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T.I.’s ‘King’ Turns 10: The Album’s 10 Most Epic Moments

To celebrate the 10th anniversary of T.I.'s classic album, let's honor the parts where you simply can't deny the Atlanta MC's power

Atlantic

Although 2004’s Urban Legend had breakout hits like “U Don’t Know Me” and “Bring Em Out,” and 2008’s Paper Trail made him a superstar thanks to crossover hits like “Whatever You Like” and “Live Your Life,” King is T.I.’s most important album. The 2006 LP represented a giant step for the Atlanta MC as a wordsmith and musical champion, with Tip making good on the promise of his early singles and presenting a cohesive vision of hip-hop that injected his linguistic acrobatics with furious intensity. The King of the title shortens T.I.’s long-held King of the South title, but after this album, no modifiers to those four letters were needed.

On the 10-year anniversary of King’s March 28, 2006 release, check out the 10 moments from T.I.’s landmark album that still make us feel invincible. Plus, tune in to Fuse at 3 p.m. today for a special collection of T.I. music videos to help celebrate the occasion. Find Fuse in your area using our channel finder.

1 / 10

The beat change on “King Back” (0:50 in song)

The opening 50 seconds of King essentially challenge the listener to get into the ring with the hungriest MC alive, and a producer, Just Blaze, who's more than ready to assist with the pulverization. When the song’s main beat is unveiled after the breathless intro, T.I. gives the listener zero seconds to settle into it. The king’s back, and he’s not waiting on anybody.

2 / 10

Pimp C’s admission on “Front Back” (2:52)

When everything but the drum machine drops out of Mannie Fresh’s production and Pimp declares, “But I don’t really wanna hit you with this hot thang / I just wanna get some brain in the turning lane,” we remember why we miss Chad Butler’s wry humor so much.

3 / 10

The beginning of “What You Know” (0:01)

Everything about DJ Toomp’s synth stew still sounds gargantuan—listening to this beat after a slew of forgettable ’06 rap cuts was like seeing a movie in IMAX after watching movies on a phone screen for years.

4 / 10

T.I.’s best line on “What You Know” (3:10)

It’s all in Tip’s menacing drawl: “Although we not y’all / If it may pop off / I’ll answer the question, ‘Will I get your block knocked off?’” Punctuated, of course, by a giddy “Chhyeeeeah.

5 / 10

Tip barrels in on “I’m Talkin’ To You” (1:03)

The brash diss track is not Just Blaze’s most electric beat, but T.I. more than makes up for it when he bolts in on the first verse like a man possessed. The words don’t matter nearly as much as Tip’s urgent snarl here.

6 / 10

The ultimate question of “Why You Wanna” (2:38)

The silky-smooth “Why You Wanna” made for a gentle respite from the hip-hop assault of the first half of the album, and when Tip asks the lady he’s trying to steal on the bridge, “Ball in your court, man / But I just got a question for you: Is you happy?,” he gets almost too real.

7 / 10

Everything comes together on “Top Back” (0:39)

As Lil Wayne might say, THAT’S how you let the build: T.I. barks things like “I’m shutting the block down!” and “Here comes trouble, homey!” before the beat and hook congeal on “Top Back.” We still owe Mannie Fresh for this stroke of genius.

8 / 10

Young Dro’s entrance on “Undertaker” (1:15)

After T.I.’s cool intro, Young Dro stomps into view and reminds everyone why he was such a vital voice in 2006. The chorus is technically credited to everyone, but this is Dro’s show.

9 / 10

The slapping third verse on “Get It” (2:15)

The hook on “Get It” is a shot of unadulterated adrenaline, and the clanging beginning to the third verse is T.I.’s wild-eyed salute to his heroes (“I was raised on Eazy! Cube! Ice-T! 8Ball, MJG! ‘Face, Pimp C!”) makes “Get It” impossible to skip, or cut off early.

10 / 10

The drowsy sing-along on “Bankhead” (0:11)

T.I. and his crew sound zonked-out while warbling about their 'dro, their .44 and their “Chevy on 20-fo’s,” and that’s the whole point. This is the slurred champagne toast T.I. needed to deliver in order to reflect on everything he had accomplished on King.

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