You know T.I. ('Tip' Harris) is confident of his abilities and his self proclamation as the KING of the south is based both on this confidence and a whole lot of southern braggadicio: all evident from Bass heavy bragging on the current single ' Front Back' featuring UGK to synthesisers and drum programming matched with gritty lyrics on (my current favourite) 'What you Know' to Common's laid back style and Pharrell's falsetto over clap beats on another 'show-off' track ' GoodLife' and all this is started off by the arrogantly titled but message laden 'King Back'.
T.I.'s machismo and the implied acceptance (not wholesome) by his peers, by featuring on his album, carry with it an unstated approval that he's one of the best, if not the best, rapper repping for the south. He's got a certain swagger that works well with the stomping beats and finger snapping rhythms that we're coming to associate with the south.
The second half of the CD sees him turning southern thug lover on my second favourite (one I think should be a single) 'Why you Wanna' which samples a classic hook from Crystal Waters/Neal Conway's 'Gypsy Woman (She's homeless') and also alluding to desiring a shorty thats not his on the laidback 'Hello', he then goes back to familiar territory on the club friendly cuts 'Get It' and 'Top Back' (produced by Mannie Fresh).'I'm Straight', a dark and sombre cut, featuring BG of the Cash Money crew and Young Jeezy further cements what is a roll call of the best of the south; and maintaining the southern tip the album also features Governor on ' Hello' and Young Buck of G-Unit and Young Dro on 'Undertaker'.
T.I.'s fourth album is a sure sign that he wants that crown of 'KING' of the south and this album will definitely make other pretenders to the throne think, according to T.I., that /they're in a Catch 22 situation/they lose or they lose/… T.I.'s southern rap reign seemingly goes on…