T.I. – No Mercy

Artist: T.I.
Album: No Mercy
Release date: December 7, 2010
Record label:

T.I. – No Mercy (Review & Overview)

Full credit for this review goes to Nathan S from DJBooth.net.

If there’s any argument I get into over and over again with DJBooth Nation, it’s over who has the best beard in rap (how could you not go Freeway?!?). But if there’s another argument I get into over and over, it’s the importance of context when listening to music. Should we consider only the notes pulsing through our headphones, or the whole life of the artist, in all its glories and faults? Of course I think it’s impossible to listen to music in a vacuum, and I’m right. Music exists in the world, as part of the world, and you can’t separate an album from the circumstances it was created in any more than you can separate the link between a parent and a child. Case in point; T.I.’s new album, No Mercy. To listen to No Mercy without taking into account the extraordinary situation that shaped it would be to quote Kanye, f**king ridiculous. After all, if context didn’t matter, we’d be listening to King Uncaged – the album’s original, now painfully ironic title.

The last time we were discussing Clifford Harris, the pressure of an impending jail sentence created the diamond that was Paper Trail. This time around, unfortunately, Tip’s return to confinement has yielded far more uneven results. Over the last few months we’ve watched No Mercy change more times than Lil Kim’s face, with songs being added and subtracted from the final tracklist on a seemingly daily basis. And then yet another arrest, and an eleven month sentence, forced the album into our hands with some very high highs, and what must be said are some disappointingly low lows. If T.I. had all the time he needed I think we’d be looking at a classic album, but that’s the thing about context. “If” can be everything.

If all you ever listened to was the album’s first track, Welcome to the World, you have to assume it was five-spin candidate. Featuring both a verse and an absurdly head-nodding beat from KanyeWelcome to the World is essentially a Good Friday track featuring T.I. absolutely going off, switching up his flow with a stuttered affect that absolutely kills. Y’all know I’m not one to engage in hyperbole, so you can trust me when I say that, Dark Twisted Fantasy aside, Welcome to the World is one of the best opening songs I’ve heard in a minute. While I don’t know if No Mercy ever gets quite that good again, the album has no shortage of similar dopeness, from the deeply autobiographical How Life Changed to the instant hip-hop history making All She Wrote, which finds Tip and Eminem going head to head over a hypnotic beat. One listen and it’s instantly clear that when these other rappers say they have swag, they really mean they’re copying T.I.

Now onto those aforementioned lows. I keep reloading No Mercy hoping that Amazing will no longer appear on the tracklist, but so far, no luck. On the surface I should be putting a Neptunes and T.I. record on repeat, but Amazing is such a disorganized mess, with a minimalist beat that might be fine by lesser standards and an aggravating hook from Pharrell, that it’s frankly hard to believe it made it onto the album. And considering Rocko holds the unique distinction of having one of the lowest rated albums in hip-hip history, I’d be lying if I didn’t say I was mystified by his inclusion on the otherwise knocking I Can’t Help It. Really Clifford? You could have any rapper in the world go in over this beat, and you went with Rocko? Really? And the embarrassingly basic Lay Me Down, featuring some heavily Lose Control influenced production from the usually stellar Jim Jonsin? I don’t think I even have to say it. In the grand scheme these are speed bumps in the usually fast flowing highway that is No Mercy, but great albums don’t contain mistakes like this. They just don’t.

But why concentrate on the negatives, especially since we are missing the services of the King of the South? While I don’t think there’s another radio smash on the order of Live Your Life, both the Drake-assisted Poppin Bottles and the genre-melding Castle Walls have some serious hit potential, and when T.I.’s truly on, as he is on the soulfully charged Salute, he’s as good as ever. Let’s just hope that this is the time he really really changes his life. More than three years after he was arrested on weapons charges, we could all use a change of context when it comes to T.I.

Full credit for this review goes to Nathan S from DJBooth.net, one of the few Hip Hop sites I fux with. I’m too busy to write review for this album right now Nathan did a great job with this review and I honestly feel the same way about the album more or less. I liked the album but it’s not as good as Paper Trail and King Is Still his best work to date that’s all I have to say, Chozen out.

I give it 3.9/5, leave your reviews and ratings below.

Digital Booklet, Artwork + Extras

Latest Chatter

  • never heard of this guy but his music hitting thou...
    chrisjenkinsmusic | Read More
  • I like this future and kanye record right here...
    chrisjenkinsmusic | Read More
  • Fuck all these fake stars....
    HipHopPlug | Read More
  • At least he didnt do a duet with iverson....
    elinfinite01 | Read More
  • 19 comments
    Johnathon Aran
    Johnathon Aran

    Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason appeared to be on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of. I say to you, I definitely get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about. You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing without having side effect , people could take a signal. Will likely be back to get more. Thanks

    Guilty
    Guilty

    Great Album ' Salute ' , ' Big Picture ' ,' Get back Up ' best songs on the album

    angel torres
    angel torres

    ti keep's it real all the time top rapper in the game

    Jurisa
    Jurisa

    Man ya'll people just be hatin on ma favorite rapper...ya'll just jealous ya'll don't have da shitzzzzzzzz....so yeah ya'll keep hatin cuz aint ya'll got dem ballz...so shut ya'll stinkin mouths.....,,,and go wash it up b-cuz ma man T.I.P is da shizzle ya'll...word to ya'll haterzz... don't hate just appreciate...!!!!!!SO I'M RATIN MA RAPPER A 10....IN UR FACES SUKKKAAAHHSSS>............

    mic
    mic

    Rating 4.80

    mic
    mic

    thou i ain't get da album yet,bt i'm very certain dat my rap king won't let down. My regards bro. T.I.P u d Best.

    Amazigh
    Amazigh

    T.I king of rap NO MERCY

    Diesel
    Diesel

    Sorry Not The Type To Get Into A Rapper Life But I Do Think Good Quality Music Combined Wit Beats And Real Lyrical Content Makes The Best Rappers And T.I. Is One Of The Best And Rare Real Rappers Out!! Kudos To T.I. His Music Never Disappoints !!

    H Rude
    H Rude

    Im a big TIP fan but this one is just not hittin. The flows are cool but the lyrics kinda lack the depth that he had been bringini to the table in his last few offerings. Stand out tracks: How life changed (Scarface of course its hittin), That's all she wrote ( Em spittin classic gibberish), Empty Walls (most insightful track on the album). Im sure he's not done droppin gems but this one was kinda fallin short of the bar he set. LONG LIVE THE KING!!!

    DeAndre Ballard
    DeAndre Ballard

    u a bitch ass nigga to u dont got a number one hit yeat so u ant the king tha is lil wayne so0 stop tryin to rap u wack ass nigga

    Ryan
    Ryan

    great album 4.7 for me

    flu
    flu

    T.I.P. the King

    Diesel2k1
    Diesel2k1

    This Album Is Easily 4.5 Outta 5 Its Right Up There Wit Eminem And Kanye's Album!! Even Though Im Givin Kanye 4.5 And Eminem 4.75

    Dj Mikeshy
    Dj Mikeshy

    3 T.I. can do much better than this

    skinny z
    skinny z

    imma give it a 4.5. its the king bitch!!

    Kris
    Kris

    im happy with the Album, im only rating it 4 stars cause Weezy wasnt in any of the songs, its not his fault since T.I. went back to jail right when Wayne got out. but with all the other music, i could see this hitting as hard as Eminem's Recovery Album Hold your head up T.I. you still king, much love.