Be Better Than Me
Label: Grand Hustle, LLC
“I’m just doing my job,” explained T.I. on the song of the same name. Indeed, his seductive, effortless ode to Atlanta’s poverty-stricken Bankhead neighborhood makes workaholic drug dealing, big balling shopping sprees (“24’s”) and occasional R&B nighttime interludes (“Let’s Get Away”) seem perfectly noble, like clocking in for a nine-to-five at the factory. At least give him credit for portending his death in “Long Live Da Game.” Though T.I.’s wasn’t the first gangsta rapper to imagine that he’s ready to die, he ended this Dirty South classic with a clear moral: the D-boy lifestyle is unsustainable.