The title of this album, of course, is an acknowledgment of the group members' ages. Though each member of Atlanta's P$C is under the age of 25, they've been running together for several years, long before central member T.I. was named by Teen People as one of the 25 hottest stars under the age of 25. And now that the self-proclaimed King of the South has blown up, proving Pharrell to be wise for dubbing him "the Jay-Z of the South," he has the kind of clout that allows him to bring his crew along for their own taste of nationwide exposure. What 25 to Life lacks in comparison to T.I.'s string of often-brilliant solo albums is depth, but it certainly wasn't designed to offer that. (The thematic differences between Young Jeezy's frequently advisory Thug Motivation and Boyz N da Hood's relentlessly antagonistic self-titled album run parallel to this situation.) From front to back, there's little beyond threats, boasts, violence, partying, and womanizing, yet it's mostly energizing, supported by sharp -- if hardly innovative -- beats from several young producers (including Tony Galvin, Keith Mack, Reese, and Sapp). The biggest highlight, unsurprisingly enough, is the Lil Jon-produced "The King," reprised from the Hustle & Flow soundtrack. It's one of the few cases where T.I. takes center stage, and it's also one of the better-all-around tracks. Though the MC's fans will be disappointed in his otherwise supportive role, the album is no joke and won't diminish the anticipation for T.I.'s next solo move.
Share this page
AllMusic Review by Andy Kellman