After a two year hiatus, rapper turned actor Chris Bridges, better known as Ludacris, has finally resurfaced with his eigth studio album entitled “Battle of the Sexes,” reminding his fans and critics alike why he is still the self proclaimed “King of the South.” The album was originally to be a duo featuring his former Disturbing The Peace recording artist Shawna. But with her recent split from the label, the album, thankfully, moved forth as a solo album, turning its attention toward the ladies that generally get neglected in rap albums. With an array of cameos from heavy hitter artist ranging from Monica to Nicki Minaj, Battle of the Sexes is already panning out to be one of Ludacris’ best albums in at least the past four years.
The first single “How Low” is set over a funky beat and proved to be an instant hit in the club and over the radio airways. But the hits don’t stop there. His second single “My Chick Bad” features the animated newcomer Nicki Minaj and adds female emcees Trina and Eve to the remix, also featured on the album. As an ode to the ladies, r&b sensation Trey Songz lends his vocals on the track “Sex Room,” a combination of sexy lyrics and a smooth melody that has the potential to climb both the rap and r&b charts. Ne-Yo also has a cameo in “Tell Me A Secret,” following suit with the other big r&b names that share shine throughout the album.
Following the battle of the sexes theme, “Hey Ho” features Lil’ Kim and Luda battling about the double standards of men and women that exists over a hard-hitting beat. Neptunes produced “Sexting” pokes fun at the recent Tiger Woods incident and in true Ludacris fashion offers up comedy in addition to a sick flow.
While songs like “Party No Mo” and “Everybody Drunk” seem to be out of place on the album, songs like “Tell Me a Secret” and “I Do It All Night” balance out the slight inconsistency within it. The bonus tracks even appear to be potential hits, particularly “Rollercoaster” which feature the missing in action r&b group Dru Hill and Shawna.
Although the album doesn’t compare to any of Ludacris’s older albums, it is certainly a breath of fresh air compared to the last three albums that have been released. One must applaud his efforts to keep a consistency between all of his albums while staying true to his natural flow and witty lyrics, key features that are sure to keep his fan base always by his side while gaining others along the way. True Ludacris fans may not hail this album as the greatest of all time, but the hard work and creative effort put into it is impossible to ignore. It’s evident that Ludacris is once again “Back For the First Time,” a play off his first widely recognized album and isn’t going anywhere any time soon.
Kristen Hardy can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.