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Paper Trail

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Recorded while T.I. was under house arrest on pending gun charges, Paper Trail is split between songs that address two distinct objectives. “No Matter What” and “My Life, Your Entertainment” allow T.I. to speak candidly to his audience about his stress, his mistakes, and his anger as an impending prison sentence looms over him. Just as importantly, “Live Your Life” and “Whatever You Like” are memorable radio spectacles designed to bring the masses on board and keep them there, at least until T.I.’s legal woes subside. While the storming “Swagga Like Us” and the extravagant “What Up, What’s Haapnin’” are the songs that will sell Paper Trail, the album’s heart and soul rest with the tracks on which T.I. bares his soul. On “Ready For Whatever,” he admits his own guilt, and confides: “500,000 every year spent on security / My future was bright but now its getting’ blurry.” Conventional wisdom says that during a crisis pop stars should keep up their guard and make like nothing’s wrong, but Paper Trail is at its most compelling when T.I. is confessing his vulnerability in the face of all that plagues him.

Customer Reviews

T.I.-Paper Trail

With a jail sentence from gun charges on the horizon, the King delivers his newest release, Paper Trail. Returning to writing lyrics on paper, the King hopes to bounce back after the mediocre T.I. Vs. T.I.P. 56 Bars (Intro): Longtime T.I. collaborator DJ Toomp is back to provide Tip with some grimy horns and synths. Its a worthy introduction to the album that has Tip spittin “step up to the guillotine, get decapitated don’t see half you rappers make it”. 3/5 I’m Illy: Chuck Diesel’s horn accompaniment flows, as T.I. is at his most confident and delivers fueled verses, contending with previous tracks for his most angered track. Good track that kind of lacks production wise. 3.5/5 Ready For Whatever: Drumma Boy’s xylophone loop and guitars are nice, as the bass bumps and Tip gets into his gun charges. One of the better tracks on the album, Tip explains his gun charges situation and shows the paranoia he experienced, having seen his good friend, Big Phil pass away a few years ago. He spits “either die or go to jail, that’s a hell of a decision”, which is probably the truest line in the track. 4/5 On Top Of The World: In house producers Nard & B provide a celebratory synth affair, as up and comer B.o.B. handles the feel good hook. Luda drops an excellent guest spot, as both rappers pay homage to their hometown of the A and helping pay for friends tuition. 3/5 Live Your Life: Just Blaze’s sampling of “Dragostea Din Tei” proves smart, as Rihanna croons on the hook and T.I. makes a positive track encouraging people to live their life. It’s the type of crossover track that can have huge success, while T.I. doesn’t spit the best of verses the feel good vibe of the track ultimately makes it work. 3.5/5 Whatever You Like: Jim Jonsin provides T.I. with some chilled club synths, similar in style to Lil’ Wayne’s “Lollipop”, as the King croons to his adoring female fanbase. Typical pop hit that isn’t his best single, but one that was sure to do well on the charts. Serves its purpose and is better than “Lollipop”. 4/5 No Matter What: One of the most personal tracks T.I. has ever made, Danja’s organ fueled, guitar composition works well. T.I. lets everyone know he isn’t gone, as well as spitting “God’ll take you through hell, just to get you to heaven”. 4.5/5 My Life, Your Entertainment: Usher croons on the hook nicely and T.I. speaks on the price of fame, whether good or bad. Its a nice track, it just isn’t great. 3.5/5 Porn Star: With little effects and drum rolls, Tip sweet talks to the ladies, but the track comes up as just decent and cliche. The hook is also a bit corny. 2/5 Swing Ya Rag: Swizzy is back with infectious horns and hard hitting drum patterns, while murderous synths make this club banger catchy. A solid track here that serves its purpose, despite a weak chorus. 3.5/5 What Up, What’s Haapnin: A straight banger here, Tip gets at Shawty Lo and directly aims this at him. Drumma Boy’s sophisticated drum patterns and grand horns makes this the most street track on the album. T.I.’s best bars are “you kissin a** then, you jumpin back now? I check ya a** then, shut ya a** down!” as well as “I ain’t mention yo name, that’s what all this ‘bout?”, regarding his beef with Shawty Lo. 4.5/5 Every Chance I Get: String synth beat, T.I. delivers a cocky hook and confident bars. T.I. basically brags about his riches and his achievements. Solid track. 3/5 Swagga Like Us: Kanye’s alienated synths and military marching snares, along with a “Paper Planes” sample, provides a unique and cunning beat. Ye and Weezy drop autotuned verses that are hated or loved, while Jay has a decent verse, however its T.I.’s natural swagger and confidence that fits best, as he has the best verse of all. 3.5/5 Slide Show: John Legend croons well with the piano and string composition, while T.I. reflects on his past and gives advice on the difficulties in life. The track isn’t bad, but it just doesn’t mix as well and a bit too pop for T.I.’s liking. 3/5 You Ain’t Missin’ Nothin: A track dedicated to all those locked up, as bare bass, jazzy horns and smooth acoustic strings allow T.I. to explain his friends and family that were locked up. He even relates to them with “probably thinkin easy for me to say from here in the booth, but they showed ya they put me in there with you”. 3.5/5 Dead And Gone: Returning the favor from “My Love” success, Justin Timberlake croons on the hook over a Timbaland sounding production that is actually by Timberlake. This is pop crossover at its fullest and features T.I.’s fast rap style that also has some good substance lyrically. T.I. reflects on his life and says how the “old me is dead and gone”, fitting end. 4/5 While it isn’t T.I.’s best album to date, it definitely is another solid addition. It’s by far T.I.’s most pop oriented album, which may disappoint fans looking for the street tracks. Production is overall pretty good and T.I. provides more positive music, listenable for crossover ears. “What Up, What’s Haapnin” is the true banger for the streets that pretty much destroys Shawty Lo, who recently said the beef is done. Pop moments like “Whatever You Like”, “Live Your Life”, “Slide Show”, “Dead And Gone” and “My Life, Your Entertainment” are all likeable tracks that will appeal well to the mainstream. Its the paranoia filled “Ready For Whatever” and its dope production, as well as the angered “I’m Illy” and “56 Bars” that make the album, not a complete sell to mainstream. Infectious “Swing Ya Rag” and Luda’s guest appearance on “On Top Of The World” are likeable moments, while the sentimental “You Ain’t Missin Nothin” work well. Could have benefited from more street tracks, but if King was his best balance between street and smooth, Trap Muzik was his best at street, then this is Tip at his best smooth with a few bangers as well. Rating: 8.5 out of 10

