Inspired by Marvin Gaye's Trouble Man soundtrack, sampled during the intro, T.I.'s eighth album is almost as pieced together as 2010's No Mercy -- a quality somewhat smoothened by a handful of dramatic street-scene skits. No producer handles more than three tracks, and there's another extensive list of featured artists: Meek Mill, ASAP Rocky, Lil Wayne, Andre 3000, R. Kelly, P!nk, Cee Lo Green, and even Akon, who makes for a poor stand-in for Elton John and spoils one of the album's many meditative tracks. Otherwise, little differentiates this from No Mercy, but a greater portion of the content is memorable and striking. This includes the somber "Sorry" (in which T.I. and Andre 3000 drop verses that necessitate numerous listens to fully absorb), the unruly "Ball" (a whirlwind synthesis of throwback and contemporary sounds), and the energizing "Who Want Some" (something of a slowed down sibling to King's "I'm Talkin' to You" with heavier bottom). This is a step forward from the MC's previous effort, but it's been six years since the he has made an album that must be heard.
Trouble Man: Heavy Is the Head Review
by Andy Kellman
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