- Trap Muzik
Trap Muzik Studio album by T.I. Released August 19, 2003 Recorded 2002-2003 Genre Southern hip hop Length 67:30 Label Grand Hustle, Atlantic Producer Clifford "T.I." Harris (exec.), Jason Geter (exec.), DJ Toomp (exec.), Benny "Dada" Tillman, Carlos "Los Vegas" Thornton, David Banner, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, Nick "Fury" Loftin, San "Chez" Holmes T.I. chronology I'm Serious
Singles from Trap Muzik
Due to the poor sales on T.I.'s debut album, I'm Serious, T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or he be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label. In 2003, T.I. launched Grand Hustle Records with his longtime business partner Jason Geter and signed a new deal with Atlantic Records.
The album spawned the hit singles "24's", "Be Easy", "Rubberband Man", and "Let's Get Away". The album featured guest appearances by Eightball & MJG, Jazze Pha, Bun B and Macboney. Longtime T.I. producer DJ Toomp served as executive producer for the album.
Trap Muzik debuted at number four on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, and sold 109,000 copies in its first week. It also debuted at number two on the U.S. Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums. The Recording Industry Association of America certified the album platinum in December 2003 and it sold over one million copies worldwide.
Upon its release, Trap Muzik received generally favorable reviews from most music critics, where most music critics saw it as a major improvement over his first debut album, I'm Serious.
Due to the poor commercial reception of his debut album I'm Serious, T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or he be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label. After being dropped from Arista Records due to the poor album sales from his debut album I'm Serious, T.I. formed Grand Hustle Records with his longtime business partner Jason Geter. After he formed Grand Hustle Records T.I. started releasing several mixtapes with the assistance of one of his DJ's, DJ Drama.
He then resurfaced in the summer of 2003 with fellow Atlanta rapper and former label-mate Bone Crusher's song "Never Scared." T.I. gained album buzz after appearing on Bone Crusher's single "Never Scared." His mixtapes and mainstream exposure from "Never Scared" eventually recaptured major label attention from many major record label's such as Warner Bros. Records, Universal Records, Epic Records, Columbia Records, Def Jam Recordings' southern division Def Jam South and Sean Combs' Bad Boy Records' southern division Bad Boy South as suitors. But he chose to signed a joint venture deal with Atlantic Records that year.
Trap Muzik contains discerning treatment of its subject matter: Drugs, T.I. fills the prescription for reality music: uncovering life stories from the trap, depicting the unrefined essence of street life and, more specifically, unveiling the grim realities of the drug game. "It's called trap music," T.I. explains. "So you know it's gonna be dealing with all aspects of the trap. And if you don't know what the trap is, that's basically where drugs are sold. In this country, the majority of us live in a neighborhood where drugs are sold, whether we like it or not. Whether you in the trap selling dope, whether you in the trap buying dope, whether you in the trap trying to get out - whatever the case may be, I'm trying to deal with all aspects of that lifestyle."
For the uninitiated, "Trap Muzik" is an introduction to an often-glamorized underworld, a musical collage of scenes that play out like excerpts from a TV drama. But to others, it's an all-too-familiar slice of everyday life. "It's informative for people who don't know nothing about that side of life and wonder why somebody they know that live on that side of life act the way they do or do the things they do. So it's informative for them and maybe it can help them deal with these people, help them relate to these people, help them understand, help them to see their point of view a little better. It's also inspiration for people who live that life." From "24's," the album's shoulder-bouncing, head-bobbing first single, to "Be Easy," Trap Muzik finds T.I. at his mischievous best. Checking in on the set are producers DJ Toomp, Sanchez, Carlos and Dada, and Jazze Pha, as well as artists Jagged Edge, 8 Ball & MJG, and Bun B of UGK. Heavy on introspection and streetwise enlightenment.
Production for the album would be contributed by DJ Toomp, Benny "Dada" Tillman, Carlos "Los Vegas" Thornton, David Banner, Jazze Pha, Kanye West, Nick Fury, San "Chez" Holmes, and Ryan "LiquidSound" Katz.
