I'll admit when I read the pairing for new track "About the Money", I was taken aback. Sure both of the MC's making an appearance call Atlanta home, but they're in entirely different orbits. T.I.'s an unflappable commercial rap force; the dude with enough cache to get Andre 3000 features and Justin Timberlake hooks. Young Thug meanwhile is erraticism personified; a wild-card who'll either end a line with a pinched-off scream or fade away with an exasperated sigh. Thinking it could work would be as ridiculous as saying an MF Doom/Jay Z pairing would succeed simply because they both hail from NYC. When it comes to rap collabos, "location, location, location" isn't the only thing that matters.
And that simple fact is confirmed by "About the Money", T.I.'s latest effort that may be making an appearance on his ninth studio album Paperwork. Though the London On Da Track beat is built on a foundation of: clomping bass, rickety stereo-pans, and wobbly church organ, there's nothing shaky about the Tip/Thug partnering. They've both got money squarely on their mind. Thug's making so much he's "bustin out the bando," as he squeaks in his lead-off verse. If he's going to remain in "label limbo," he'll continue to sling for as long he can. There are no contract disputes when it comes to hustling. But if the grind were a suit and tie profession, T.I. would be the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. With Thug there's a question as to who's in charge, while Tip makes it abundantly clear who the "head honcho" is. And if there's any question about his credentials, he's quick to "put some bricks in a Bronco." No matter how much they're separated by tax brackets and commercial success, Thug and T.I. can bond over being unafraid to do some serious dirt.
Paperwork is slated to drop later this year through Columbia.