Is T.I.'s latest the ''IT'' album of summer? Can the Stripes' ''Icky'' make your heart go ''Thump''? Is Big & Rich's new release good enough to make them even richer? EW presents 31 of the season's soundest album investments

By EW Staff
Updated May 18, 2007 at 04:00 AM EDT

T.I., T.I. vs. TIP
T.I., the rap charmer whose Grammy-nominated album King went platinum last year, may have millions of fans, but he’s got at least one mortal enemy — namely, the gruff-if-familiar-looking thug who calls himself TIP. The two characters represent warring aspects of the man born Clifford Harris Jr., and his fifth LP includes songs from each perspective. ”I hope I can satisfy both sides of my personality,” the Atlanta native says. ”They’re very evenly matched.” As well as recording with Eminem, Akon, Justin Timberlake, and others, he’s been planning a movie to dramatize the disc’s split-identity concept. ”Once I set out to do something,” he says, ”it’s done. I wouldn’t allow myself to take the easy way out.” Release date: 7/3

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