Yeah, technically mixtapes aren’t albums. But with the line between the two becoming increasingly blurred, it’s only right to treat mixtapes with significance. Recently, T.I. dropped one of those, and we here at TRU thought it was important to bang the gavel on it. Without further ado, here’s the verdict on Fuck Da City Up.
When I first heard this mixtape, I was frustrated and disappointed. It’s always hard to separate artists from their music, and with someone like T.I.- who has dealt with various legal troubles over the past few years- this is even more so the case. So initially, I was turned off by T.I.’s seeming regression as an artist, with his topics ranging from cash, gats, dope dealing, boasting, partying, cars, etc. I felt Tip had gone back to his old ways.
However, I then remembered his pledge in an interview with Vibe magazine to make music for his hood, and those who had been down with him during his struggles. Suddenly, it clicked. This mixtape wasn’t for about T.I. It was about the ATL. The title of the mixtape makes hints at it, and his numerous shout outs on the mixtape’s outro make it clear as day.
With this in mind, T.I. brings the goods. There are guests on nearly every track, but fortunately most of them do their thing to enhance their respective songs and give the album a party-like feel. The production is ATLesque and bombastic, and meant to cause a ruckus. This is exactly what T.I. does, getting down and dirty on songs like “Pimp,” which features a stellar verse from the late Pimp C, and “This Time of Night,” which features a smooth hook from Nelly. He also gets
grimy with Meek Mill on “Who What When” and on “Harry Potter.” You’ve got to give Clifford Harris props for making a song titled after a boy wizard sound hard. Fans from the Hot Wheels generation will appreciate “Hot Wheels” and Dr. Dre shows up to both rhyme and produce near the mixtape’s end with a gangsta-party song, “Popped Off.” Quite simply, it’s a banger.
It’s not all smooth sealing; T.I. is dealing with all-too-familiar content and sometimes has trouble making it sound lively and interesting. The boring flow and beat of “Stunt’n Like a Fool” are perfect examples of this. However, usually he gets the job done well. This is a mixtape that most likely won’t be regarded as memorable outside the ATL, but it’s a hella good time. With Fuck Da City Up, T.I. has made some dope trap music out of appreciation for those who have held him down through all the years, all the ups and downs, all the arrests. And through doing so, he’s proven he’s still got it.
DOWNLOAD: T.I. – F*ck Da City Up (Mixtape)