Review: Ludacris – Battle of the Sexes

Artist: Ludacris
Album: Battle of the Sexes
Genre: Hip Hop
Label: Disturbin Tha Peace/Def Jam

Having crossed the decade mark in the hip hop game and top 40 radio market, Chris “Ludacris” Bridges has become a household name. His quick wit and easy-going personality has created an interesting pop culture niche for himself that continues to connect with fans again and again. Now, with his seventh [and possibly most delayed] album, Battle of the Sexes due to hit streets next week [March 9th], Luda relies heavily on old tricks to carry a career that while once the brightest in the game, may be starting to fade.

I’ve been following the career of Ludacris since Back For The First Time and have been blown away at his sly evolution ever since. Where many artists try to continually push their sound to be more expansive and diverse, most of Luda’s career has worked simply on hooks and wit. While his more serious work on Release Therapy blew not only myself, but the majority of critics away, Luda has [intelligently] chosen again and again to give his fans more club bangers than heart breakers. His flow allows for a lot of subject material to be covered at a time and while that works for the more serious tracks, it often goes by the wayside for pop culture references and punch lines which tend to sell in greater amounts. One could say he’s selling himself short, but he’s a self made multi-millionaire, so how short can it be?

That said, how much you’ve made doesn’t impress me half as much as your ability to remain relevant and true to yourself when most the rappers topping charts are barely twice the age of your career. Unfortunately for Luda, Battle of the Sexes does little reason the staying power of Atlanta’s finest. While club ready tracks like “How Low,” “Everybody Drunk,” “I Know You Got A Man” and “Hey Ho” will be big for the ringtone market and alcohol influenced nights of bad decisions, almost nothing on the record showcases the talent of Bridges.

I know it seems a bit two-faced to bash on a record that I just claimed was nearly 1/4 full of club ready hits, but I disagree. What’s the point of continuing to make art if you aren’t pushing yourself as an artist? To cash in? If that’s the case, Bridges has nothing to fear as Sexes‘ singles will more than cover the costs of the record, but you can’t put a price on integrity. I think I speak for most music fans when I say releasing an album of radio-ready filler SEVEN ALBUMS IN is nothing short of a disappointment. As a musician especially, you’ve seen the soulless world of pop music, why add to it?

Some may claim Luda is getting the shaft here as the record was announced as a collaboration between Luda and Shawnna, but her departure from Disturbin tha Peace changed that. I disagree though as many of Luda’s verses [and the bonus track “Sexting”] mention events such as the Tiger Wood’s infidelity that came to be public knowledge in December. Verses that fresh were dropped post the decision to move on without Shawnna and thus can’t hide behind that complaint. Additionally, the album is literally littered with guest stars throughout and they all go hard, but for nothing more than to make girls shake and guys buy drinks.

Had Ludacris not shown such impressive artistic growth with Release Therapy and Theater of the Mind, Battle of the Sexes would be a delight. The critic community and beyond would mainly know Chris Bridges for listening to our fantasies, telling slow drivers to get out the way, and knowing rolling-out, but he matured and part of evolving is shedding throw away albums like this. Will it sell? Yes. Will it be remembered in July? Probably not.

Ludacris has discussed plans to release another record this year, hopefully he takes this one a bit more seriously.

Score: 5/10
Review written by: James Shotwell

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5 Responses to “Review: Ludacris – Battle of the Sexes”

  1. Mad55 says:

    Man what the hell it never was supposed to be a serious album. Its called battle of the sexes but fuck you lmao

  2. says:

    Man who the f**k r u???..shud ur lame a** even b doin dis?? cuz evidently u dnt kno wat the f**k ur talkin bout….every damn lyric luda spit along wit his antics r real…so n ludacris words(My Chick Bad)…”So pipe down bitch u aint talkin bout SH*T”…LMAO…now marinate on dat!!!!!!

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  5. Ludacris says:

    Ludacris wrote a real hit track wit My Chick Bad. props to Nicki tho for that feature, it rly improved upon the song and tha music video wuz great 2.