straddle the fence.
    “Death to all hataz.”
    “Long live the KINGS.” ALL OF THEM.
    R.I.P. PIMP CHAD

  10. A BIG eye opener lyrically T.I. stepped his game 10 fold on this ONE!! Hot Tracks, Hot Beats, and most importantly to me HOT LYRICS… his story tellin, word play, and raw emotion is gonnna make this album a classic
    Carter 3 was good but this album is GREAT!!