Join the Cleveland Scene Press Club. Because No News is Bad News.

CD Review: T.I. 

No Mercy (Grand Hustle/Atlantic)

Fresh out of prison, and now back again after a parole violation, T.I. at least plays it safe on record. Maybe too safe at times. On his seventh album, his reliable rhymes and beats ride the usual grease-free Atlanta bounce, especially the laser-perfect organ and wash-guitar shadings in "How Life Changed." The 30-year-old rapper gets ample mileage out of a scaled-down Christina Aguilera in the pensive, synch-powered "Castle Walls," and the slickly melodic The-Dream helps out on No Mercy's title track, adding crunchy guitars, medieval piano, and fake swirling strings to the mix. Only problem, there's no "Whatever You Like," "What You Know," or "Swagger like Us" — the type of occasionally risky, hook-filled cuts T.I. does best. The closest we get is the outrageously ribald Neptunes cut "Amazing," which briefly busts out of the safety zone. We hate to say this about a guy who's spent plenty of time behind bars the past couple of years, but we wish he'd take a few more chances. Dan Weiss

We welcome readers to submit letters regarding articles and content in Cleveland Scene. Letters should be a minimum of 150 words, refer to content that has appeared on Cleveland Scene, and must include the writer's full name, address, and phone number for verification purposes. No attachments will be considered. Writers of letters selected for publication will be notified via email. Letters may be edited and shortened for space.

Email us at news@clevescene.com.

Cleveland Scene works for you, and your support is essential.

Our small but mighty local team works tirelessly to bring you high-quality, uncensored news and cultural coverage of Cleveland and beyond.

Unlike many newspapers, ours is free – and we'd like to keep it that way, because we believe, now more than ever, everyone deserves access to accurate, independent coverage of their community.

Whether it's a one-time acknowledgement of this article or an ongoing pledge, your support helps keep Cleveland's true free press free.

Read the Digital Print Issue

September 23, 2020

View more issues

Most Popular

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Newsletters

Never miss a beat

Sign Up Now

Subscribe now to get the latest news delivered right to your inbox.

Calendar

Staff Pick Events

  • Open Turntable Tuesday @ The Winchester

    • Tuesdays