Summer Music Preview

Summer's Most Wanted Music

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

Image credit: PHOTOGRAPH BY MARTIN SCHOELLER

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

NEXT: White Stripes' Icky Thump

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