– On August 19th, 2003, T.I. dropped Trap Muzik – the album that would make him a nationwide star and introduce a subgenre of hip-hop that would become its go-to sound.

Trap music has taken over. There is no doubt about it. So much so, various regions across the United States (and even the world) have begun to adopt this rapper’s sound and reformulate it in many different ways. This has led many to make the case that Atlanta is the new hip-hop hub or, in the words of 2 Chainz, “We took the ball”. To many of hip-hop’s earliest and most passionate followers, that’s a highly sensitive conversation topic. However, trap music has undoubtedly made a huge impact on mainstream music, and T.I. is unquestionably one of its earliest pioneers. Talk about a grand hustle.

Trap Muzik was recorded between December 2002 and July 2003 before being released the next month. T.I. was able to enjoy substantial commercial success selling 110,000 copies in the first week and 1,070,000 copies to date with “24’s”, “Let’s Get Away”, “Be Easy”, and “Rubber Band Man” as the album’s lead singles. This was a major recovery from T.I’s debut album, I’m Serious, which sold poorly and was met with lackluster reception. However, the rapper’s decision to stay true to his southern roots and enlist the help of legendary producers such as Jazze Pha, Kanye West, DJ Toomp, and David Banner proved to be the right move.

T.I. has also opened up about the overall message in this project in comparison to his prior works.

It’s informative for people who don’t know nothing about that side of life and wonder why somebody they know that live on that side of life act the way they do or do the things they do. So it’s informative for them and maybe it can help them deal with these people, help them relate to these people, help them understand, help them to see their point of view a little better.”

He has even gone a bit deeper by stating,

It’s another outlook on the trap. Before, trappin’ was cool, but now trappin’ ain’t cool. It’s necessary for some, but no, it ain’t cool – even if you a hustler. All the hustlers I know – sellin’ dope is the last thing they wanna do. If you a real hustler, you gon’ move on to bigger and better things.”

Spoken like a true hustler indeed…

Written by DJ Robinson