No matter his other career moves, the music played a big role in his takeover. He was popping up on records here and there, dabbled with his F**k A Mixtape release, and most importantly, sounded refreshed and ready to do damage. By July, “Go Get It” the first single off Trouble Man was released, followed by “Ball” featuring Lil Wayne. “I think with his last record [No Mercy], it was clear that project was rushed,” Rodriguez continues. “The last record he was working on it and he got arrested. It changed. At the very end he was tryting to capture the tone of where he was at. I think it made for an up and down overall album. With Trouble Man, he’s back in form. He clearly still has it, he’s clearly still talented as a lyricist, he’s just running into a new challenge with himself. ”

That challenge may very well be delivering a quality project. Not that he had ever been replaced in his position of reign, but by nature, he likes to test himself. “It’s just a different time period,” notes Lamar “Mars” Edwards. The Grammy-winning producer and musician of 1500 or Nothin’ has known and worked with T.I. for several years, and while Edwards acknowledges that the jail time changed his headspace, the major difference between his last album compared to Trouble Man lies in the storyline. “I felt like he had more to say [in recording Trouble Man], and more freedom to say what he wanted to say. I think this album is a little more fresh and new.”

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