T.I. vs. T.I.P.

T.I. | Atlantic
By DOMINIQUE HENDELMAN  |  August 20, 2007
In 1886, it was The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde: dark versus light, yin versus yang. In the summer of 2007, it’s a reprise of “T.I. vs. T.I.P.,” the dichotomy T.I. covered four years ago on his Trap Muzik, where T.I.P., his hardcore/street side, battled T.I., his level-headed side. The result was one of the best tracks off that album. But parlaying three minutes into 45 isn’t easy. In “Act I,” T.I.P. flips out on his label and launches a tirade that doesn’t abate for the first seven tracks. T.I.P. gems include the Mannie Fresh insta-hit “Big Shit Poppin,’ ” the Khao-produced “Watch What You Say to Me” with Jay-Z, and the Danja-produced “Hurt” with Busta Rhymes and Grand Hustle affiliate Alfamega. In “Act II,” T.I. wakes to the destruction his alter ego has caused and wrests control. The album falters when its pace slows, as on the abysmal Nelly duet “Show It to Me” and the Runners-produced “Don’t You Wanna Be High.” On “Help Is Coming,” however, Just Blaze recycles the sample from Roc-a-Fella’s “4 Da Fam,” and Eminem’s breezy brass march on “Touchdown” allows T.I. to switch up his flow. By the time T.I. and T.I.P. confront each other in “Act III,” the differences between the two have become trivial. In exploring his split psyche, T.I. forgets what made the excursion interesting to begin with: there’s good and evil in everyone, but you gotta mix the two to get a reaction.
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