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Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s: #8 T.I.  “What You Know”

Posted by Nathan S. on 12/13/09 | Filed under Features, T.I., Best of the 2000s
Top 25 Hip-Hop Songs of the 2000s
With the number 8 pick of our "Top 25 of the 2000s" countdown, and are proud to select...T.I.'s "What You Know"!

Besides joining Chamillionaire's "Ridin" in the "everyone thinks the song title is something else" club, "What You Know" - no, not "What You Know About That" - might just be the biggest song ever from the King of the South. Coming off his monster album "King", "What You Know" was simultaneously a street anthem and a mainstream commercial success, a double-platinum, Grammy Award winning banger that peaked at number 3 on the overall Billboard Charts, and number 1 on Hip-Hop and Rap charts, thanks in no small part to an infectious DJ Toomp beat, and of course, T.I.'s flawless delivery. Hey, they don't call the man King for nothing

"King" may be one of the best album titles in hip-hip history. The hugely successful album served as the official coronation of T.I. as the King of the South, a coronation that was made possible largely by the success of "What You Know". Up until 2006 T.I. had been flirting with making a truly classic Southern anthem, but on "What You Know" he finally delivered, dropping a swagger drenched flow that the streets had to respect yet still entertained the hell out of mainstream America (no easy feat). Like Marvin Gaye's "What's Goin On" or Ginuwine's "Pony", if years from now your kids ask you who T.I. was, and you could only play them one track, I think it's got to be "What You Know."

If this was a "most overused word of the decade" countdown "swagger" would have to top the list, so with all the swagger over-saturation it's easy to forget that T.I. essentially invented the word, or at least was the embodiment of it's purest principles. More than his delivery (which is perfect) or lyrics (undeniably dope), it's T.I.'s charisma, his swagger if you will, that really elevates "What You Know" from a really good song, to a great song, from a number 15 song to a number 8. So swagger on Clifford Harris, swagger know, once you get out of prison.

For a complete list of the Top 25 picks so far click here.

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