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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

Welcome to the Best Album of 08'

after several encounters with the law, and one finally putting him down for a little bit, all that time he spent on house arrest gave him the inspiration for Paper Trail, an album that every track he wrote on paper. damn, you gotta show respect for that. 56 Bars - this is like the T.I. version of a milli except it wont be very popular, either way nice intro to the album 4/5 Im Illy - the name of this song geeks me out, but he talks some of the realest on this track, even though it wont be very popular you know that he put his heart into this track 4/5 Ready For Whatever - the last single released before the albums debut, great track, excellent production by drumma boy, another real talk track 4/5 On Top of the World - This is basically the T.I. version of good life by kanye west, meaning topic-wise its the same, has a freekin sweet beat, and great lyrics, only problem is ludacris is on this cut and itunes doesnt show he is 4.5/5 Live Your Life - personally i dont really like this one, and i know it is suppose to be the albums next single but theres just something about it that i cant seem to get into at all, good lyrics though 3.5/5 Whatever You Like - this song got raped by the radio once it came out, i hear this song literally 2 times a day at least when i listen to the radio, it was a sweet single when it came out and im sure every girl wants this kinda treatment but man they really ruined this single on mainstream, still a good song none the less 4.5/5 No Matter What - the first single off of the album, a decent street cut that got a grammy nominee but failed to win that catagory, this single was merely put out to give fans a taste of what this album was like 4/5 My Life, Your Entertainment - another track that may become popular but something about having usher and T.I in the same song doesnt fly with me, on the remix for love in this club i was all for it but maybe its just the production on this track - 3.5/5 Porn Star - skipper to me, the only one on the album actually Swing Ya Rag - this song didnt get the attention it deserved when it first came out but this happens to be one of my favorite tracks on the album, great upbeat by swizzy, and some sweet lyrics by T.I. good club song as well 4.5/5 What Up, Whats Haapnin' - T.I. is a lot about reality here and this song is kinda like Hurt Pt2 in some sense. this track wasnt too bad when it first hit around the internet, not one of my favorties though, the chorus got on my nerves 3.5/5 Every Chance I Get - "im exceeding expectations, you barely meeting quota" another one of T.I's many street cuts that proove he is one of the realest in the game yet 4/5 Slide Show - nice intro to the track, im liking this one but im not sure everyone else will, it takes a certain ear to like this track, but when you feature john legend im not sure how you can go wrong. 4/5 You Ain't Missing Nothing - ahh the track that was inspired by his time in jail that explains you might think the days are long while your in the cooler, but in reaality your not missing anything that amazing, just keep holding on 4.5/5 Dead and Gone - best track on the album IMO right here, i know it wont be popular anytime soon as far as i know but mabe im wrong, deff the realest track on this whole album.5/5 I would personally just buy the whole bonus track album because all of the bonus tracks are worth owning and swagga like us is probably one of the sickest tracks ive heard this year, besides for $13.00??? thats greatly priced for 21 total tracks. including the booklet.

Paper trail has it all. T.I. did a great job.

The CD has 16 tracks each with there own little meaning and purpose. 1. 56 Bars - Great way to start of the CD, just T.I. spitting real lyrics. 2. I'm Illy - T.I. spits hard in this song, great song for real hardcore rap fans. 3. Ready for Whatever - T.I. tells it as it is, he's ready for anything, great lyrics also. 4. On top of the World - Ludacris helps bring lyrics (which T.I. already brang) to a club banger. 5. Live Your Life - Great song, title explains it all, Rihanna helps execute a perfect song, T.I. does lyrics, Rihanna does chorus, what else can i ask for? 6. Whatever You Like - Already proven itself as a number one song, no need to explain it. Didn't hear it yet? You must not listen to music then... 7. No Matter What - Probably the best lyrics in a song this year, there's so much meaning behind it if you just listen to it. 8. My Life Your Entertainment - Whens the last time Usher was ft. in a bad song? Never... and the streak still continues. 9. Porn Star - A song about the ladies? Can't do harm to the album 10. Swing Ya Rag - Swizzy!!, you already know to expect a club banger. 11. What's Up, What's Happenin? - Another top song that's proven itself, straight T.I. right here. 12. Every Chance I Get - T.I. spitting them real lyrics, keeping it real is what music is about, never fall for that fake s***. 13. Swagga Like Us - Yet another song that's proven itself, many fans like it, and in my opinion its not even a top song, thats how goo this CD is. 14. Slide Show - John Legend bringing his kinda swag to T.I. the two make a great duo. 15. You Ain;t Missin' Nothing - Wow, talk about coming from the heart, this is my favorite kind of rap, T.I. sealed 5 stars with this song. 16. Dead and Gone - In my opinion the best song on the CD, and thats hard to say. Overall, the CD has everything, real rap, great lyrics, club bangers, music for the ladies, music for the guys, and great consistency of good music. 5 stars hands down.


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.
View in iTunes
  • $10.99
  • Genres: Hip-Hop/Rap, Music, Dirty South, Gangsta Rap
  • Released: Sep 08, 2008
  • Parental Advisory

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