Picks and Pans Review: T.I.

UPDATED 04/17/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT Originally published 04/17/2006 at 01:00 AM EDT

King

RAP

As the self-proclaimed King of the South, Atlanta's T.I. aims to protect his territory on this follow-up to 2004's hit Urban Legend. On the opening track, the horn-punctuated boastfest "King Back," he dubiously vows to have his competition "wiped out like Thailand." While T.I.'s latest doesn't exactly win him regional bragging rights—like many rap CDs, it's too long and has too much filler—it finds the emcee proudly representing the Southern hip-hop movement with his distinctive drawl and bass-heavy beats. T.I., who also stars in the new movie ATL, veers from street bangers such as "Ride wit Me" to the jazzy "Goodlife" (featuring Pharrell and Common) and the Isley Brothers-sampling slow jam "Hello," but he sputters with formulaic fare like "Top Back."

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