Album: No Mercy
Label: Grand Hustle/Atlantic
Producer: The Neptunes
For years, Tip succeeded in spinning his legal setbacks into career triumphs, releasing smash albums like Urban Legend and Paper Trail on the heels of arrests and jail stints. He did it with lyrics that shrewdly wove those events into the narrative of a troubled talent who was trying to put his checkered past behind him. That seemed to be the formula once again in 2010, as he finished out a house arrest stint and announced a comeback album entitled King Uncaged.
However, that fall, Clifford Harris once again jeopardized his recently regained freedom with a completely avoidable drug bust. He tried to spin the situation once again, retitling the album No Mercy, but fans had no sympathy, especially after the repentant single "Get Back Up," which paired T.I. with perhaps the one other star whose "struggles" people were less willing to empathize with: convicted domestic abuser Chris Brown.