New Album: T.I. Paperwork
The King is back: Atlanta rapper T.I. in his “Paperwork” is a statement within the 2014 mainstream rap to demonstrate his evolution from rapper to artist. While the majority of this album can be seen as a contemporary radio friendly album, there are moments where T.I. is at his prime. The first single “About the Money” breaks the modern mold by bringing the fresh style of Young Thug with the solid rap of T.I. Young Thug shows his potential by having a new melodic sound on top of a trap beat that more reminisces g-funk, rather than modern club in terms of a very full sound that transforms and builds with the energy T.I. and Young Thug.
“New National Anthem” was written by T.I. during the calling of the Travon Martin case and is a highly politically motivated track that attempts to starts a public conversation with the issues of racial profiling and modern racism in America. His juxtaposition of Skylar Grey’s patriotic melodic lyrics with T.I. shouting on behalf of those who are persecuted and wronged by the nation.
“No Mediocre,” featuring Iggy Azalea and DJ mustard, is a club single to round out the album with contemporary sound that is certainly the most radio friendly track: it is almost ironic that T.I. labels his most pop track as “No Mediocre” in that his hit track yields to today’s sound, rather than creating something fresh.
However, tracks such as “King,” “G’S**t” and “Jet Fuel” are tracks that are reminiscent of the King and I’m Serious albums with his confident and pointed style of straight rap; the R&B tracks “Paperwork,” “Private Show,” and “Stay” are a welcomed contrast that demonstrates his more melodic-rap side. Over all, T.I. continues his rap legacy by claiming his place in the modern game; T.I. shows that he can remain relevant in this changing world while still holding on to rap and hip-hop style that seems to get lost with modern club, trap, and electronic fusions.