After a year on lock-down for illegal machine gun possession, the self-proclaimed king of the south channels his personal strife into his introspective sixth studio album, PAPER TRAIL. The title stems from T.I.'s decision to return to writing his rhymes down on paper; the lyrical craftsmanship shows as the ATL icon delves into personal issues--speaking on his legal troubles ("Ready For Whatever"), his prison experience ("You Ain't Missing Nothing"), and his fallen homies ("Dead and Gone"). T.I. also collaborates with former rival Ludacris for the grandiose "On Top of the World," speaks on the cannibalistic relationship between rappers' personal lives and their art on "My Life Your Entertainment," and joins Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Lil Wayne for the bombastic posse cut "Swagga Like Us." Production comes courtesy of Drumma Boy, DJ Toomp, Rob Knox, Jim Jonsin, Just Blaze, and Swizz Beatz, among others.
Rolling Stone (p.125) - 3 stars out of 5 -- "[C]atchy, tight, bombastic pop rap alongside a who's who of megastar guests."
Entertainment Weekly (p.73) - "[T]he radio-friendly party anthems, flirty come-ons, collaborations with A-list pals, and outstanding production prove this beleaguered bad boy still knows how to have a good time." -- Grade: B+
XXL (Magazine) (p.121) - "[E]asily the most complex, introspective effort of his career....Throughout, the King shows off his newly developed ability for self-reflection."
Blender (Magazine) (p.82) - 3.5 stars out of 5 -- "T.I. boasts one of gangsta rap's most mellifluous voices and more polysyllabic lexicons, and when he combines the two, he's dazzling, hypnotic, virtuosic."