Though his music career was doing well in 2008, T.I. was also facing a one-year jail sentence in 2008. I’m sure everyone remembers the day T.I. was supposed to be at the BET awards but he was arrested for attempting to purchase guns from a federal agent.
2008 was a crazy year for T.I. The pros were the music. The summer of 2008 was when T.I. dropped Whatever You Like, which was a slightly different sound for the King of The South. Those who have been around since Trap Muzik were used to a grittier and aggressive T.I. Paper Trail showed us a different side. Continuing with the stamina of his music in September, T.I. collaborated with Rhianna for Live Your Life and Jay Z, Lil Wayne, Kanye West, and MIA for Swagga Like Us. Swagga Like Us was more special than all his other singles because of the crazy features and at the time, everyone was at the top of their game that year. It was all heavy hitters on one song. “What the fuck you boys talkin’ bout? I know it’s us cus we the only thing to talk about.” Unfortunately, the song did not have a video, but they performed at the Grammy’s. [adToAppearHere]
Though T.I. was preparing to be away from his family for a year, he turned to the music and put his feelings into Paper Trail. Today T.I.’s sixth studio album turns ten years old and has unappreciated bangers like Porn Star and Swing Ya Rag. T.I. started the album with unhooked songs to show that he still has it. “The bullshit I’m addressin’, check, I’m on some next level shit.” Besides his witty wordplay, this album gave us the notion that everything is going to be okay with T.I. “I weather whatever storm. Make it out without a bruise,” he said on No Matter What. T.I. also showed his fans that his head was help high with songs like I’m My Life Your Entertainment featuring Usher and Slide Show featuring John Legend.
Paper Trail was a different sound from T.I. at the time. Songs like Whatever You Like were more of his singing. Of course, he had Let’s Get Away and Hello, but he made it more personal when he smoothly sang throughout the entire song. From the joyous song On Top of The World featuring Ludacris to his subtler song Dead and Gone featuring Justin Timberlake, It appeared, his at the time future jail sentence, sparked a different T.I. This album was more chill.
In the mist of Paper Trail, T.I. did not allow his jail sentence to stop him from working. At the time, he had Aint I Remix with Yung L.A., Just Like Me with Jamie Foxx, and Family Hustle.