Review Summary: “Tote gats/Dro smoke that/Now I’m high/Seats way back in the Maybach I ride/Through da streets of da west side/I slap five/And throw dubs/Show love, nigga hate or be wise.”
Quite possibly the inventor of watered-down trap rap, T.I had the ability – in the beginnings of his career – to combine catchy music with (both figuratively and literally) dope lyrics. Although he now has a terrible single choice and just isn’t as good, it’s always fun to reach back into the archives and pull out this one. Trap Muzik
is not only an awesome album, but is completely representative of the newer, – and in the opinions of some – better south.
Of course, if you’re looking for deep lyrics, you’re in the wrong place. He gets no more emotional than any of the handful of stupid, quasi-R&B, for-the-ladies songs that appear on the album do, and doesn’t really get any more socially conscious than when he states (with little-to-no passion) that hoodlums aren’t out raping kids, they’re just trying to make a boatload of money.
Rubber Band Man traditionally resolves to narrating first-person drug lore, confessing to illicit substance addiction, recanting stories of violent crime (both committed and witnessed), and exhibiting egotistical, materialistic bravado stemming from his illustrious monetary, possessive, and sexual exploits. But at least T.I. is aware of the album’s materialistic principles, and confirms it on the chorus of “24’s” by saying “Money, hoes, cars and clothes/That’s all all my niggas know/Blowin’ dro/Twenny-fo’s/That’s how all my niggas roll.
And although his dopeboy lyrics may not be exceptionally clever, they’re delivered with a Napoleon-like aggression and an astronomically swaggering voice and backed by banging instrumentals. The angry, powerful violins and thundering kicks of “24’s” make for one dope track, and the rise-and-fall Casio keyboarding of “Rubber Band Man” is straight up catchy and calls for some serious head bobbing.
Needless to say, this album does have its flaws. My only real complaint would have to be that the album suffers from moderate filler. The soulful “Doin’ My Job” isn’t necessarily T.I.’s forte, and neither are the bad R&B-tinged songs (“Let’s Get Away,” “I Still Luv You,” “Let Me Tell You Something”) which are directed towards the lady listeners.
T.I. should only deviate from his typical instrumental style when he is trap rapping over the brooding funk beat of “King Of Da South” or maybe
when he’s making a decent push for change in the ghetto over a thick, reverberating summer beat on “Be Better Than Me.”
So, if you think you’re ready for the Rubber Band Man, then ditch the backpack, turn off NPR, lace up your Jordans, put on your stunna shades, pop in Trap Muzik
, and crank your stereo all the way up, ‘cause this album traps, stunts, and thumps.