Trap Muzik

Artist: T.I.Title: Trap MuzikRating: 3 StarsReviewed by: Yama Caviness

T.I. is the most underrated rapper from Atlanta; everyone in the entire southern region of the U.S. knows how tough he is. It’s hard to understand why he can’t break from the underground to the mainstream with all the southern artists currently getting airplay nationwide. He is now joining the ranks of UGK and Eightball & MJG, who paved the way for southern rap and are living legends but never got the credit and big time money they deserve.

Trap Muzik, T.I.’s second album, is named after the slang term “trappin” (selling drugs) and describes T.I.’s life in Atlanta where he got caught up “in the trap” and survived with 7 felonies on his record. Trap Muzik is his attempt to break into the big time. Those familiar with T.I. will compare this LP to his under-appreciated debut, I’m Serious, which despite its relatively below radar sales is a barometer of Dirty South hood diction that, unfortunately, T.I. himself does not live up to this go around.

The first single, “24’s”, is a catchy, bass driven club hit that describes his pimped out status: ”Money, hoes, cars and clothes/that’s how all my niggas roll/Blowin ‘dro, 24s/that’s how all my niggas roll.” “Be Eazy” is another tight track that showcases T.I.’s flow and grows on the listener to become an album favorite due to the lyrics, slick syncopation and intonation used on each verse. The legends of the south, Eightball & MJG and Bun-B of UGK, are featured on “Bezzel”. TI holds his own when surrounded by the vets; the perfect addition to the underground’s toughest southern artists. Throughout the album, the production from hard hitters such as Jazze Pha, David Banner and Kanye West holds the listener’s attention, but fails to take the album to the sonic level needed for TI to step it up.

Overall, Trap Muzik, is a must have for the true TI fan’s collection, but will be glanced over by the uninitiated. But even on his worst effort, T.I. is lyrically head and shoulders above many of his contemporaries. He puts it best on “I Can’t Quit”: “10 years, an album, and 2 deals/for real, we all know I shoulda sold 2 mil.” True, but as far as the opportunity to catapult himself out of the regional southern rap game and into the mainstream, Trap Muzik falls just short.