Trap Muzik is not only a stroll around the 'hood, but a journey through the mind of T.I. On "T.I. vs. T.I.P.," the rapper challenges himself to a verbal duel. "That's basically me talking to myself, just me getting in my own ear talking about the things I need to do and the things I shouldn't be doing and just some kind of psychological evaluation of myself." And he waxes romantic on "Get Right," which features R&B foursome Jagged Edge although the track does not make the album. "It's me talking to a lady I knew back when I didn't have much," he says. "We knew each other and we always felt like it was an attraction, but she was dealing with somebody who had way more than me, who could do way more for her at the time. But now I'm like, 'What he got that I ain't got besides you right now? So, get right'." Then there's the ghetto anthem, "Be Easy" Says T.I., "That's basically tellin' cats, when you meet me, you ain't gotta be all excited. You ain't got to go out of your way to say the stupidist shit you ever thought of just to say something. Just be easy, holla at me, keep it pimpin'. It's all good." T.I. continues to speak to his listeners on songs like the provocative "Be Better Than Me" "It's basically telling people who might look up to me, 'Don't be like me; be better than me.' Don't listen to my songs 'Dope Boys,' 'Trap Niggas,' and all that shit thinking that's what you got to do to be cool. That's what I did. You got your own thing for you to do." And on "No More Talk," T.I. blasts lame emcees who compromise creativity and substance for commercial acceptance. "That's basically saying I'm tired of niggas talking about what they got and getting on records and basically talking out the side of they neck about nothing, and they ain't rappin worth a damn. Niggas really just compromising the art for the hopes of just selling a record.
On the remarkably vulnerable "I Can't Quit," the second track on his sophomore release, Trap Muzik, T.I. observes "I'm this close to being a star and just this close to quitting." His 2001 debut, I'm Serious, seemed a powerful can't-miss record with a title single featuring an ace turn by Beenie Man. While it didn't wholly miss, the single which should have been pumpin' around the world barely saw a lick of airplay, and while the album sold modestly, it didn't even approach the platinum level lesser talents achieved with ease.
No matter though, T.I.'s back with a vengeance on Trap Muzik, an appealing melange of subtle beats and easy flows which belie the Georgia rapper's vast lyrical intellect. While there are aspects of the Dirty South in T.I.'s style, his world and his style are distinctly his own—incredibly unself-conscious but confident, observational, insightful, rough, and raw. This odd mix is best represented in the starkly honest "Doin' My Job," a cry for tolerance noteworthy for its lack of either cliche or treacle. The following track, the sexually laced banger, "Let's Get Away," could easily descend into a morass of silliness, yet somehow manages to remain organic. Hopefully, T.I. will not miss success again with Trap Muzik, but either way, the record makes it clear that quitting should not be an option.
Release and promotion
After his relationship with Arista Records came to an end, T.I. stayed on the grind - writing, recording, and rapping his heart out. Under the name of T.I. and the P$C, he released the underground hit "In Da Streets, Parts 1 and 2" on his own Grand Hustle Records. The album sold a staggering 20,000 units thanks to what T.I.'s manager and Grand Hustle Records partner Jason Geter refers to as "hand-to-hand distribution and a lot of driving around, a lot of legwork."
"24's" was the first official single to be released from Trap Muzik. The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 78, it charted at number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 15 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. The single was Produced by DJ Toomp, and the single is noted for beings T.I.'s starting point to a successful career. "Be Easy" was the second official single from the album, the single peaked at number 55 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. The single was Produced by DJ Toomp.
"Rubberband Man" was the third official single from the album. Upon release, it charted reasonably well, peaking at number 30 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. It charted at number 15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. Containing a sample of 'Go With Me' by Mannie Fresh, Production by David Banner's was noted by music reviewers, particularly the ascending organ riff that has been described as 'hypnotic' and 'pure halftime show'. The song is included in the hits collections Totally Hits 2004, Crunk Hits Volume 1, and Hip Hop Hits Volume 9. T.I. says the song's title is a reference to his habit of wearing rubber bands around his wrist, a habit that dates back to when he was a drug dealer. The rubber bands are used to hold big wads of money together, being as it won't fit into a normal pocket wallet. Publicity efforts for the single were derailed by T.I.'s arrest in August 2003.
"Let's Get Away" was the fourth and final official single from the album. The single entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 35, it charted at number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, at number 10 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart, and at number 16 on the Rhythmic Top 40. It was produced by T.I. and Jazze Pha, who appears on hook with a woman, and outro of the song. The song interpolates Aretha Franklin's 1972 song "Day Dreaming".
