T.I. featuring Lil’ Wayne “Ball”

The run-up to the release of T.I.‘s eighth studio effort Trouble Man has been an excruciatingly lengthy one; if you recall, the set’s earliest promo cut, the B.o.B collaboration “We Don’t Get Down Like Y’all”, first hit digital retailers waaaaaay back in August of last year, and since then, alongside the occasional cameo appearance, the rapper has unleashed single after single, with each achieving varying degrees of street buzz and modest chart success, but not a one having much lasting power.

Now that Trouble Man has been slotted for a December 18th arrival (a date we’ll mark on our calendars in pencil, thank you very much), the time has come for yet another “preview” single offering, this time in the form of the Lil’ Wayne-aided “Ball”.

As the title somewhat hints, this is not one of T.I.’s deepest lyrical exercises, its celebratory “bottle/ model/ molly/ blunt”-boasting clearly positioning it as more of a for-the-moment club sizzler, but even in feeling been there/ heard that thematically, “Ball” does earn some points for being a ratchet-flavored banger that chooses to do things a tad differently than the norm in the production, which nods back to Southern rap’s dance-geared past with an itchy, NOLA bounce rattle that pairs quite well to T.I.’s ever-slick flow and, through Wayne’s fine-if-not-entirely-memorable appearance, grasps a slightly appealing Cash Money heyday vibe.