Name: T.I. and the P$C
Mixtape: Gangsta Grillz: In Da Streets
Joints to check for: “Rap City Freestyle” by T.I., “24’s Remix” by T.I. featuring Three 6 Mafia, and “Gatbussa” by the P$C.
Previous mixtapes: In Da Streets Vol. 1 and Vol. 2.
The 411: So who is the real king of the South? Scarface has been certified a lyrical legend for years, Lil Jon’s sound is the hottest thing in the clubs, Lil’ Flip has his finger on the pulse of the streets, and Ludacris’ multimillion album sales have been rivaled only by Outkast. Well forget all of them, Atlanta’s T.I. says — he’s the rightful crown holder.
He may not have the sales or as much national radio rotation, but T.I., who batted cleanup on Bone Crusher’s chaotic anthem “Never Scared,” definitely is equal to his peers in the respect category, thanks to his acclaimed wordplay.
The admiration from his core is slowly starting to translate into sales. T.I.’s Atlantic Records debut, Trap Muzik (he released the slept-on I’m Serious in 2001 on Arista) is nearing gold status after less than two months in stores. The drawling MC has also been making waves as CEO of the indie label Grand Hustle. He and his crew — which includes the female rap duo Xtaci and his all-male group the Pimp Squad Clique, a.k.a. P$C — have been releasing mixtapes on the underground circuit to build momentum for the label’s movement.
In Da Streets kicks off with a Three 6 Mafia remix of “24’s,” on which producers Juicy J and DJ Paul create a macabre soundscape that sounds like it belongs on the score of the next “Halloween” movie. Members of the Triple Six also rap on the song, as does T.I. and his signee Big Kuntry King.
During the summer, 50 Cent and Young Buck did one of their patented song jackings of T.I.’s hit “24’s,” on which they made up a new song using the same beat and the melody. The G-Unit named their track “44’s and Calicos.”
Turnabout is fair play for T.I. on In Da Streets. T.I. jacks “44’s and Calicos” and adds new verses from P$C to go along with 50 and Buck. The outcome? “44’s and Calicos II” of course.
“Jack my sh–, I don’t care,” T.I. says during the opening notes. “If you like it, I love it.”
Later T.I. and the artist formerly known as Gangsta Boo (she’s now calling herself Lady Boo) try to expose each other on “Don’t U Have a Wife.” “Why you all up in my grill?/ Don’t you have a wife at home?” asks Boo, whose verse centers around a bugaboo who wants her as his mistress.
T.I. answers back, “Nah, baby girl, I’m about to leave her,” before posing his own inquiry as to Boo’s relationship status. “Why you staring at my watch?/ Don’t you have a n—a with one?”
T.I. continues flirting with ladies on a new Cee-Lo track called “The One.” “You’re the one, girl/ You’re the one, girl/ Put your finger in the air if you’re the one, girl,” Cee-Lo insists.
While T.I. continues to put out product on the street, he hasn’t forgotten about Trap Muzik. He has a new video called “Be Easy” dropping soon. Under the direction of Nick Quested (Lil’ Romeo, Trick Daddy), we see T.I. and others act out a story, but the clip plays in reverse.
For other artists featured in Mixtape Mondays, check out Mixtape Mondays Headlines.
For a full-length feature on the role of mixtapes in the music industry, check out “Mixtapes: The Other Music Industry.”