After a drug arrest and parole violation, southern rapper T.I. is headed back to jail for another 11 months. His new album No Mercy, originally named "King Uncaged" to celebrate his release from prison, is instead an introspective and somewhat depressing glimpse at a guy who used to crush his competitors with bravado and arrogance.
Tip still has the flow and raw skills that took him to the top, but it's hard to ignore the over indulgence of self pity throughout the album. The cover of the album looks like T.I. wiping way a tear, a far cry from the days of Urban Legend, when Tip told us in the first line of his second solo album, "And in case you forgot, I'm the King." It sounded ridiculous at the time, but the attitude behind T.I.'s premature self-anointment was ultimately what skyrocketed him to the top. No Mercy is missing this overwhelming self-confidence, and as a result, people are starting to forget who is King.