Entertainment Magazine

T.I. – Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head

Posted on the 25 December 2012 by Audiocred @audiocred

I’m sitting in a hotel room in New Jersey, full of Christmas (Eve) Dinner, trying to write about T.I.’s new album Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head while my brothers watch NCIS on the gigantic TV next to me. I have a weird problem with screens so even though I don’t like crime shows and I’m wearing big stereo headphones, I’m drawn to the TV. This is also due partly to the fact that I’ve listened to Heavy a good handful of times and have yet to form any dramatic or interesting opinion on the record other than generalized enjoyment. Coincidentally, “vague” and “wan” is also precisely how I feel about NCIS.

 T.I.   Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head
There’s plenty to appreciate on the album. Solid production from a slew of mostly unknown names keeps the record sounding detailed, tight, and high-octane without becoming repetitive. Guest appearances by  Tip’s flow is professional and clean throughout, although he lacks the charisma and personality of, say, Big Boi or Pimp C. Guest appearances are scattered liberally over the record with Weezy dropping a great verse on the marimba-808-and-cheap-synthesizer “Ball,” coincidentally my favorite beat and hook on the record; conversely, the P!nk feature “Guns and Roses” is such a steaming pile of turds that even T.I. sounds skeptical. Do we really care about this guy all that much? The influence of Jay-Z / Drake / Kanye lifestyle-rap is clear – T.I. spends plenty of time listing luxurious details and describing what seems by all accounts to be an extremely fun and exciting life. (The phone-filtered intro to “Cruisin’” features a too-nonchalant T.I. drawling, “Hey… yeah, I had to pick up the new car… yeah, I’ll be there in a minute…”) Given how much time he’s spent incarcerated it’s sort of hard to believe that he’s had enough time to do all of the stuff he claims to have done, but maybe I’m being too harsh.

What Tip lacks is any sort of real vision – something that would validate all the hype about this record. Pharrell Williams referred to the Atlanta rapper as “the Jay-Z of the South,” but your humble correspondent has a tough time imagining anyone firing up “The Way We Ride” in ten years. Trouble Man is great pop music but at the end of the record none of it sticks around; where’s its “All of the Lights,” its “Bitch Don’t Kill My Vibe,” its “Hard-Knock Life”? Enjoy the record but don’t expect it to stick around.

 T.I.   Trouble Man: Heavy is the Head


Bars: 3/5

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