King Without A Crown
Atlanta’s hottest playboy native, T.I., brings an installment of continuous self-proclamations in King. The powerful opening track, “King Back” is a strong single and is reminiscent of a boxer’s entrance music to a major fight. This solid track encompasses forceful language and tone that stems from the rapper’s hard knock life which led to time in prison and continuous feuds with fellow Atlanta neighbor and rapper, Ludacris.
The two popular radio tracks, “Why You Wanna” (containing a sample from Crystal Water’s 90s hit “Gypsy Woman” and “What You Know” are a few of the album’s highlights. But King’s overall lukewarm feel is due to the fact that his flows are stereotypical of a rap album formula. Belting and angrily expressing “I’m the one that started this” and “Paul Wall made me the hardest grill on the block for 100 karat 100 karat” make for unimpressive and humorous lyrical content. The spoken portions prior and post song make up the majority of the album’s rhymes. T.I., who has dubbed himself “King of the South,” exhausts the listener by proclaiming he is the first to start “this.” If by “this” he means flashy cars, bling, women & a rapping skill set that has yet to be seen, then he has apparently missed a 25+year old movement called Hip Hop.
T.I. missed the opportunity to stand out as an innovative artist. For T.I.’s “diamonds on my back, diamonds on my grill” persona, one would think he would seize an opportunity to break out of the stereotypical hip hop mold. Instead, he makes King as something predictable. “Why you wanna go and do that love huh? Now why you wanna go and do that, King?”