Recorded while T.I. was under house arrest on pending gun charges, Paper Trail is split between songs that address two distinct objectives. “No Matter What” and “My Life, Your Entertainment” allow T.I. to speak candidly to his audience about his stress, his mistakes, and his anger as an impending prison sentence looms over him. Just as importantly, “Live Your Life” and “Whatever You Like” are memorable radio spectacles designed to bring the masses on board and keep them there, at least until T.I.’s legal woes subside. The album’s heart and soul rest with the tracks on which T.I. bares his soul. On “Ready For Whatever,” he admits his own guilt, and confides: “500,000 every year spent on security / My future was bright but now its getting’ blurry.” Paper Trail is at its most compelling when T.I. is confessing his vulnerability in the face of all that plagues him.
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