EP Review | T.I. – Us Or Else

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This project was released on September 23rd in 2016. You know how police brutality is a thing? T.I. is one of the few mainstream artists who actually has emotions, so he was inspired to make an entire project about it. In fact, I’m pretty sure he followed this EP up with a full length album. I’m gonna save his albums for an eventual marathon tho. This is another project that somebody asked me to review last year, but I’ve been slackin’ ever since I started school. Sorry ’bout that… Anyway, I like T.I., and I’ve heard a lot of good things about this project, so I’m expecting it to be dope.

Track 1: We Will Not (Prod. Mars & Mike & Keys)

we-will-not

Okay, this is already hard as fuck. I’ve listened to the first 30 seconds already. This beat is dope, and T.I.’s flow is on point. “We will not live on our knees, we will die on our feet / This ain’t no lie that I speak / All you youngin’s out here in the streets only wanna shoot people who look like you / You can stay home, you too weak.” This is fantastic. Gotdamn. This man is rapping his motherfuckin’ ass off right now. “We sick of the garbage you kickin’ and teachin’ and lynchin’ us / Lockin’ us up for no reason and killin’ us; no consequences, convictions, you serious? / Lyin’ about what you show in the media / Assassinate all the leaders who leadin’ us / Leave us with ones who misleadin’ us then go and reward all the ones who mistreat us and leave us in projects and give us these poisonous products / On top of narcotics to push to our sisters and brothers like them ain’t our sisters and brothers.” I apologize for that long ass quote, but gotdamn. His flow is bananas on this shit too. Wow. It just ended. That’s how you start a fucking project. It was just one long ass verse over a dope beat. He ripped this shit apart. T.I. is actually really fuckin’ good at making political music. He just laid it all out in less than 3 minutes. This is absolutely dope af. 5/5

Track 2: Black Man Feat. Quavo, Meek Mill & RaRa (Prod. Lil C, MP808, Mars & Rossi)

black-man

It should be interesting to see how these featured artists do with this political subject matter. This song starts really abruptly. The hook from Quavo is dope. Oh shit. This beat is dope af. Oh snap. This shit is REALLY fuckin’ dope. Quavo’s verse actually wasn’t bad. I mean, don’t get me wrong; it wasn’t like T.I.’s verse on the previous track. It was pretty vague and simplistic. It was sufficient tho. I enjoyed it. This beat is really fuckin’ nice. That must be RaRa on the second verse. I’m not familiar with him, but he sounds pretty dope on this track. Wow. This is a really fucking good song. This sounds like a hit song. Was this song popular? I hope it was. The music video has almost 2 million views. I don’t know how that compares to the average T.I. music video. Meek Mill’s verse was cool I guess, even though he got really off topic during the second half… “Two Maybachs and I had a bad year / Young nigga countin’ money like a cashier.” It really is impossible for this motherfucker to not flex. Whatever. It was still better than I expected. I guess that’s not really saying much tho… T.I. came through and murdered this track right at the end. It should go without saying that he had the best verse. “Wanna do me how they do us in the movies or how they do it out in Baton Rouge / Or Ferguson, or Florida, or Baltimore; they make excuses / Like, ‘I did cause I thought he had a pistol‘ / Or ‘I did it cause I thought he was a Muslim.” Yeah, I fuck with this track. It would’ve been better if Meek stayed on topic, but it’s still dope. 4/5

Track 3: Warzone (Prod. Mike & Keys & Mars)

warzone

I haven’t heard this song, but I think I’ve seen the music video. It was floating around Twitter when it first dropped. I watched it without sound because I knew I was gonna review this project eventually, and I like listening to everything at once. It’s starting now. The hook is isn’t bad. This beat is really fuckin’ dope. The first verse was fantastic. T.I. sounds great over this production. Damn. T.I.’s speaking so much fuckin’ truth on this track, and all over this whole project. This is another fantastic song. This might actually be my favorite track so far. It’s dope af. 5/5

Track 4: Switchin’ Lanes Feat. Big K.R.I.T. & Trev Case (Prod. Trev Case)

Alright, this should be good. Big K.R.I.T. is one of my favorite rappers. This beat is really dope. T.I.’s singing on the first verse with autotune. I’m not crazy about it. It’s not too bad tho. It just takes some getting used to I guess. It’s still dope lyrically. Trev Case did a nice job with the hook. Okay, THIS is dope. Big K.R.I.T. is goin’ the fuck in on this second verse. He killed that shit. It’s nice to hear some more lowkey production on this project. The first half of this EP was really fuckin’ loud and in your face. T.I. is rapping normally without autotune on the last verse. This is a good track. I’m still not crazy about that first verse from T.I. with the autotune, and this isn’t really much of a political track, but I still really fuck this song. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 5: 40 Acres Feat. Killer Mike & Rossi (Prod. Deputy & Medor)

This beat is cool. Rossi’s on the first verse. That was actually really dope. His flow was nothing special, but it was great lyrically. He did his thing on the hook too. Got DAMN. Y’all already know Killer Mike slaughtered that second verse. That was awesome. T.I. killed that third verse too. Hmm… Should I give this a 4 or a 5? Eh. Fuck it. I’ll go hard on this shit since it’s an EP. I definitely liked this less than the previous track too. The verses were all fantastic. I liked the beat and the hook, but they weren’t really on the next level like the verses were. This is still a very good song tho. I fuck with this track. It’s dope. 4/5

Track 6: I Swear (Prod. The Pusha Beats)

This beat is really dope. The verse was really fucking good too. Alright, it’s pretty much over. That was dope. I feel like it maybe could’ve used another verse tho. There’s like a minute and a half of T.I. saying random shit I don’t care about, and then the song ends. It just feels a little undercooked. I don’t know. I get that this is supposed to be the outro, but still. I definitely fuck with the song. The beat is awesome, and the verse was really good. I just think it could’ve used a little more time in the oven. It’s dope tho. I fuck with this track. 4/5

Final Thoughts:

This project is REALLY fucking dope. Even if it didn’t have a political message that I really cared about, it would still be great. The beats and flows are really fucking good. T.I.’s a lot better than I thought he would be at making politically charged music. He was really just spittin’ his ass off on this project. The features were really good for the most part too. I think the only person I didn’t really care for on this project was Meek Mill, and he wasn’t even that bad. This project is definitely worth listening to. Even if you don’t listen to T.I. that much, I think you should try this EP out. It’s really fucking good. Every single track is above average. It’s fucking great.

Favorite Song: Warzone

Least Favorite Song: I Swear

Verdict:

86%

80-89

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