T.I.: DIME TRAP Album Review

Story posted October 11, 2018 in Sports, CommRadio by Zach Hall

Trap music pioneer T.I. a.k.a Tip has been in the rap game since his debut back in 2001 with the album I’m Serious. He’s gone on to release eight more studio albums, five of which reached the top five US Billboard 200 chart. T.I. maintained relevance over the years thanks to his charisma, sharp flow & lyricism, and great ear for instrumentals. DIME TRAP, T.I.’s newest project, marks for his tenth studio album. DIME TRAP is an album focused on what it really means to make trap music, and sees Tip at is most introspective in quite a while. What results is a project that really plays to its strengths, offering plenty of bangers while at the same side being philosophical and emotionally reflective.

DIME TRAP wastes no time, opening up with a narration from comedian Dave Chappelle (who goes on to narrate the entirety of the album) and a stellar few verses from T.I. that reflect on his long career. This confidence heard in the first song permeates through the rest of the album. While not as abrasively confident has he’s been in the past, it’s clear on DIME TRAP how confident Tip is with his place in hip hop. Not only is he confident, but he’s also reflective as well. Songs like “The Amazing Mr. **** Up” and “At Least I Know” see T.I. rapping about his marriage both apologetically and bitterly. Songs like “Light Day” and “More & More” are chances for T.I. to reflect on his spot in the trap world and rap about the state of the country. T.I. closes the album with the sentiment that the people responsible for crack permeating black culture were unaware that those affected would take those experiences and “package them as philosophical presentations set to music about the experiences // And how many people would relate to it // and how much commerce would come from it.” T.I. finishes the album with “It’s trap music,” showing he fully understands what trap music represents, and how he was able to become one of the best to do it. DIME TRAP has a healthy mix of bangers and introspective tracks, some even mixing the two together. DIME TRAP is at its best when utilizing T.I.’s sharp flows and witty lyricism, which fortunately is the majority of the project.

The variety of songs is held up even more by the instrumentals. Just like the variety of themes, there is a nice mix of booming trap drums and slower melodic samples. This variety helps the album feel fresh and interesting throughout the hour-long run time. DIME TRAPs best instrumental offerings put a spotlight on T.I.’s versatility as a lyricist, further solidifying him as one of the best trap rappers around. DIME TRAP doesn’t overstay its welcome either. The hour-long runtime feels like a breeze. This is partly because the features are chosen and placed very effectively, adding even more variety to an album that strives to be unique. Some of the best features include longtime collaborator Jeezy, Meek Mill and Young Thug.

DIME TRAP is an album that plays to its strengths and doesn’t stay around longer than it has to. T.I. offers a stellar flow and energy that make each song worth a few listens. The album is constructed in such a way that no matter what T.I. is rapping about of whatever beat he is rapping over, there’s a good chance it’s going to be good. Conceptually and constructively, DIME TRAP is easily one of T.I.’s best albums and helps cement his spot in the upper echelon of the industry.

Rating: 8/10

 

Zach Hall is a senior majoring in broadcast journalism. To contact him, email zth5043@psu.edu.