Rating: 7.5 / 10
T.Is latest album, No Mercy,
is his first studio release since his prison release. The album comes at and important period in his career since the ATL trap rapper found himself back behind bars shortly after getting out. T.I worked tirelessly to rebuild
his image through his philanthropy, movies and other efforts. Could this album help his Hip Hop
image flourish too? No Mercy is a solid album through and
through, but fails to shine at times. The album – Tip’s seventh – discusses the sorid truth behind fame the life, trials, and
tribulations that come with it.
No Mercy opens with a bang featuring G.O.O.D Music members, Kanye West and Kid
Cudi, on Welcome to the World. The song enters in with a
flare and gives a penetrating impression powerful and sets the tone for
the entire album. No Mercy features T.I reflecting on the
life that he lived evident of the thankfulness expected as he was
released from prison. The features seem to carry the album forward
– 11 out of the 14 tracks feature other artists which acts as a
double edged sword. While it shows off the in the music, sadly
it leaves much of T.I himself to be desired.
Get Back Up features Chris Brown
and the result is a cool ballad with an appealing melody. The song acts as a translucent
look into T.I and Chris Browns current careers. A standout
track, it is one of the strongest cuts on the album. Thats
All She Wrote, the highly anticipated song featuring Eminem does
not fail to impress easily the premier song on the entire album.
Eminem scorches the production by Dr Luke and outshines T.I s verse.
Poppin Bottles featuring Drake, showcases fantastic production
with good – not great – verses from each artist.
The title track No Mercy
featuring The Dream is reminiscent of Paper Trail and the sonic signature of that album. Remorseful, deep, and
dark this song talks about the life that he lives. While it is
a reach, T.I talks about his future and what is in store for him
even going as far to call himself the second coming of Tupac.
While this will be up for debate for a long time to come, it is evident
that T.I is reflecting on his year long career hiatus. Castle
Walls, the next single for the album, talks about the true theme
of the album. T.I sounds like a lonely king on this album.
Reaching, perhaps in vain, to find someone to understand the troubles he endures. Other solid songs include, Strip, Big Picture
and Lay Me Down
The album does have its share of goose
eggs though, however. Amazing featuring Pharrell is simply under par for these two superstars.
The chorus struggles and the production is lackluster. How
Life Changed is a laidback track that examines the stark difference
in T.Is life. Featuring Scarface, the majority of the song leaves
much to be desired. The song itself works, but its terribly misplaced. Following Welcome to the World, “How Life Changed, leaves the listener in an emotional freefall.
No Mercy is a good album.
While at times it sounds like a compilation album, it delves fearlessly into the
dark side of fame. There are a few stand out tracks
however many of the songs fail to take T.I. the next level he sought as he exited prison over the summer. Introspective and still a comeback of sorts, it remains pretty pathetic that T.I. is not here to come back with it.