Trap Muzik achieved commercial success due to its singles' major hit around the United States. For instance, 24's was featured on the video game Need for Speed: Underground. The album debuted at number 4 on the Billboard 200 selling 109,000 copies on its first week, and was certified gold. Trap Muzik has sold well over 1 million copies since its 2003 release in the United States and was certified as Platinum by The Recording Industry Association of America.
Professional ratings Review scores Source Rating About.com (favorable) Allmusic  Entertainment Weekly (favorable) Rolling Stone  Prefix Magazine  RapReviews.com  Robert Christgau  Sputnikmusic  PopMatters (favorable) Vibe 
Upon its release, Trap Muzik received generally favorable reviews from most music critics. Most critics saw it as a major improvement over his first album, I'm Serious. According to About.com, Trap Muzik is the best T.I. album to date. It calls Trap Muzik "his most impressive album so far". Andy Kellman of Allmusic said that "Whatever promise T.I. showed on his flawed debut is almost fully realized throughout his excellent 2003 follow-up, Trap Muzik." Kellman also mentioned "Dig beneath that surface, and you'll come to appreciate an MC who uses the art of the metaphor like few others" and "the MC is the real draw from beginning to end", Kellman last adds that "With another record as good as this, T.I. just might become the King of the South that he continually claims to be". In 2010, Rhapsody (online music service) called it one of the top "coke rap" albums of all time. Epinions.com gave the album a 4 out of 5 stars and stated "T.I. says things that have been said by many current and long forgotten rappers: life in the ghetto, selling drugs, etc. He adds nothing new to it, so there is no reason for me to give props to his rapping skills. The guests that he features on his LP add nothing, or in some cases, further degrade the tracks that they appear. Although, on some songs, T.I. can really make us feel what he has been through; it is obvious that trappin’ still holds a grip on his mind. It is kinda sad that many people call this a classic CD and call T.I. a great rapper (in fact, he is one of the most overrated), but don't realize that when they praise this CD, they praise the image that self-portraying yourself to be above everyone is good, because most of this LP is nothing but self-gratification. (Moreover, to those, who honestly like this CD for good reasons, more power to you.)" Entertainment Weekly had this to say about the album "This Atlanta rapper's self-coronation as King of the South is belied by the very ordinariness of his lyrics and flow. Only when T.I. breaks from his static Southern comfort zone does he distinguish himself. Let's Get Away interpolates Aretha for a satisfying slice of G-funk, and the introspective No Mo Talk offers a glimpse of greatness for a would-be king." Rolling Stone gave the album a 3 out of 5 stars saying "[T.I.] is a hustler with a conscience and a heart....[T]he limber linguist is at his best when he's dissecting the minutiae of the game..." Prefix Magazine had this to say about the albums Production "David Banner's lazy organ-laced beat is damn hypnotic on the newer "Rubber Band Man" single and it's in good company with some funk from Kanye on "Doin' My Job" and "Let Me Tell You Something." But DJ Toomp—holy Christ, man. What is it with this guy? Strings, scattered miserable piano keys ... bloody hopeless melodies serving T.I.'s ghetto characterizations well. Sweet beats aside, T.I., the subject at hand, constructs what sounds like a web of gangsta imagery with seemingly no light at the end of the tunnel. Sure, he offers a drug-game narrative and the unlawful troubles that coincide with it, but the album is his medium to retract his previous troubles with the law and begin anew. Toward the end of Trap Muzik, in "T.I. vs. T.I.P." and "Be Better Than Me," he glorifies nothing. Instead, he reasons with the record-buying youth about being "better than [him]" by making smarter decisions about life. If only our politicians knew this much about contrition."
