Fresh off a stint in prison, the self -proclaimed, “King of the South”, T.I., returns with his latest musical offering to start the year off right. The Grand Hustle leader presents a mixtape full of all original music to prep fans for his inevitable studio release coming sooner than later. If it feels like we’ve been here before, it’s because we have. Let’s just hope Tip stays out of trouble long enough to keep the music coming consistently this time. With the intent of being the first thing people heard once the new year started, Tip returns triumphantly with one primary objective, to F*ck Da City Up.
From the very beginning, Tip sets the tone of the mixtape with a braggadocio introduction that only he could deliver. Followed immediately by the title track, this is the collabo that most Young Jeezy fans expected when he linked up with T.I. on TM 103. A little less introspection, a little more club banging, “F*ck Da City Up” should definitely live up to it’s title in a venue near you. This feeling is carried over into the next couple of tracks as T.I. lets it be known very early that the King is back and here to stay.
It should be known that this project comes off as one big welcome home party for Tip, that doesn’t seem to slow down at any point. Jeezy may have been the first invited in, but the guest list doesn’t stop there. Some of the more in demand names of the past year were all gathered to join in on the fun. 2 Chainz comes through with his own infectious brand of sophisticated ignorance on “Loud Mouth”. Tip reunites with his former Grand Hustle affiliate, Meek Mill on “Who, What, When”, as the MMG notable presents a street worthy verse signed and delivered with his patented flow. The love Tip shows through out the tape even extends to Nelly on “This Time of Night”, as well as the deceased Pimp C with a track fittingly titled “Pimp” that also features Too Short.
Of course it should be noted that the guest that will leave most pleasantly surprised, comes in the form of the legend known as Dr. Dre. The Doctor not only supplies Tip with a beat that should have been reserved for Detox, but also delivers a rare quick 16. Unexpected, but well worth it. Just Blaze and Mannie fresh also provide album quality beats with, “Oh Yeah” and “The One” respectively. In fact a project with those three producers alone would almost always equal an album, so with any luck there’s more where this came from.
At times Tip’s welcome back party falls short of it’s grand theme, as songs like “Pissn’ On Your Ego” and “I See Ghost’s” could have been left on the cutting floor. Not to mention the subject matter in all of the songs are pretty much the same. It’s obvious Tip is enjoying his freedom, but it’s hard to embrace the lavish gangster party lifestyle on every track and then see him firmly settled in his new family man role made for the public every week on TV.
To be quite honest, F*ck Da City Up whole point of existence was to make everyone aware that Tip is hard at the work in the studio. While it’s nothing that stands out in his pretty expansive catalog, it’s something to hold us over until the album. Some of these songs will very much be played through out the rest of the year and for a New Year’s Day project, that’s a pretty big feat. Nothing to be mad about here.
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