.

T.I. Raps About Fears Of Jail On "Hallelujah'

December 20, 2012 5:44 PM ET
T.I.
T.I.

T.I. is doing a lot of testifying on his new album, "Trouble Man: Heavy Is The Head." The Atlanta rapper counts his blessings on "Wonderful Life," expresses gratitude for his relationship with his wife on "Guns And Roses" and takes on faith on a gospel ballad interpolation of Leonard Cohen's "Hallelujah."

"Hallelujah" deeply reflects the set's "Trouble Man" theme. His first lyric references the posttraumatic stress of his incarceration from 2010 to 2011.

"Sometimes I wake up feel like I'm in Forrest City Arkansas," he rapped about his bid at the Forrest City Correctional Facility. T.I. spent 10 months in the prison after violating his parole in September 2010, six months after being released from a halfway house.

The artist born Clifford Harris said it was difficult serving back-to-back sentences. "I went to jail, stood tall, then I fell again," he rapped. "It seems like I'm Jonah and right back in that whale again."

T.I. even admitted to fears. "I felt a panic when they locked me in that cell again," he rhymed.

In addition to Jonah, T.I. compared himself to a number of biblical figures. He described rising from the bed of death like Lazarus, praying for the strength of Solomon and feeling crucified like Jesus.

Despite losing everything from riches to family, T.I. rapped that he never lost hope.

Instead of leaning on his tough-guy rap persona to prevail, he found solace in his faith and insistence to persevere, making "Hallelujah," arguably, the most lyrically potent song on the 16-track "Trouble Man" set.

Follow me on Facebook, Twitter.

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

prev
Yahoo Hip Hop Next

blog comments powered by Disqus
Daily Newsletter

Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
marketing partners.

X

We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

Song Stories

“American Girl”

Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers | 1976

It turns out that a single with "American" in its title--recorded on the Fourth of July during the nation's Bicentennial, no less--can actually sell better in Britain. Coupled with the Heartbreakers' flair for Byrds jangle and Animals hooks, though, is Tom Petty's native-Florida drawl that keeps this classic grounded at home. Petty dispelled rumors that the song was about a suicidal student, explaining that the inspiration came from when he was 25 and used to salute the highway traffic outside his apartment window. "It sounded like the ocean to me," he recalled. "That was my ocean. My Malibu. Where I heard the waves crash, but it was just the cars going by."

More Song Stories entries »
 
www.expandtheroom.com