Hip-D Top 20 of 2006 » #17 » T.I. - "King"
"Make us mad, get yer ass wiped out, Thailand!"
King, the fourth release from Atlanta drawlsmith T.I., kicks off with "King Back," a not-so-surprising boast track reasserting T.I.'s self-aggrandizing royal resume. What brings the album opener to the forefront is T.I.'s laid back vocal style, unaffected by the urgency of the smoothed-out '70s porn groove -— complete with horns and Justice League action sound effects. The driving force behind King is the swagger that the diminutive T.I. is more than comfortable delivering. "What You Know" brings it big, with fat synthesizers; "I'm Talking To You" is a bruising, shit-talking tirade escorted by blaring horns under a more frantic vocal style; and street anthems "Ride Wit Me," "Top Back" and "I'm Straight" (featuring BG and Young Jeezy) that are as much fun as the tracks from The Chronic we were playing entirely too loud back in high school. To shake up the tempo and encourage some ass-shakin, "Why You Wanna" lifts and repackages a cheeseball loop from Crystal Waters' minor 1991 hit about a homeless lady, "Gypsy Woman."
The main drawback to King is its length: 18 tracks over 75 minutes is a bit much. If would have been even better had T.I. cut a few of the slower duds, especially "Live in the Sky" featuring Jamie Foxx (*groan*), which is little more than the obligatory "Tha Crossroads" send-up about gettin' your coke=slingin' ass past St. Peter when you get got like Bodie Broadus. On the other hand, as prevalent and painfully unfunny skits have become on hip-hop albums, "The Breakup" with Mike Epps and Malieka is actually funny.
-- Elvis Fu
Elvis Fu's Favorite Track: "King Back"
This album appeared on the following staffers's lists:
- Loog (#1)
- elvis Fu (#10)