Talking money as usual, rapper/actor T.I.‘s second single, “About The Money,” from his ninth studio album, Paperwork, is a hit constructed for the younger generation. It’s destined for greatness on urban radio, purely for the gritty, witty elements from Young Thug, such as, “I’m packin’ 11, I’m packin’ 11 / I ride in a gator, my shoes are Giuseppe / I’m slime like the reverend, I shoot at the reverend.” London On Da Track‘s production is the real highlight, supplementing the hook with a trap beat apparently made with T.I. in mind. If this had been on T.I. Vs T.I.P., it would have fit perfectly. In due time, this will hopefully serve as the biggest hit for T.I. since “Whatever You Like” from the classic Paper Trail.
T.I delivers a hit record this time around after an initial false start to the project. Last summer, the first product to represent the new album, “No Mediocre” featuring Iggy Azalea, received an average response. Lesson learned, T.I. recruits Young Thug, who undeniably brings a youthfulness to the record. The addition of Thug benefits the track mainly due to the current trends in urban radio.
It’s clearly a T.I. tune, but Young Thug quickly gleams over the veteran rapper, providing catchy verses to support the theme of the record. Specifically during the first verse, rhyming, “Bustin’ out the bando, A n***a jewelry real metal like a can opener / I went from rags to riches to a feature with T.I.P.” Lyrically, Young Thug is mediocre, but the character is what resonates. The trouble man acts as the hype man for the newcomer, playing the sidelines. It’s definitely a new trend transpiring for the Atlanta native, as he begins to lean more on features.
The subject of money is nothing fresh for T.I. as it was also heard on his 2012 single, “Ball,” from TroubleMan: Heavy is The Head. But this time around, a worthy hook propels the song to new heights, “If it ain’t about the money, Don’t be blowing me up, I ain’t getting up / If it ain’t about the money / Ain’t no use in you ringing my line / stop wasting my time.” He is vicious in his delivery during the chorus, which makes the song above average. He contributes his best lyric in the song during the last verse, when he says, “Know you better be on your best behavior when addressing me / Because, bye-gones, we don’t let em be.”
As a single, the record will work like magic on the urban stations across the country, and the production by London On Da Track brings grittiness to the hook. Young Thug looks good on the record and T.I. is intense and commanding, elevating the mood of the song nicely. “About the Money” is a good song, but I would expect much more from T.I. at this point in his career. Even so, it is a fun ride through a familiar neighborhood with the rapper.