Thursday, December 21, 2006

T.I. - King

This album couldn't better represent the best and most visible side of american hip-hop today: a bunch of super-producers (Just Blaze, The Neptunes, Swizz Beatz, DJ Toomp, Mannie Fresh, Travis Barker and Khao) and a rapper so self-consciously cool and naturally confident that he's not afraid to call his album, just simply, "King", and actually getting away with it. Such strong ambition to create the ultimate hip-hop-piece-of-art could blow things up but this is definitely not the case, thanks to a huge sense of efficiency that is not afraid to take risks. Touching so many sides of his personality using his warm and fluid flow (a bit of gangsta talk in here, some romantic stuff there, coolness and confidence everywhere), over innovative beats, groovy samples, loud horns and strings, soul flutes, jazzy pianos or lush synths, there's a larger-than-life feeling from start to end that, more than not sounding ridiculous, is actually convincing. This ends up creating something that could only be described in two words and shouted loud: monstrous and epic.

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