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Tuesday, March 27, 2012

'431 Days' after his release, Trouble counts the price of freedom

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Four hundred thirty-one. Number of days Edgewood rapper and Duct Tape label affiliate Trouble's been out of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary. Hence the name of his new mixtape, 431 Days, the follow-up to his critically acclaimed debut mixtape, December 17, so named for the day he was released from the pen in 2010.

Based on those titles alone, it would be fair to assume that Trouble relishes freedom. It's a safe assumption, especially on such standouts as the appropriately titled "Free" and "All I'm Worried About." But it doesn't mean he's above paying lyrical homage to the lifestyle that got him locked down inside that imposing big house, located at the dead end of Boulevard, in the first place. From the sounds of 431 Days, Trouble's still knee-deep, sometimes even wallowing in it. Figuratively-speaking, of course. He's certainly more interested in conveying his pain than gaining entry to Atlanta's bottle-poppin', celebrity trap-star set. He saves little room for pop radio fodder, even when acquiescing to an R&B hook, courtesy Verse Simmonds, on the down-ass-chick anthem "Would You?" And on the FKi-produced track custom-built for him to ball out — "Hustle & Ambition" ft. Gucci Mane — he talks about his preference for women who value good credit over Gucci shoes. This isn't fantasy rap; it's theme music for soldiers still surviving the nightmare with a heavy heart and a sober outlook. Trouble is so obsessed with staying true — to his people, his environment, his word — it's hard to imagine how he's made it past 431 Days. The fact that he has may prove he's driven by something beyond the trappings of rap fame.

Indeed, his come-up is best summed up with a question posed by mixtape host Bigga Rankin: "This last 431 days, my nigga, you've been blessed with a burden. You got the whole mob depending on you, my nigga. How does that weigh on your soul, man? How does that weigh on your soul?"

Download at livemixtapes.com. Tracklist and videos below the jump:

431 Days: The Trailer

Trouble, "It's Time"

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