T.I.

Trap Muzik

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Whatever promise T.I. showed on his flawed debut is almost fully realized throughout his excellent 2003 follow-up, Trap Muzik. On the surface, Trap Muzik can be viewed as another record built on glorious superficialities, concerned with little more than material wealth, drug dealing, and champion stature. Dig beneath that surface, and you'll come to appreciate an MC who uses the art of the metaphor like few others; "The Trap," for instance, comes to mean a number of things. David Banner, Kanye West, and DJ Toomp all chip in with key production work, but the MC is the real draw from beginning to end, from the supremely infectious chorus of "24's" to the complex self-analysis of "T.I. vs. T.I.P." By the time 2003 drew to a close, this album had spawned three chart hits -- "24's" had a particularly long-running presence on the video shows -- and the album itself scraped the Top Five of the Billboard album chart. With another record as good as this, T.I. just might become the King of the South that he continually claims to be.

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