Trap Muzik is the second studio album by the American rapper T.I., released on August 19, 2003, by Atlantic Records and his newly founded record label Grand Hustle Records. Due to the poor sales on T.I.’s first album, I’m Serious (2001), T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or to be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label. In 2003, T.I. launched Grand Hustle Records with his longtime business partner Jason Geter and signed a new deal with Atlantic Records.
The album spawned the hit singles “24’s”, “Be Easy”, “Rubber Band Man”, and “Let’s Get Away”. The album features guest appearances from 8Ball & MJG, Jazze Pha, Bun B and Mac Boney. With T.I.’s longtime record producer DJ Toomp as an executive producer for this album. Trap Muzik debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 and number two on the US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 110,000 copies in the first week. The album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA).
Upon its release, Trap Muzik received generally favorable reviews from most music critics, who generally regarded it as a major improvement from I’m Serious. In 2012, Complex named the album one of the classic albums of the last decade
Due to the poor commercial reception of his debut album I’m Serious (2001), T.I. asked for a joint venture deal with Arista Records or to be released from his contract; he was subsequently dropped from the label.He then formed his own record label,Grand Hustle Records, with his longtime business partner Jason Geter, and began releasing mixtapes with the assistance of one of his disc jockeys, DJ Drama. T.I.’s mixtapes eventually earned attention from record labels such as Warner Bros. Records, Universal Records, Epic Records, and Columbia Records. T.I. ultimately signed a joint venture deal with Atlantic Records that year.
In an interview with Stereogum, he explained that “It’s called trap music, so you know it’s gonna be dealing with all aspects of the trap. And if you don’t know what the trap is, that’s basically where drugs are sold. In this country, the majority of us live in a neighborhood where drugs are sold, whether we like it or not. Whether you in the trap selling dope, whether you in the trap buying dope, whether you in the trap trying to get out – whatever the case may be, I’m trying to deal with all aspects of that lifestyle.” Speaking on the album, T.I. explained, “It’s informative for people who don’t know nothing about that side of life and wonder why somebody they know that live on that side of life act the way they do or do the things they do. So it’s informative for them and maybe it can help them deal with these people, help them relate to these people, help them understand, help them to see their point of view a little better”.
T.I. also said that his second album showed a different insight to the first. “It’s another outlook on the trap. Before, trappin’ was cool, but now trappin’ ain’t cool. It’s necessary for some, but no, it ain’t cool – even if you a hustler. All the hustlers I know – sellin’ dope is the last thing they wanna do. If you a real hustler, you gon’ move on to bigger and better things.”
“24’s” was the first official single to be released from Trap Muzik. It entered the US Billboard Hot 100 at number 78, it charted at number 27 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 15 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.”Be Easy” was the second official single from the album, peaking at number 55 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.The single was produced by DJ Toomp.
“Rubber Band Man” was the third official single. It charted reasonably well, peaking at number 30 on the US Billboard Hot 100. It charted at number 15 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, and at number 11 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart. David Banner’s production was noted by music reviewers, particularly the ascending organ riff that has been described as “hypnotic” and “pure halftime show”.The song is included in the hits collections Totally Hits 2004, Crunk Hits Volume 1, and Hip Hop Hits Volume 9.T.I. says the song’s title is a reference to his habit of wearing rubber bands around his wrist, a habit that dates back to when he was a drug dealer.Publicity efforts for the single were derailed by T.I.’s arrest in August 2003.
“Let’s Get Away” was the fourth and final official single from the album. It entered the Billboard Hot 100 at number 35, it charted at number 17 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart, at number ten on the Hot Rap Songs chart, and at number 16 on the Rhythmic Top 40.
Trap Muzik was well received. The AllMusic editor, Andy Kellman, wrote that with Trap Muzik, the “promise T.I. showed on his flawed debut is almost fully realized”. Vibe’s Damien Lemon found that the album’s best tracks showcase T.I. rapping unaccompanied, citing “Be Easy” and “T.I. vs. T.I.P.” as highlights.Jon Caramanica of Rolling Stone described T.I. as “a hustler with a conscience and a heart” and a “limber linguist… at his best when he’s dissecting the minutiae of the game.” Raymond Fiore of Entertainment Weekly was more critical, finding his flow and lyrics to be ordinary except on tracks where he “breaks from his static Southern comfort zone”.
In 2010, Rhapsody included Trap Muzik in its guide to “coke rap” albums.
Trap Muzik was a commercial success. It debuted at number four on the US Billboard 200 and number two on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, selling 110,000 copies on its first week. On June 1, 2007, the album was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), for sales of over a million copies in the United States. To date,[when?] the album has sold 1,070,000 copies in the United States.