T.I.P. = To Increase Praise. After spinning “About Business,” it’s clear that Humble’s T.I.P. is driven to see his acronym communicated through his latest release. His main aim always points back to Jesus and a need for him. His message is strong, and his heart seems right. Still, despite the props he absolutely deserves for the blazing hot truth he dishes out, the music could use a few matches.
When the artistry is close in quality to his content, one can see the makings of a dope record. For example, Humble T.I.P. has some ill punch lines scattered throughout the release. When you hear stuff like “The kid been redeemed since 1 A.D./ My life been redirected, I did a 180,” or “You married to a curse, Ronald Reagan and you Nancy,” (both lines from “J. Beat Box”), you can see the potential for a sweet mesh of Gospel and good-emceeing. That just doesn’t happen enough. See, T.I.P.’s a punchline rapper, but I don’t think he’s a very consistent one. He doesn’t compensate for this issue with insane rhyme schemes or out of the box concepts. So just like a so-so stand up, when the jokes aren’t making you chuckle, things get real old real fast.
The 808-driven (probably over-used) instrumentals rarely inspire or evoke a whole lot of emotion. Honestly, there isn’t much about that which hasn’t been said before. Like any instrumental style, there are creative and/or catchy uses, and moderation of a particular style helps. T.I.P. doesn’t really find that balance, nor do his beats add anything fresh to the game.
Hands down, the best track on the album is “My Pride.” If you recall, the message he gives is as strong as it gets. “My Pride,” exemplifies this, as T.I.P. addresses his own battles towards living out his moniker. If you’re at all like me, you’re wondering “Geez, if he’s so HUMBLE, why does he gotta boast about it in his stage name?” Well, this song expresses his earnest desire to grow into the humility that God calls us all to aspire towards. Tremendous song.
All in all, if you go out and cop “About Business”, you’ll hear a genuine man that does express an earnest desire to act out his album name and stage persona. But, if you’re like me (and really, not everyone is), you’ll hear lots of so-so lyricism and beatsmithing. It can be catchy, but infrequently captivating. There are hints of a great record in there, but “About Business” has far more average than awesome.
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Review by: Bradford Davis
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