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|Studio album by T.I.|
|Released||August 19, 2003|
|Singles from Trap Muzik|
Trap Muzik is the second studio album by American hip hop recording artist T.I., released on August 19, 2003, through Atlantic Records and his newly founded record label Grand Hustle Records. Due to the poor sales on T.I.'s debut album I'm Serious (2001), T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or he be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label. In 2003, T.I. launched Grand Hustle Records with his longtime business partner Jason Geter and signed a new deal with Atlantic Records.
The album spawned the hit singles "24's", "Be Easy", "Rubber Band Man", and "Let's Get Away". The album features guest appearances from 8Ball & MJG, Jazze Pha, Bun B and Macboney. With longtime T.I.'s record producer DJ Toomp serving as an executive producer for this album. Trap Muzik debuted at number 4 on the US Billboard 200 chart, selling 109,000 copies in the first week. It also debuted at number 2 on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. As of December 2003, the album became a certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), selling one million copies worldwide.
Upon its release, Trap Muzik received generally favorable reviews from most music critics, who generally regarded it as a major improvement from his debut album, I'm Serious (2001). In 2012, this included Complex naming the album one of the classic albums of the last decade. On February 20, 2013, allhiphop.com placed it as number 5 as the best southern hip-hop album of all time.
Due to the poor commercial reception of his debut album I'm Serious (2001), T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or to be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label. He then formed his own record label,Grand Hustle Records, with his longtime business partner Jason Geter, and began releasing mixtapes with the assistance of one of his DJ's, DJ Drama.
He then resurfaced in the summer of 2003 with fellow Atlanta rapper and former label-mate Bone Crusher's song "Never Scared." T.I. gained album buzz after appearing on Bone Crusher's single "Never Scared." His mixtapes and mainstream exposure from "Never Scared" eventually recaptured major label attention from many major record label's such as Warner Bros. Records, Universal Records, Epic Records, Columbia Records, Def Jam Recordings' southern division Def Jam South and Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records' southern division Bad Boy South as suitors. But he chose to signed a joint venture deal with Atlantic Records that year.
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Trap Muzik contains treatment of its subject matter: Drugs. "It's called trap music," T.I. explains. "So you know it's gonna be dealing with all aspects of the trap. And if you don't know what the trap is, that's basically where drugs are sold. In this country, the majority of us live in a neighborhood where drugs are sold, whether we like it or not. Whether you in the trap selling dope, whether you in the trap buying dope, whether you in the trap trying to get out - whatever the case may be, I'm trying to deal with all aspects of that lifestyle." T.I. also stated his second album shows more insight than his first: "It's the same thing, as far as trap music," he says. "Yeah it's trap music. But it's another outlook on the trap. Before, trappin' was cool, but now trappin' ain't cool. It's necessary for some, but no, it ain't cool - even if you a hustler. All the hustlers I know - sellin' dope is the last thing they wanna do. If you a real hustler, you gon' move on to bigger and better things." Producers DJ Toomp, Sanchez, Carlos and Dada, and Jazze Pha, as well as artists Jagged Edge, 8Ball & MJG, and Bun B of UGK appear on the album.
Production for the album would be contributed by DJ Toomp, Benny "Dada" Tillman, Carlos "Los Vegas" Thornton, David Banner, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, Nick Fury, San "Chez" Holmes, and Ryan "LiquidSound" Katz.
Beyond the lyrics about drugs, On "T.I. vs. T.I.P.," the rapper challenges himself to a verbal duel. "That's basically me talking to myself, just me getting in my own ear talking about the things I need to do and the things I shouldn't be doing and just some kind of psychological evaluation of myself." And he waxes romantic on "Get Right," which features R&B foursome Jagged Edge. "It's me talking to a lady I knew back when I didn't have much," he says. Other tracks include the anthem, "Be Easy" Says T.I., "That's basically tellin' cats, when you meet me, you ain't gotta be all excited." The song "Be Better Than Me" exhorts listeners to better the rapper. On "No More Talk," T.I. blasts lame emcees who compromise creativity and substance for commercial acceptance.
Release and promotion
After his relationship with Arista Records came to an end, T.I. continued to work. Under the name of T.I. and the P$C, he released the underground song "In Da Streets, Parts 1 and 2" on his own Grand Hustle Records. The album sold 20,000 units after much promotional work.
"24's" was the first official single to be released from Trap Muzik. The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 78, it charted at number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 15 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. The single was Produced by DJ Toomp, and the single is noted for beings T.I.'s starting point to wider recognition. "Be Easy" was the second official single from the album, the single peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was Produced by DJ Toomp.
