Marvin Gaye’s life embodied what the word ‘Trouble Man’ and what the song meant in all senses of the word “And today… I feel like the past six, seven years of my life, and the adversity…in my life that I have endured and overcame, that is synonymous and it embodies what the word ‘Trouble Man’ means today.”
T.I. on why he named his album Trouble Man.
The past several years has been nothing short of trials and tribulations for Clifford Harris. Despite being one of the highest selling artist within the past decade along with being able to crossover into the big screen with movies such as ATL and Takers, T.I.’s troubles with the law along with his knack for being in and out of prison hasn’t only effected his stability as a artist but also his street credibility(Many felt he was a informant or a rat for doing short bids).
Paper Trail seemed to be a step back at the right direction after dropping the very unfocused T.I. Vs TIP but seemed to have lost direction when releasing No Mercy which was a obvious rush job album T.I. did before doing his bid. When T.I. was released in 2011 He started dropping songs which were solid but they weren’t as hard hitting as What You Know About That or had the crossover appeal of Whatever You Like, It seemed as though T.I. like Jeezy at the time was trying too hard to make a big hit instead of focusing on making good music.
T.I. seemingly put his head down and really put his work in for this album here. Trouble Man is possibly his most personal album to date with him feeling that his back is against the wall, He felt that he had alot to prove that he still the “King of the South”, That despite having a reality show that he isn’t soft and that he can still make the best music with the best of them. He surprisingly exceeded all those odds and came back with a vengeance. The Introduction lets his critics know that he haven’t fell off:
What people may also notice is that TIP seemed to have go back to the Trap Talk on this album. Songs such as G Season, Trap Back Jumpin has TIP going back to his Trap Muzik days. While many may criticize him for talking about the trap being that he has a family oriented reality show, What people don’t realize is looking within this album is that it also flows through like a story of T.I.’s troubled life. The skits between the album reflects that so it shouldn’t be seen as glorfiance but more like storytelling on T.I.’s behalf.
The album’s hardest cut is no question Addresses where he responds to ATL rivals Alley Boy, Trouble and the Duct Tape gang who’ve been taking shots at T.I., Jeezy and others throughout the whole year. T.I. also let it be known about his stripes in the game and that if he isn’t afraid of going back at them. He didn’t mention their names but anyone who been following Southern Hip Hop for the past year already known who he’s talking about. Will Alley Boy join the ranks of Shawty Lo and Lil Flip of rappers getting smashed by T.I.? Only time will tell
T.I. has always been one of the few rappers that can actually make head knocking club bangers as well. The resume speaks for itself and his latest single Ball featuring Lil Wayne is another plus added to his rap sheet. What I like about Ball is the sound is reminisce of the old late 90s Cash Money sound and Lil Wayne sounds more at home rapping to this because its the sound that established him in the first place.
What made Trouble Man a very cohesive album is how he balanced out the flow of the album. You get a glimpse of whats going on with T.I.’s world if he isn’t proving that he isn’t no sucker and that he isn’t washed up, He also proves that he’s also a man trying to do right and showcased more maturity as a artist. Proven on Wonderful life where he encourages people who are close to him to not make the same mistakes he did and Hallelujah is possibly the deepest song Ive heard from a mainstream artist in a long time as he reflects about the harsh realities behind fame and prison and hoping Jesus would guide him a way out of the troubled life.
Although theres some songs that I could do without(Wildside featuring thE corny ASAP Rocky, The R.Kelly featured Can You Learn and Go Get it) This is T.I.’s strongest offering since Paper Trail. A great way to close 2012 and a great way to reintroduce T.I. back into the forever changing game to remind new comers that he’s still that dude.
Vic Rating : 9.0 outta 10