T.I- Dime Trap
T.I October 30, 2018
By: Logan Flesch
Dime Trap is T.I.’s tenth studio album. It is exactly one hour long, but listeners could just as easily perceive it to be two hours long. The album is full of filler, garbage material that only hurts T.I.’s legacy as the “inventor of trap music.” I will say, I have never been an avid fan of T.I., but I recognized his talent and influence on rap culture. Also, I’ve never met anyone that did not like “Live Your Life”, “Whatever You Like”, or “Swagga Like Us” from Paper Trail. Unfortunately for everyone, those songs are now ten years old and T.I. shows no resemblance of the excellence from his youth. I forced myself to listen to this album from front to back four separate times, and let me tell you, I was drained of all energy after every listen through. For me, there were ZERO memorable bars from the album, even though I was actively searching for something that would allow me to praise T.I. However, the album’s featured artists are a highlight for this album. I was far more intrigued by the work of Anderson .Paak, Meek Mill, Jeezy, Yo Gotti, and Young Thug on this album than T.I.’s contributions.
“Seasons” kicks off the album with an eerie organ piece and Dave Chapelle’s spoken word regarding survival and being great. This intro does a great job of letting the listener know that T.I. will be attempting to return to his roots and get away from the mainstream success that he experienced with Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”. The song features Sam Hook on the chorus, and I was very impressed by his vocals. This track actually gave me a little bit of hope for this album. Boy was I wrong.
“Laugh At Em” is the second track of the album and lets you know nice and early that the filler tracks are here and in great abundance. This track would be extremely forgettable if I wasn’t subjected to it every single time that I play Madden. On the bright side, at least we know that T.I. can still rap fast. “Big Ol Drip” follows up and is slightly less forgettable, if only for WATCH THE DUCK’s contribution to the track. Then, “Wraith” comes up and showcases Yo Gotti and T.I. participating in a stereotypical trap song: nice cars, women, drugs, and guns. Lyrics include, “I just wanna ball in the wraith, with your broad in the way” and “I’m a dope boy legend, street boy reppin’.” The most disappointing track on the album follows up. “The Weekend” was actually the first song that I listened to when I found Dime Trap. I saw that Young Thug and Swizz Beats were featured, so naturally I figured that I would enjoy it. The song features boring “summer-vibes” production from Swizz and Young Thug’s less-than-stellar guest verse and hook. This is T.I.’s attempt at pop-rap, and he failed miserably. To make matters worse, he delivers a cringeworthy outro about the evolution of trap music, a “dopeboy’s philosophy” and “diversified vibes.”
Before beginning a long string of underwhelming tracks to close out the album, T.I. actually delivers three tracks in a row that are genuinely enjoyable. On “At Least I Know”, T.I. enlists the help of Anderson .Paak for vocals. The track features R&B style production and .Paak and T.I. singing about significant others taking advantage of their fame and money for personal gain. Even though they’re upset about apparent gold-digging, each artist apologizes and wants to be with the significant other. This was my favorite song off the album. “What Can I Say” is a catchy, no-nonsense track that features a drunken synth riff, rumbling bass, and a simple hi hat. T.I. delivers a great chorus, finishing each statement with “What can I say?” This is one of the only songs from the album where I caught myself actually bobbing my head and getting into it. “Jefe” is the third song in a row that I enjoyed before the rest of Dime Trap sent me into another wave of pure disappointment. It’s an up-tempo song featuring Meek Mill and a fantastic Mariachi horn section. This song exudes energy and I wish the rest of the album could present the same intensity. Following these songs are six completely forgettable tracks that I don’t even feel the need to discuss.
T.I. should have saved his time, money, and reputation when recording Dime Trap. The album is extremely underwhelming and tremendously long. Thankfully for hip-hop fans and T.I., we are living in 2018. In the current state of music, with playlists and streaming services, the good songs will get the attention that they deserve, and everyone can forget about the dumpster fire formerly known as Dime Trap.
Favorite Songs: “At Least I Know” (feat. Anderson .Paak), “What Can I Say”, “Jefe” (feat. Meek Mill)
Follow me on Twitter: @FleschLogan