The 25 Best T.I. Songs of All Time

The best of the kang

For the last dozen years or so, T.I. has been one of the most prominent voices in hip hop. Whether or not you agree that he's the "King of the South," there is no denying his excellent catalog. From street anthems to smooth crossover joints, there hasn't been much Tip hasn't been willing to touch - and he's made plenty of great songs along the way.

So, without further ado, here are the 25 best T.I. Songs of all time.

25
of 25

"You Ain't Missin' Nothing"

On the penultimate track of Paper Trail, T.I. offers chin-up
expressions to those locked up, while acknowledging he's headed there,
too.

24
of 25

"Be Better Than Me"

T.I. © Grand Hustle.

This joint finds Tip taking a timeout from trappin' to let kids know
that this life isn't for them. Think Charles Barkley's "I Am Not a
Role Model" commercial, only with organs and reflective 16s.

23
of 25

"Da Dopeman"

T.I. vs T.I.P. (T.I.P. Version) © Atlantic.

On this gem from T.I. Vs. T.I.P., Tip schools a young dope boy about
the pitfalls of trapping. Between the dramatic production and Tip's
Scarface-esque storytelling, "Da Dopeman" is the rapper at his most
cinematic.

22
of 25

"Bezzle"

A southern rap head's dream, "Bezzle" finds T.I. linking up with Bun B
and 8ball & MJG for this ten-toes-down scorcher that burned it up just
like in Waco, Texas.

21
of 25

"No Matter What"

T.I. - "No Matter What". © Atlantic

Recorded while T.I. was on house arrest and potentially facing years
in prison for weapons charges, "No Matter What" showcases the rapper's
never-give-up attitude: Rhymes like "Even when winning's illogical,
losing's still far from optional," could pick up even the most
pessimistic of Debbie-downers. The king lived on.

20
of 25

"I'm Illy"

One of the misguided knocks on southern hip hop is that it's lacking
in the lyrics department. With "I'm Illy," T.I. turned that theory on
its head, blacking out with rhymes like, "The bullsh*t I'm addressing
check up on some next level sh*t/Never been f*cked in the game, I'm
celibate" to prove yet again that he was more than smooth hooks and
tough talk.

19
of 25

"Dead and Gone"

While this song is diminished a little bit by the fact that Tip went
back to being "trouble man," this album closer from Paper Trail is
nonetheless a powerful reflection on a turbulent life. Kudos to Justin
Timberlake for his strong, emotional vocals.

18
of 25

"Motivation"

"Tha King" was Urban Legend''s uptempo opener, but "Motivation," with
it's cold-as-ice rhymes and methodical woodwinds, is the track that has weight-lifters maxing out and treadmill jockeys amping up their speed.

17
of 25

"Bankhead"

It's not groundbreaking, and it's not one of T.I.'s biggest hits. But
"Bankhead" is a delightful ride around T.I.'s old stomping grounds,
complete with cold verses from P$C and a triumphant beat courtesy of
DJ Toomp.

16
of 25

"Goodlife"

Perhaps T.I.'s first crowning achievement in grown-man rap, "Goodlife"
finds him waxing thoughtfully over soulful production about the life
of crime he left behind, and the fruits of the decision he made to go legit.
Pharrell on the hook is a reminder of the impeccable chemistry the two
share, while Common drops in for a cool 16.

15
of 25

"I Still Love You"

T.I.
T.I. &copy Atlantic.

While he's one of the most macho rappers around, T.I. is a man with
vulnerabilities just like everyone else. "I Still Love You" finds the
rapper at his most nakedly honest, as he admits his shortcomings to
his baby's mama and daughter, and gets closure on an at-times troubled
relationship with his pops.

14
of 25

"Live Your Life"

When "Live Your Life" dropped, T.I. was a man who had lived a long 28
years. Naturally, he had some advice to give, which adds stark maturity to the verses on this joint. But it was the uplifting production and
inspiring vocals from Rihanna that helped make "Live Your Life" Tip's
second solo No. 1 song.

13
of 25

"Doin' My Job"

TI-Trap-Muzik.jpg

In a recent look-back piece on "Trap Muzik" by Complex, Tip referred
to "Doin' My Job" as his favorite song from his catalog. It's easy to
see why: "Doin' My Job" is straight from the heart, with T.I. calmly
imploring the general public to show empathy to dope boys. Standout
lyrics: "Our options are few, it's hell in high school, when you're
helping with the rent, lights, and the gas bill, too/So before you go
judging us, lovin' us won't hurt/You're under 25, stayin' alive's hard
work."

12
of 25

"ASAP"

T.I.-Urban-Legend.jpg

While it wasn't as popular as other Urban Legend standouts like "U Don't
Know Me" and "Bring Em Out," "ASAP" is T.I. at his most methodically
aggressive. The menacing beat is the perfect backdrop for his rhymes,
which are sizzling enough to melt a snowman at the North Pole.

11
of 25

"T.I. vs. T.I.P."

T.I. vs T.I.P. (T.I.P. Version) © Atlantic.

