T.I. Just got out of a jail sentence... Made the single "I'm Back", then went to jail again until this September. During his current sentence, of which he couldn't promote his new album, he released the new album, "No Mercy"
T.I., or Tip, Starts off with the catchy song Welcome To The World featuring KiD CuDi and Kanye West. The chorus sets the feel for the rest of the song, which is T.I.'s way of saying, basically, **** you, this is real life, not your fantasy. Kanye and CuDi preform the chorus extremely well, which is why it's surprising that this song is not one of the singles. Of course, the verses are kinda weak compared to Tip's former album Paper Trail. Kanye's verse and chorus are the high points of this song. Tip being weak and CuDi barely contributing.
On the second song, How Life Changed, T.I. Explains the title, how his life changed when he went to jail for a year. Mitchelle'l and Scarface make strong appearances, creating one of the best sounding songs on the album. Lyrics could improve, however.
The third track and first single-Get Back Up, which features Chris Brown, is a powerful track lyrically, and even has some great beats! (if you consider a drum loop and Browns voice a good beat) it is very similar to Kanye Wests Gold Digger, as a R&B singer sings the intro and the background track. Difference is, this track is more modern and Brown sounds mastered more than Foxx. Both Brown and Tip fit well as Tip states: "No mistake is to great to recover and bounce back". Brown is topping charts and T.I. debuted at #4. Both artists surely got back up in this brilliant single.
I Cant Help It featuring Rocko is the fourth track, and seems to be a filler. Heavy synth and quickly sped rapping by both artists. This track doesn't have much value to the album and sounds very out of place, definitely "the track to skip" of the album.
That's All She Wrote is an amazing track by T.I. And Eminems alter ego, Slim Shady. T.I. Raps about how much of a king he is, which eminem doesn't seem to mind, he just rants about... Well, I actually have no clue how Eminems verses fit with the song. But they blend well, even though it basically two songs with different themes and morals, it blends very well is a shining star in the album. Reaching #18 on the Billboard. Good job Tip and Shady, successfully mixing opposites.
No Mercy is arguably one of the best tracks on the album. A calming piano brings you into a calm drum/piano beat, then the brilliant chorus from The-Dream. It sounds so fitting as a single, even thou it isn't, and has incredible verses from T.I.. This song shows T.I.s flow better than many of his other tracks, and I would actually choose this calm & strong track over T.I.'s hit Live Yout Life from '08. The transitions may seem rough, but actually make it sound very good. The downside is the ending, but I cannot identify anything else that hinders this great track.
Big Picture is the first track where T.I. Goes solo on this album, and he does it well. It reminds me of his older work, which is good, yet unoriginal. Tips lyrics are great, and he flows well with the brass instrumental. The chorus is also well given, and therefore well received.
Strip is one of those club tracks. It's title along with Trey Songz feature, prove this before even hearing the song. Young Dro gives a nice clubbing verse, as Tip rants sexually. Lyrics aside, as this is a club track, this is a great track for it's place. Dro, however, goes on longer than he should. I would prefer a shorter verse from him and instead a bridge from Songz.
Salute is the shortest track on the album, and does it's job to transition into the following tracks. The drum loop and constant echoed "yea!"s bring the track down though. The verses are quite short, it should have had less choruses.
Amazing isn't amazing. But it's still a good track. Pharell introduces the song with a repetitive and moderately catchy bridge. Then the verses start and don't express greatness in lyrics, but the instrumental is interesting. A more islander sound that surprisingly sounds great. Thumbs up for Pharell and Tip.
Everything On Me is an interesting case... I would say it's a filler track with a clubbing vibe, but not fit for the club. Not even a party, really. Tip recycles lyrics from his #1 hit Whatever You Like in this track.
Poplin Bottles is a very good track. It's satisfying to listen to with T.I.s great flow and Drakes Lil Wayne sounding voice. Of course, Wayne couldn't make a meaningful song to save his life. Then again, I don't think Drake can either. (jk, I liked No Love by eminem and Wayne, it was meaningful) this track hits a 9/10 on it's flow. It's instrumental fits it very well, and makes use of its long length. T.I. Knows how to switch things up quite well.
Lay Me Down is... The most interesting track on the whole album. It's Rico feature is auto tuned and repeated very techno-styled. The instrumental is out of this world, but this sound reminds me of Nicki Minajs Massive Attack, in terms of how original it sounds. The lyrics aren't anything special, along with a lot of this album. But the song is still very satisfying. By the time of Rico's bridge, you will be confused as to what the producer was thinking.
Castle Walls, is the best way to end the track. Xtina's calm voice introduces Alex Da Kids medieval production, and it's the best song on the album hands down. I myself have memorized all three verses and the bridge. The verses tell how being rich doesn't mean they have it all, and that clearly, money cannot buy happiness. The second verse in which, T.I. Talks about how he cares more about his kids than anything else, and how the media is all wrong about Tip. Even if he doesn't sell well, which No Mercy didn't, it's still his life, and he loves what he does. The bridge from Aguilera is heartfelt and tells about how she can't do nearly anything in private. The third verse T.I. Says **** you haters! **** you media! I am the king, you can't take away my pride. Props to T.I., Christina, and Alex Da Kid! Should sell extremely well when a single.
Overall, No Mercy is a great album with a few bad tracks, then genius songs like Castle Walls. Definitely buy the album from iTunes or your local store, as this is a great album. Now, what will T.I. Do when hes out of jail this September? Time will tell.