8 December, 2011@8:18 am
Ludacris’ last LP, Battle of The Sexes, was met with mixed reviews. While he led up to it with a steady string of solid releases, the concept of a male vs. female LP came off as corny to many fans, despite the album’s massive hit singles “How Low” and “My Chick Bad”. So with Chris Bridges’ latest mixtape release, 1:21 Gigawatts: Back To The First Time, he attempts to revoke old feelings and take things back to the early days of his career.
So this go around, there’s no expensive production from Timbaland or The Neptunes, as the album is produced mainly by lesser known talents like Tone Mason, M16, FKi, Drugs, and Fat Boi. The end result is an unapologetically southern sound, less concerned with radio play and more focused on bumping in the trunk. Whether or not this thing is your cup of tea, Luda’s in top lyrical form here, with plenty of quotables and styles for days.
Interestingly, for a mixtape that aims to take things back to the past, it is littered with guest shots from today’s popular rappers, such as Waka Flocka on “Rich & Flexin’” and Gucci Mane on “Shake and Fries”, among others. It’s clear that this is merely a ploy to reel new listeners in, or old ones that gave up him after his last album, and a smart one at that, as Luda out rhymes them all.
The biggest change we see here is that Luda is back on his dickhead shit, less concerned with toning things down for corporate American audiences or offending the Bill O’Reilly’s of the world. He’s fully embraced his inner asshole, and it comes through on just about every track. Whether taking on overdone topics like outspending the next man on “Can U Buy That” or baiting hoes on “Do Sumthin Strange”, Luda’s hilarious, lewd sense of humor and varying styles makes it well worth listening to. He takes on the competition on “Bada Boom”, which indirectly takes shots at Big Sean and Drake for accusations of Luda biting their styles, while sending former DTP members to the grave on “Say It To My Face”. Luda’s in top form here, suggesting Battle of The Sexes was merely a hiccup in an otherwise long, storied career.
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