Wednesday, May 27, 2009

"Know you don't like me cuz/your bitch most likely does"

148. T.I. - "What You Know" (Atlantic, 2006)
149. T.I. - "Rubber Band Man" (Atlantic, 2003)

I'm not the only one moving this week (yeesh), YMD fav Clifford Harris aka T.I.P. aka T.I. made the trip up to Arkansas on Tuesday to begin serving his 366 day prison sentence. We'll miss having the charismatic Mr. Tip around for a whole year, so let's pay tribute today to his two ultra-classic singles, the David Banner-produced "Rubber Band Man" and the Toomp banger "What You Know".

"Rubber Band Man" was my introduction to Tip and, while I think his rapping has actually gotten better since then, this song as a whole is easily one of his best. That's not to say that Tip wasn't already a very good rapper here. For example, "Gangstas who been servin' since you been doin' the running man/went down, did 10, back round and rich again" is a very neat summing up of a particular trap narrative, and it sounds awesome (the consonance on the Ns, smoooooth). The beat is ridiculous though. Even if children singing backup for Trap Star #1 makes you uncomfortable, and maybe it should, I'd think you might still have to smile to this.

"What You Know" is a slightly different kind of monster. I used to describe the beat as the sound of an NES melting, and I still think I had a point there, but that doesn't begin to describe how grandiose and awesome it is. How bout a Nintendo hooked up to a giant sound system in a Caddy while playing the final stages from Zelda, Contra, Ninja Gaiden, and Castlevania all synced up to each other? Anyways, it's the best, and T.I. kills it. I know we weren't using "swag" every two sentences in 2006, but Tip has like ultra-ultra-swag on this one.

1 comment:

Certified Matt said...

I'm still irreconcilably salty that MTV used to bleep the "wild as the Taliban" line.

The fuck was that all about?