Every song on here is for the person who is equally pissed off and ready to do something about the troubles facing Black America right now. Instead of relying on his A-list rolodex for features that would all but guarantee a spot on the Billboard charts, T.I. recruits appearances from artists that he either genuinely rocks with or would have something to offer to the context and content of this effort.
Killer Mike delivers a scathing verse on “40 Acres” that strikes the fear of God in listeners by virtually saying there isn’t one to “come back” and save us. He gets Big K.R.I.T. to assist him on “Switchin Lanes” where they challenge listeners to find something worth dying for. He also features new Hustle Gang associate RaRa on “Black Man” that invokes the spirt of 2Pac’s unapologetic stance on police from “Holla If You Hear Me.” Decatur, Ga. newcomer B Rossi also gives a solid showing on the aforementioned “40 Acres.”
T.I.’s effort is the latest in a series of projects this year that prove that Andre 3000’s statement, “The South Got Something To Say” still rings true some 20-plus years since he said it at the Source Awards.
Slim Thug quietly dropped the most “woke” album of the year this past summer with American Thug. Big K.R.I.T.’s verse on “Might Not Be OK” is a punch to the chest of anyone acting like racism and police brutality is “made up.” Killer Mike is always Killer Miking everytime he speaks. David Banner’s current single “Black Fist” and his upcoming #TheGodBox album are sure to set some fires when it drops. Young Buck’s calls to shoot back at police officers may have turned some off, but it definitely showed that he at least cared to do or say something.
Haters will say that a six-song TIDAL exclusive isn’t enough to make up for the decades of rapping about trapping on full length albums. US Or Else may draw even more side eyes if T.I.’s upcoming album Da Dime Trap goes back to the street sh*t and leaves the social commentary on the cutting room floor. But let’s at least for now, appreciate T.I. for using his platform and celebrity to bring attention to some important issues when it clearly doesn’t benefit him to do so.
As the self-proclaimed “King Of The South,” he can’t afford to be silent in times like these.