One rapper goes into the clink, another makes his public return. As promised, a new T.I. song, “I’m Back,” was released today at 5 p.m. sharp. So, what kind of track does a guy release as his first post-prison single? A pretty good one! The beat’s the kind of smoothed out, radio-friendly version of a thick down-South beat that T.I.’s been making his living on at least since KING (the producers, Trackslayerz, say they made it in 2008, which sounds about right), and dude doesn’t really have to break a sweat to keep up with it. Understandably, though, he does, dialing in the snarling fury and sounding legitimately, understandably, and unsettlingly bitter. He only explicitly mentions his sentence once (“I can tell, you ain’t never bought a ki or caught a body / nigga probably seen Wayne, Gucci Mane, me, and Boosie all go to prison / that ain’t pimping”), but, other than some perfunctory financial-asset flaunting (“quarter a million dollars car everywhere I go,” yawn), he spends his time lasering in on the fugazis who did him wrong while he was gone. At one point he says he forgives them, but it totally doesn't sound like he means it. Also, mark your calendars (but in pencil): T.I.’s first post-prison album drops August 24.
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