The Score: T.I., "No Mercy"

Tuesday, Dec 7, 2010 12:00PM

Written by J. Bachelor

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Incarcerated rapper T.I. is back on the streets in digital form with the release of his seventh LP, entitled No Mercy.

Originally promoted under the title King Uncaged, The "Rubber Band Man" swapped the album title after receiving an 11-month jail sentence earlier this year.

T.I. is back with a vengeance, dishing out an album of resilience, apology, admittance, and announcement. Tip's been missing since 2008's Billboard hit Paper Trail, and he comes back with full artillery with the release of No Mercy. It's a climb from the courtroom defendant seat to the gilded Southern throne, and while not entirely there yet, Tip's got a firm grasp on the velvet seat-cushion with the release of this album. (Ology)

The self-proclaimed "King of the South" summoned hip hop royalty to to bestow their mercy on nearly all of the albums tracks

As per usual on a T.I. release, the only thing No Mercy has more of than producers is special guest collaborators, and this time he exchanges verses with some of the best including Kanye West, Kid Cudi, Eminem, and Christina Aguilera. While not necessarily revolutionary, T.I. and his tag team partners achieve some definite victories together - even if it's Eminem that steals the show on "That's All She Wrote" with some impressive displays of vintage fury. It's hard to believe the insanely catchy Pharrell collab ("Amazing") is one of the songs featured on the rapper's seventh album; the barely masked combination of "Drop it Like It's Hot" and "Pants on the Ground" is so sophomoric it hurts - and yet, it's hard to resist singing along with it.(Blare Magazine)

No Mercy features the results of T.I.'s experiments with different producers such as Saturday Night Live Band veteran Dr. Luke, and pop hit-maker Jim Jonsin putting in time on the boards.

T.I.'s seventh studio album, sees production from top producers including, Dr. Luke ('Magic,' 'Right Round'), Danja ('My Love,' 'Knock You Down') and Jim Jonsin ('Whatever You Like,' 'Lollipop.') What's more, 'No Mercy' is already being ushered by the new single, 'Get Back Up (feat. Chris Brown).' The companion video, shot in Atlanta, world premiered on BET's 106th & Park, with a sneak peek during MTV's 'The Seven,' as well as T.I.'s official website, trapmuzik.com. (Warsew)

Last month, T.I. dropped the LP's lead single, "Get Back Up", which boasts Chris Brown behind the vocals and The Neptunes behind the beat. 

"Thank you to all that took the time to check out my new video "Get Back Up" with my homie Chris Brown. And a bigger thanks to those of you who decided to comment (good & bad). To all of you who say, "he should practice what he preaches" and "how could he do something so stupid...AGAIN?", you're absolutely right and I couldn't agree with you more. But you know what? As history has shown us before, I find my greatest inspiration during my darkest hours. So all fans of music, T.I. or not, should be able to agree that NO MERCY will surely be my best work yet. After all isn't that what it's all about? If I never went to prison, never did drugs, never f'ed up again, did everything right and never made great music....would you even care enough to comment on T.I.? Doubt it, so bear that in mind while you jump to your conclusions guys. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said "Notice not the comments of your enemies but the silence of your friends." So although I'm still in touch...watching, reading and listening, I'm not concerned with what negative people say more than I am with what positive people don't. Guess that's enough for now... Love you all still, whether you still love me or not. REAL TALK!!! And I would like to give a special I LOVE U to @star_omg and @tinymajormama. - Tip" (Statement)

While some critics feel No Mercy is a decent effort, others feel T.I.'s limited lyrical content and dexterity on the LP will keep his "King of The South" title in pending status.

Overall, T.I. delivered a respectable album. My gripe with No Mercy is that every track after # 6 seems like it was recorded prior to T.I.'s arrest (with the exception of "Castle Walls"). With that being said, the album takes you on an emotional rollercoaster. It seems as thought T.I. revisited T.I. vs. TIP, and delivered the album from different perspectives. I think if he had created an EP featuring seven of the above tracks, this album would have been more effective. (I am Boi Genius)
No Mercy is full of these kind of moments, where suspect lyrical passages coast by under smooth surfaces. It might not be a stretch to suggest that T.I. is taking out his newfound powerlessness on women, who receive an inordinate amount of abuse here, were that kind of tough talk not already such a standard element of his stock in trade. Mostly, the album shows that T.I.'s lyrical side is not worthy of much attention. He proves once again that he's not the kind of rapper capable of much insight, his current real-life situation making little difference to the type of music he makes, which remains inertly focused on keeping up appearances. (Slant Magazine)

To purchase No Mercy, just click here.

Preview music from No Mercy here:

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