"Rubber Band Man" was the third official single from the album. Upon release, it charted reasonably well, peaking at number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It charted at number 15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Containing a sample of 'Go With Me' by Mannie Fresh, Production by David Banner's was noted by music reviewers, particularly the ascending organ riff that has been described as 'hypnotic' and 'pure halftime show'. The song is included in the hits collections Totally Hits 2004, Crunk Hits Volume 1, and Hip Hop Hits Volume 9. T.I. says the song's title is a reference to his habit of wearing rubber bands around his wrist, a habit that dates back to when he was a drug dealer. The rubber bands are used to hold big wads of money together, being as it won't fit into a normal pocket wallet. Publicity efforts for the single were derailed by T.I.'s arrest in August 2003.
"Let's Get Away" was the fourth and final official single from the album. The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 35, it charted at number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, at number 10 on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and at number 16 on the Rhythmic Top 40. It was produced by T.I. and Jazze Pha, who appears on hook with a woman, and outro of the song. The song interpolates Aretha Franklin's 1972 song "Day Dreaming".
The song "I Still Luv You" was performed for the first time during T.I.'s VH1 Storytellers episode, about 7 years after the album's release.
Trap Muzik achieved commercial success and wide distribution. For instance, 24's was featured on the video game Need for Speed: Underground. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 selling 109,000 copies on its first week, and was certified gold. Trap Muzik has sold well over 1.7 million copies since its 2003 release in the United States and was certified as Platinum by The Recording Industry Association of America.
Upon its release, Trap Muzik received generally favorable reviews from most music critics. Most critics saw it as a major improvement over his first album, I'm Serious. According to About.com, Trap Muzik is the best T.I. album to date. In 2010, Rhapsody called it one of the top "coke rap" albums of all time. Entertainment Weekly had this to say about the album "This Atlanta rapper's self-coronation as King of the South is belied by the very ordinariness of his lyrics and flow. Only when T.I. breaks from his static Southern comfort zone does he distinguish himself. Let's Get Away interpolates Aretha for a satisfying slice of G-funk, and the introspective No Mo Talk offers a glimpse of greatness for a would-be king." Rolling Stone gave the album a 3 out of 5 stars saying "[T.I.] is a hustler with a conscience and a heart....[T]he limber linguist is at his best when he's dissecting the minutiae of the game..." Prefix Magazine had this to say about the album's production "David Banner's lazy organ-laced beat is damn hypnotic on the newer "Rubber Band Man" single and it's in good company with some funk from Kanye on "Doin' My Job" and "Let Me Tell You Something." But DJ Toomp—holy Christ, man. What is it with this guy? Strings, scattered miserable piano keys ... bloody hopeless melodies serving T.I.'s ghetto characterizations well. Sweet beats aside, T.I., the subject at hand, constructs what sounds like a web of gangsta imagery with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, he offers a drug-game narrative and the unlawful troubles that coincide with it, but the album is his medium to retract his previous troubles with the law and begin anew. Toward the end of Trap Muzik, in "T.I. vs. T.I.P." and "Be Better Than Me," he glorifies nothing. Instead, he reasons with the record-buying youth about being "better than [him]" by making smarter decisions about life."
|1.||"Trap Muzik" (featuring Mac Boney)||Clifford Harris, Jr., San "Chez" Holmes, DJ Toomp||4:00|
|2.||"I Can't Quit"||Benny "Dada" Tillman, Carlos "Los Vegas" Thornton||4:17|
|3.||"Be Easy"||DJ Toomp||3:18|
|4.||"No More Talk"||San "Chez" Holmes||3:53|
|5.||"Doin' My Job"||Kanye West||4:13|
|6.||"Let's Get Away" (featuring Jazze Pha)||Jazze Pha||4:37|
|8.||"Rubber Band Man"||David Banner||5:47|
|9.||"Look What I Got"||DJ Toomp||3:05|
|10.||"I Still Luv You"||Nick Fury||4:58|
|11.||"Let Me Tell You Something"||Kanye West||3:40|
|12.||"T.I. vs. T.I.P."||Clifford Harris, Jr.||3:52|
|13.||"Bezzle" (featuring 8Ball & MJG & Bun B)||DJ Toomp||4:54|
|14.||"Kingofdasouth"||Ryan "LiquidSound" Katz||5:00|
|15.||"Be Better Than Me"||San "Chez" Holmes||5:00|
|16.||"Long Live da Game"||San "Chez" Holmes||2:14|
|17.||"Rubber Band Man" (Remix (featuring Twista, Trick Daddy & Mack 10))||David Banner||4:32|
- "Be Easy" contains a samples of "Somebody To Love" by Al Wilson
- "No More Talk" contains a samples of "Can't Find The Judge" by Gary Wright
- "Doin' My Job" contains a samples of "I'm Just Doin My Job" by Bloodstone
- "Let's Get Away" contains a samples of "Day Dreaming" by Aretha Franklin
- "I Still Luv You" contains a samples of "She Only A Woman" by The O'Jays
- "Let Me Tell You Something" contains a samples of "I Want to Be Your Man" by Zapp & Roger
Charts and certifications
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- NFS Underground track listNFStuning.com. Accessed April 11, 2009.
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- Album Guide To Coke Rap Referenced 26 July 2010
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