In celebration of T.I. getting out of lockup early - does time travel faster in prison, because we're almost certain he wasn't supposed to be home for a few more months? - andhitting up the recording studio
, we're recounting the five best songs from 2003's
, still his best work to date. Yes, we're aware that T.I. isn't from Houston, and yes, we're aware that Pimp C even went so far as to proclaim that Atlanta wasn't part of the South (which, if you've looked at a map lately, is just about as wrong as it gets), but T.I. is one of the South's best rappers, and his coming home is mostly good for everyone. Also, he partook in a semi-famous battle with Lil' Flip back in 2007, and we were really not feeling Flip at the time, so that helps.Sidebar: During the Flip saga, T.I. irked Z-Ro to the point that 'Ro threatened to shoot T.I.'s son. This is actually much easier than it should be. Things you can do that will result in Z-Ro threatening to shoot one of your children: disrespect him, disrespect his family, overcook fish, undercook fish, hang Christmas lights too crooked, smell like Cool Water cologne, misspell "cologne," mispronounce "cologne," put your feet on his couch, put your feet on his floor, look him in the eyes, order Big Red for a drink, ask for Balsamic Vinagerette dressing to go with your McDonald's salad... we could do this all day."Rubber Band Man":
"Ah, who I'm is? Rubberband Man." We never ever argue when old people say that rap music is stupid. How can you? This is a great song, but have you ever really listened to it? He might as well be speaking that weird language the blue things spoke inAvatar
. By the way, are we the only one that was really feeling that main blue chick? She was fly, right?"Kingofdasouth":
We get the bravado thing, but how can you can yourself the king of the south in the same song that you hat-tip at least two rappers better than you (Andre 3000, which he did with the title, and Scarface, which he did with just about every other part of this song). Irony is almost always lost on rappers."Doin' My Job":
This is one of the two tracks that Kanye produced for this album. It's easy to forget how much Kanye has been involved in the South's development. His fingerprints are all over Scarface'sThe Fix
, a superb, superb album."24s":
One of the imminently reusable beats from 2003. This was one of the tracks that had people fumbling over themselves to shore up their assertions that T.I. was a flop after (the admittedly underwhelming)
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. This song alone adds at least ten pounds to your max bench-press. Somebody should come up with a chart that categorizes how much a song increases or decreases the amount you can bench if you listen to it while exercising. Near the top: Ludacris's "Move, Bitch." Near the bottom: Anything by DJ Screw."Let's Get Away":
We make the same face when we listen to a song that we know Jazze Pha as we do when we look at the sun. How that guy ever became more than a punchline is beyond us. You're doing well if you can name four other songs that he didn't totally ruin by being on it. He was like the Trey Song of the early-to-mid-2000s. Thanks for your support. Have a New Year's-y weekend.