T.I. turns somber on his seventh album No Mercy, reflecting on his roller coaster ride of the past year. Kanye West, Eminem, Christina Aguilera, Chris Brown, Trey Songz, and more lend their troubled friend a hand during his tough times. While the incarcerated rapper seeks redemption, the critics have offered their ruling on his latest work. Find out how he fared.
USA Today: Sonically, he’s got loads of radio-friendly material with guests such as The-Dream, Trey Songz, Young Dro, Pharrell, Drake, and Eminem. Christina Aguilera helps close out the album with the standout “Castle Walls.” Fans have stuck by T.I., and his album is worthy of their attention. 3 out of 4
Los Angeles Times: Whereas he once toyed with tricky time shifts, his flow lingers conservatively in the pocket. Repeatedly confessing to his own fallibility, T.I. turns his attacks on gossip website TMZ and people who post Twitpics—uncomfortably interrupting his own celebration to snarl. 2.5 out of 4
The Boston Globe: “Castle Walls” has a terrific Christina Aguilera vocal and shows introspection, but throughout this disc there’s an unsettling celebration of the untamed life without any reflection on the consequences T.I. often laments.
Boston Herald: T.I. owns up to his personal failures and promises to do better in the future. But evidence of improved decision-making is scant on this solid if unremarkable effort. … Sparks fly when T.I. surrounds himself with top talents Eminem and Scarface, guys who know a thing or two about overcoming hard times. B
Newsday: On “That’s All She Wrote,” he trades well-crafted rhymes with Eminem, who delivers a wild, raging cameo as strong as anything on Recovery. B-
Rap-Up’s Favorite Tracks: “Get Back Up,” “That’s All She Wrote,” “No Mercy,” “Castle Walls”