RapReviews.com noted "Moving to Atlantic Records seems to have breathed new life into T.I.'s young career. He also has good timing in his subject matter. Coincidental or otherwise, his hit single "24's" from the new album "Trap Muzik" comes at what may be the peak of a national trend to glorify bigger and better dubs (rims) on the tires of big cars. While a lot of the songs to date cover the subject well, T.I.'s DJ Toomp produced track has an infectious beat and a good spin (pun intended) on the topic. Drawing strength from the deep and repetitive bassline, T.I. uses his country-fried voice to musically punctuate his flow. While some rappers don't bother to give any inflection or shift in vocal pitch to their words, T.I. seems to come from the E-40 school that the more you throw it, the better the shit gets. As such T.I. doesn't need to rely on hitting punchlines or putting big words in his rhymes, which also gives his rap a natural and totally unforced quality. When he raps over David Banner's track on "Rubber Band Man," the effervescence of the Dirty South bubbles to the top. From the self-titled "Trap Muzik" intro to the "Long Live Da Game" closer, T.I. lives up to the potential he had on "I'm Serious" but was never seriously given a chance to show the world. With a good flow, a pleasntly mellifluous voice, and some of the South's best beats backing him up, this album is perfectly timed for the end of summer. At a party, in your headphones, or booming out the jeep, "Trap Muzik" will show your good taste in Southern rap flavors. If it's not your style, this may be the place for you to get into the groove and see how it moves. Take it from me."
No. Title Producer(s) Length 1. "Trap Muzik" (featuring Mac Boney) T.I., San "Chez" Holmes (co.), DJ Toomp (co.) 4:00 2. "I Can't Quit" Benny "Dada" Tillman, Carlos "Los Vegas" Thornton 4:17 3. "Be Easy" DJ Toomp 3:18 4. "No More Talk" San "Chez" Holmes 3:53 5. "Doin' My Job" Kanye West 4:13 6. "Let's Get Away" (featuring Jazze Pha) Jazze Pha 4:37 7. "24's" DJ Toomp 4:42 8. "Rubber Band Man" David Banner 5:47 9. "Look What I Got" DJ Toomp 3:05 10. "I Still Luv You" Nick "Fury" Loftin 4:58 11. "Let Me Tell You Something" Kanye West 3:40 12. "T.I. vs. T.I.P." T.I. 3:52 13. "Bezzle" (featuring 8Ball & MJG & Bun B) DJ Toomp 4:54 14. "Kingofdasouth" San "Chez" Holmes 5:00 15. "Be Better Than Me" San "Chez" Holmes 5:00 16. "Long Live da Game" San "Chez" Holmes 2:14
- "Be Easy" contains a samples of "Somebody To Love" by Al Wilson
- "No More Talk" contains a samples of "Can't Find The Judge" by Gary Wright
- "Doin' My Job" contains a samples of "I'm Just Doin My Job" by Bloodstone
- "Let's Get Away" contains a samples of "Day Dreaming" by Aretha Franklin
- "I Still Luv You" contains a samples of "She Only A Woman" by The O'Jays
- "Let Me Tell You Something" contains a samples of "I Wanna Be Your Man" by Zapp & Roger
- Bosko - Talk Box
- Leslie Brathwaite - Mixing
- Mike Caren - A&R, Editing
- Lavell Crump - Producer
- Mike Davis - Assistant Engineer
- Christina Dittmar - Art Direction
- DJ Toomp - Executive Producer, Producer
- Steve Fisher - Engineer, Mixing Assistant
- Fury - Producer
- Brian Gardner - Mastering
- Jason Geter - Executive Producer, Management
- Mark "Exit" Goodchild - Engineer
- Vance Hornbuckle - Assistant Engineer
- Jazze Pha - Producer, Vocals
- Kevin Knight - Photography
- James Lopez - Marketing
- Craig Love - Guitar
- Mac Boney - Performer
- Manny Marraquin - Mixing
- Chris Morris - Artist Coordination
- Benjamin Niles - Art Direction, Design
- Charles Pettaway - Bass, Guitar
- Dale Ramsey - Mixing
- Dale "Rambro" Ramsey - Mixing
- Daniel Romero - Mixing
- T.I. - Executive Producer
- Guion Thomas - Assistant Engineer
- Carlos Thornton - Producer
- Benny Tillman - Producer
- Kanye West - Producer
- Howard White - Assistant Engineer
- Cory Williams - Engineer, Mixing Assistant
- Crystal Williams - Mixing Assistant
- Mike "Hitman" Wilson - Engineer
- Michael Witwer - Guitar
Charts and certifications
Chart (2003) Peak
US Billboard 200 4 US Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums 2
Territory Certifier Certification United States RIAA Platinum
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