Album: T.I., No Mercy (Atlantic)
The stellar guest-list on No Mercy - with contributions from Kanye, Eminem and Pharrell – supports Atlanta rapper T.I.'s reputation as the Southern equivalent of Jay-Z, a hip-hop mogul with fingers in all kinds of showbiz pies.
But you don't find Jay-Z torpedoing his own business by getting jailed for violating probation a year after serving a previous jail term, a situation that necessitated last-minute changes including a change of title, the original "King Uncaged" being inappropriate now he's caged again. Not that he shows much remorse: tracks like the delinquent reminiscence "How Life Changed" and the mea culpa duet with Chris Brown, "Get Back Up", teeter queasily on the cusp of boast and apology. But you have to admire the gall of a repeat offender brazen enough to feature a quote from Helen Keller in his lyric booklet.
DOWNLOAD THIS Welcome to the World; That's All She Wrote; Big Picture