Does T.I.’s ‘Paper Trail’ live up to his ‘King of the South’ title?

It’s been a while since we heard T.I. come with the hotness, as he’s had more legal problems than OJ Simpson. However, he’s back on the track with a new CD called Paper Trail.

As I sit here jamming to the CD, I noticed that T.I. has grown past his mistakes. His song “Dead and Gone” is at the end of the CD and rightfully so. It shows that the old him where he was quick to tote and bust a gun is gone. Now, he’s smarter and ready to make smart decisions.

But that doesn’t mean he’s not dropping the hits where he brags about his swag or how he’ll take your chick “Every Chance I Get.” With many a selection of songs, T.I. makes a case to show how he’s earned the title of “King of the South.” But is he really the king?

T.I. kills the opening track with “56 Barz,” quickly letting people know that he can’t be touched no matter how hard his haters try.

“I’d like to think to thank you cuz uhh ya’ll oughta be/Havin’ ya’ll swags sendin mines an apology.”

With lines like that, T.I. is staking his claim as the King of the South quickly. But does it hold up?

Another dope track is “No Matter What” in which T.I. spits over a bass-laden track saying that he’s not scared of any challenge placed in front of him. T.I. also tag teams with Ludacris on a laid-back track letting people know they are “On Top of the World.”

While there are some dope tracks, there are some that left me scratching my head. “Porn Star” was lame in my opinion, as it served no purpose. The beat’s nice, but other than that, it’s one of those tracks I’d let my fingers exercise its right to skip.

“Swing Ya Rag” seems like a decent club banger, but it’s not something I would just have sitting on my iPod. It gets dull pretty quick, and my ears don’t like bleeding, so the skip function is used quickly. There are some others that get the same treatment, but I won’t get into that.

Overall, the album is a jamming CD. It’s not a definitive classic, but it’s good enough to buy in the stores instead of off the streets. There are some songs that are must-listens besides the ones listed above. “My Life, Your Entertainment” is a hot song.

As I nod to the songs on the CD, I must say that this album is definitely an improvement from his last outing, T.I. vs. T.I.P. His lyrical game has jumped up a notch, and he shows more versatility. Sadly, I don’t think it fully crowns him as King of the South. But he is the King of September, as no one else has released the hotness this month, at least on the hip-hop side.