Thursday, January 16th, 2014

T.I. – The Way We Ride

In which we, through the transitive property, compare Jay Z to Flo Rida…

Alfred Soto: T.I.’s decline has been steady, and being the most forgettable voice in “Blurred Lines” is his first achievement since 2008. This Futuristiks production rehashes the woozy “Whatever You Like” harmonized hooks, and Tee sounds catatonic.

Crystal Leww: Has T.I. become the Jay Z of Atlanta? He’s not quite at that level of corny or straight up gross, but somewhere along the way, T.I. stopped being fun and just started sounding tedious. He’s trying to rep the South, and credit for that, but T.I.’s ATL to the core. Stop trying to rep H-Town, babe. Your lazy drawl gets entirely overwhelmed and drowned out by this chopped & screwed chorus.

Brad Shoup: I can hear it on pop radio, for sure. Maybe it’s because he now raps like Flo Rida at 70% speed? The bass stretches like a Silly Putty rubberband, and the siren-like whine has a West Coast vibe. If this isn’t the move, it’s along these lines.

Patrick St. Michel: My knowledge of T.I.’s music post Paper Trail isn’t particularly great, so maybe I’m wrong about this, but I really like how this is basically a sequel to “Top Back.” Like most second installments, it isn’t nearly as good as the original. But it also manages to hit on everything that was great about what came before, and with this that means a stereo-ready beat for T.I. to rap about how he still can cruise around with his top back. I’ll take that.

Will Adams: Something about this just feels classic, from the reedy West Coast synth to the regional pride to the drawled, unsung hook. T.I. could stand to up his energy, but with a groove so subdued — and that nonchalant but monstrous bassline at the center — it’s almost understandable that even he can’t resist its composure.

Mallory O’Donnell: The loop that can be heard clearly for the first thirteen seconds creates all the atmosphere this song could need. It’s an eerie riff, like a ghost inhabiting your Cybotron record. The rest of it is just a bunch of decent to mediocre padding to make the track sound scary and hard. It didn’t need it. It definitely didn’t that flat-ass drum set, either. Or T.I.

Andy Hutchins: Tip’s gonna rap until he’s 60 and sound like this same cocky, clever guy the entire time. But I feel like I’ve heard this song 60 times, and usually with less obviously recycled bars (seriously, find a new way to say “Your bitch is on my dick”) and less somnolent production.

Daniel Montesinos-Donaghy: When we’re talking about T.I., we’re discussing that voice of his, an elasticated vigorous unfuckwitable weapon of charisma. Even when he’s going through the motions — the more vicious he is the more unstoppable he sounds — he is a warming presence. He barks and flexes plenty on “The Way We Ride” but viciousness is not the mood here. Instead, there’s relaxed menace present, and it’s a woozily effective effort from the Kang. Yeah, Pimp probably would be proud too, Tip.

Reader average: [2.5] (2 votes)

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One Response to “T.I. – The Way We Ride”

  1. this doesn’t really sound a ton like what’s popular in rap right now (west coast ratchet/chicago drill/ATLNAYVADIUS)? maybe that’s why i like it???