Although the concept album based on this gem from Trap Muzik was
mediocre, this original examination of the angel and devil on Clifford
Harris' shoulders is raw, humorous, and starkly honest. T.I. tries to
keep T.I.P. focused, but just when you think the latter finally gets
it, he goes back to his Mary Jane. The dilemma lived on.

10
of 25

"Let's Get Away"

Perhaps the smoothest joint he's ever recorded, "Let's Get Away" is
just as suited for a nighttime cruise as it is for some panty-dropping
action. Jazze Pha's hook is silky, but it's Tip's playful rhymes that
make the song.

09
of 25

"Top Back"

Is there a better song to get a speeding ticket to? This joint from
King will have kids peeling back their sun roofs and women
flirting with cops to avoid points on their license. T.I. rides Mannie
Fresh's triumphant beat with steel-toed rhymes, and the result is so
alluring that T.I. couldn't resist getting together with B.G., Big
Kuntry King, Young Dro and Young Jeezy for a lively "Top Back" remix.

08
of 25

"Never Scared"

Prior to "Never Scared," T.I. was an arrogant kid with the audacity to
call himself "King of the South." After it, he was a forced to be
reckoned with. Between his hoarse delivery and frostbitten lines like,
"Hope for the best but I don't think he gon' make it/Not the way he
was shiverin' and shakin' on the pavement," T.I. breezed by fellow
guest Killer Mike and ethered Bone Crusher on his own track. Tip may
never have been scared, but upon hearing this song, it's likely he had
other rappers shaking in their oversized jerseys.

07
of 25

"U Don't Know Me"

T.I.
Frustrated by the pitfalls of fame, T.I. released this song warning
pedestrians to keep their distance and competition to run for cover.
Many fame songs resort to a "poor me" rhetoric, but Tip was more
enraged than self-pitying. As hard as the lyrics were, the beat was
even harder, with angry synths and metal-on-metal knocks to ensure the
track will ring in your ears long after it's over.
06
of 25

"Whatever You Like"

T.I.-Whatever-You-Like.jpg

Purists will probably hate that this song is ranked so high, but
let's be honest: "Whatever You Like" remarkably showcases Tip's
underrated ability to crossover to new audiences without losing his
street cred. "Whatever You Like" is a melodic triumph with catchy
lyrics, an infectious hook, and delightful production. It also gave
Tip his first solo Top 40 No. 1.

05
of 25

"24s"

TI-Trap-Muzik.jpg

Perhaps no song in Tip's catalog does a better job showcasing his
ability to paint a picture: "We in a drop-top Chevy with the roof wide
open/my patna's lookin' at me to see if my eyes open/'cause I've been
drinkin' and I've been smoking/I'm flyin' down 285, but I'm focused!"
Tip's high-pitched delivery and strong-armed rhymes, coupled with a
contagious hook and hum-worthy production, make this one of T.I.'s
greatest songs ever. Dope boy anthem, indeed.

04
of 25

"Live in the Sky"

With aggressive songs like "What You Know" and "I'm Talkin'
to You" on King, T.I. kept things balanced by including the heartfelt "Live in the Sky." But the ode to fallen friends is no obligatory gimmick;
according to Tip, he shed tears while writing this song. Add a
melancholy piano loop and a soulful Jamie Foxx hook, and you've got a
clear winner.

03
of 25

"Bring Em Out"

 It's 2004. Jay-Z has just "retired" from rap, and the Pharrell-dubbed
"Jay-Z of the South" is fresh out of jail. What better way for T.I. to
make a run at the throne than with a song flipping a Jay bar to make
Jigga his hype man? Tip did just that, brilliantly utilizing a line
from "What More Can I Say" and proceeding to get it popping with a
gangsta party anthem. Swizz Beatz turns in a bouncy beat to add to the
hype, ensuring that each year a slew of ballplayers choose "Bring Em
Out" to be played as they step up to the plate.

02
of 25

"What You Know"

More than just a companion piece to the feature film "ATL," "What You
Know" is T.I.'s rounding of the bases after the grand slam of the
three years preceding King. Slowly but surely, Tip asserts his
dominance in southern rap over a synth-heavy beat courtesy of DJ
Toomp. For the next six months, the Kang had everyone asking "What you know about that?" Truly a crowning moment.

01
of 25

"Rubberband Man"

In the midst of all of Trap Muzik's aggression, Tip made sure to
include the bouncy "Rubberband Man" featuring sing-songy vocals and
thick drums that backed T.I.'s swaggering lines and memorable hook.
"Rubberband Man" is Tip in his essence: edgy, but with crossover
appeal and charisma to boot. From dope boy talk to showing fans love, this song is the quintessential T.I. record. Royal salute!

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Your Citation
McKrell, Aaron. "The 25 Best T.I. Songs of All Time." ThoughtCo, Mar. 3, 2017, thoughtco.com/best-t-i-songs-of-all-time-2858020. McKrell, Aaron. (2017, March 3). The 25 Best T.I. Songs of All Time. Retrieved from https://www.thoughtco.com/best-t-i-songs-of-all-time-2858020 McKrell, Aaron. "The 25 Best T.I. Songs of All Time." ThoughtCo. https://www.thoughtco.com/best-t-i-songs-of-all-time-2858020 (accessed September 25, 2017).