Paper Trail

Awesome album. Absolutely CRUSHES lil waynes the carter 3

KING back with his 3rd straight #1 album

He dominated 06, 07 & he's back again to dominate 2008. T.I. had alot happen to him between 07's T.I Vs T.I.P & this years highly anticipated Paper Trail. Nonetheless he overcomes adversity & composes another bangin album for his fans to rock to while he was under house arrest. The album mostly contains songs with a positive message behind it, of course the ladies, swagger & club tracks. Here's how TIP performed: 1. 56 Bars (Intro) 5/5 2. I'm Illy 5/5 a banger here, T.I. goes hard.(dissin Shawty cLOwn) 3. Ready for Whatever 5/5 if u listen to a song for its lyricism & message, then you'll like this one. 4. On Top of the world ft. Ludacris & B.o.B. 5/5 all guest spot are on point here, Luda rips his verse & the hook is nice as well. 5. Live Your Life ft. Rihanna 5/5 adding Rih Rih to this song makes it a hotter track than it would be without her.This also has a message behind it. 6. Whatever You Like 5/5 another banger from da king,the albums 2nd single directed towards the ladies that want to be flourished with all life's luxuries. 7. No Matter What 5/5 the albums 1st single & some of the best lyricism I've heard from a new school rapper this millenium. 8. My Life, Your Entertainment ft. Usher 5/5 T.I & Usrsher work well together her & this has potential to be a single. 9. Porn Star 4/5 this is a decent song. 10. Swing Ya Rag ft.Swizz Beatz 5/5 a nice song for the clubs, that has a catchy hook & Swizzy always deliver a banging beat. 11. What Up, What's Haapnin'5/5 this record was directed towards Shawty Lo & T.I.P dismisses him with ease & shows why he da King. 12. Every Chance I Get 5/5 T.I brings alotta heat on this track. 13. Swagga Like Us ft.Jay-Z, Kanye West & Lil Wayne 3.5/5 this is one of the album's bangers but Lil Wayne wasn't need at all cuz everyone else ripped it. 14. Slide Show ft. John Legend 5/5 a real positive track & John legend on the hook is jus the right guest spot, real nice. 15. You Ain't Missin' Nothin 5/5 the albums best overall track, where T.I raps from the heart & the message is powerful.(reminds me of Live in The Sky) 16. Dead and Gone ft. Justin Timberlake 5/5 T.I & JT always work well together & this is no different, wouldn't be surprised if this was released as a single in 2009. Only when rappers put effort & heart into their music then they can deliver good music their fans can appreciate. T.I. fans won't be disappointed here, he done did it again folks. 4 1/2 stars but since that's not available then it gets a 5 cuz he da KING The best tracks are: No Matter What, Whatever you Like(#1 hit single), slide show, Swing ya rag, Dead and Gone & you ain't missin nothin.


Born: September 25, 1980 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Once dubbed "the Jay-Z of the South" by Pharrell Williams, T.I. gradually came into his own and established himself as one of rap's most successful MCs during the early 2000s. Like Jay-Z, T.I. -- born Clifford Harris in Atlanta, Georgia -- carried a balance of smoothness and toughness, and although 2001's I'm Serious didn't shoot him out of the gate à la Reasonable Doubt, he consistently grew and launched a string of major hits with 2003's "24's." Throughout the six following years, T.I. maintained...
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Paper Trail, T.I.
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  • $10.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Dirty South, Gangsta Rap
  • Released: Sep 08, 2008
  • Clean

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