Track Review: T.I., 'Love This Life'

80 Billboard Rating

T.I.
"Love This Life" (3:55)
Producers: Lamar ­Edwards, Chris "Brody" Brown, ­Larrance Dopson
Writers: C. Harris Jr., L. Edwards, C. Brown, L. Dopson
Publishers: various
Grand Hustle/Atlantic

A 10-month stint in jail can do a lot to a man, and in T.I.'s case, it has him entangled with matters of the heart on his latest single. "Love This Life" reveals the beleaguered rapper's softer side as he conveys the fortitude of his relationship to his lady-through plenty of retail enticements, of course. Over a marching drum and twinkling keys, what would otherwise be simply braggadocio is cut by Tip's fervency: "I got a strong mind and a kind heart/With a soft kiss, but I love hard," he raps. He's honest and incredibly believable, even while singing on the song's chorus. "Love This Life" is a syrupy deviation from the harder-edged preludes to upcoming studio album "Trouble Man," but given his recent reincarnation as a reality-show family man, sensitive fare may just be par for a new course in his career.

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