• S
    • M
    • L
    • XL
    • XXL
      • XXL
      • XL
      • L
      • M
      • S

Ludacris, Battle of the Sexes

Ludacris
Battle of the Sexes
(Disturbing Tha Peace)

Beats: XL
Lyrics: XL
Originality: XL

One can never accuse Ludacris of being a card-carrying member of hip-hop’s testosterone-driven all-boys club, where women are better seen than heard. Go as far back as his major-label debut, 2000’s Back for the First Time, and you’ll see that the Atlanta-based rapper has always made an effort to incorporate women into his music. His first hit single from that debut, “What’s Your Fantasy,” was a clever play to fulfill female desires, while the remix featured an all-female ensemble, with then Disturbing Tha Peace first lady Shawnna, Miami’s Trina and the Ill Na Na, Foxy Brown. On 2003’s Chicken-N-Beer the infectious “Splash Waterfalls” bragged of Luda’s far-reaching charm with the ladies, as the raunchy “P-Poppin’” once again provided a platform for Shawnna to shine.

It’s safe to say Luda has a way with the ladies, but he’s had his battles with them, as well. In 2005, talk-show queen Oprah Winfrey, who is known not to be a fan of all sides of hip-hop, lectured ’Cris on the derogatory use of the words bitches and hoes, when he visited her show with the cast of the film Crash, which he appeared in. The moment ignited hip-hop’s long-running sexist debate and drew a line in the sand between the sexes.The single father followed the controversy with a bright encounter with the opposite sex that was not rooted in a sexual nature. His powerful collaboration with Mary J. Blige, “Runaway Love,” was a mainstream success that helped to lock down a Grammy for his 2006 album, Release Therapy. Still, that wasn’t enough to fix hip-hop’s sexual inequality.

That never-ending struggle to even the playing field between the genders has become the basis for Luda’s new effort, Battle of the Sexes. Originally billed as a concept album starring Luda and Shawnna, things changed after the quick-tongued femcee traded in her DTP membership for a place on T-Pain’s Nappy Boy roster. Still, with a solid idea in place, the well-connected wordsmith called in some favors from hip-hop and R&B’s leading ladies—Lil’ Kim, Nicki Minaj, Eve, Trina, Ciara, Monica—and a few of the fellas—Gucci Mane, Lil Scrappy, Flo Rida, Ne-Yo, Trey Songz—to put together a solid body of work that should provide treats for all interested parties.

A supreme soloist, Luda needed no assistance on the album’s ubiquitous lead single, “How Low.” The energetic strip-club-friendly banger is packed with Luda’s trademark off-color talk. It doesn’t take long for the special invited guests to make their presence felt. Nicki Minaj’s turn on the rambunctious “My Chick Bad” proves she’s got the goods to be the perfect playmate to any of rap’s leading men. On the remix, Eve shows flashes of her former self, alongside Crime Mob’s Diamond and the Diamond Princess. Although Luda tries to shed light on the double standard for promiscuous women (“If men sleep around, we some players, but for women, they be saying, ‘Hey ho’”), the brash “Hey Ho,” featuring Lil’ Kim and DTP mainstay Lil Fate, is sure to ruffle some feminist feathers.

Surprisingly for an album billed as giving an equal voice to men and women, it turns out that the guys play a larger role. Album filler like the alcohol anthem “Everybody Drunk,” with Lil Scrappy, and the Gucci Mane–assisted club pleaser “Party No Mo’” stray from the original concept. The space would have been better served by relevant material, spotlighting the ladies. Though the male dominance doesn’t go unnoticed, it’s easy to get over, thanks to lush tunes with R&B standouts Trey Songz (“Sex Room”) and Ne-Yo (“Tell Me a Secret”). And despite a conscious effort to downplay Shawnna’s presence on the project, her chemistry with Luda is undeniable. Personal differences aside, they are as potent a combo as any. The duo leave nothing to the imagination on the sexually explicit “Feelin’ So Sexy.”

Credit Ludacris for successfully venturing into a battlefield most dare not explore. The always-self-assured star did what he could to remedy the dearth of a female presence in the genre. He even brought some levity to a usually hot-button debate, with the playful spoof of Tiger Woods’s much-publicized infidelity issues on “Sexting.”

Luda may not have evened the playing field, but he certainly created an excellent musical forum for the sexes to air out their differences. —Rondell Conway

  • http://K1ngEljay.com K1ng Eljay

    It’s crazy, because this album’s dope, but it doesn’t stick to the concept completely. This was more of a sequel to Word of Mouf (or any other Ludacris albun before Release Therapy) than a male vs female album.

    Which isn’t a bad thing… but still.

    Each track Shawnna’s on is ill though. And that Dru Hill track that leaked the other day isn’t on the album. This could’ve been a top-notch album to me if she would’ve stayed… I wonder what else they did that didn’t get released…

    I still copped it though. Luda’s that DUDE. This review was on point…

    • MiKe

      FUCK YOU LUDA!!!!

  • Him right there

    This album is horrible! point blank period!

    • http://myspace.com/foreverhisbloodsucker Mad

      What?! are u crazy?! anything Luda does is amazing and god sent. this one breaks the boundry<3

      • Internet Gangsta

        i don’t know about the anything he does part, but yeah this album was full of heat.

  • RDS

    I liked the album, but I have to be honest; I was really surprised by Scrappy’s verse on “Everybody Drunk”. I thought “ahh, damn…Scrappy ’bout to f’ this all up”, but when his turn came around, I didn’t cringe. Not a Gucci fan in the least bit (personal preference, don’t hate me), so I skip over “Party No Mo”, but I will agree with what was said above regarding Shawnna. Would’ve been nice had she stuck around to see this through, because her verses are some of the best on the album.

    -R

  • http://myspace.com/thesenateyo JJ

    I wanted to like the album. But overall it just fails. It seems like a half hearted effort especially when compared to theater of the mind. Also Flo-rida had a better verse on one song than luda did, and the production at some point just gets repetitive.

    How Low is good. Sounds like old luda. But overall the album is just corny.

  • RiKaShaE

    idk why but……even tho da album says”ft. Flo-rida”that IS NOT FLO-RIDA ON THAT VERSE!!!idk why it says it is,but that is Shawn J from Field Mob on that song,he kilt it 2…..if sumone could answer why this mistake was made it would be appreciated

    • Anonymous

      I’m sorry but you are wrong. That is definitely Flo Rida,not Shawn J of Field Mob.

  • Pssh

    Ima huge Luda fan and acknowledge that this is more of a compilation of radio friendly tunes as opposed to being the concept album it was originally supposed to be.

    With that said, an “XL” rating is biased and a bit much. This album is an “L” at most. The beats are an “L”, the lyrics are “XL” and the originality is an “L”.

    I hope “Ludaversal” is the one for Luda. The title alone makes me feel like we may get a bit of everything from him.

  • jay bizzy

    S…terrible

  • Fon Z

    3/5 album… doesn’t suck but isn’t great either

    he has like 4 koo songs on it but I’m waiting on another Theater Of The Mind type album… its when he’s at his best!

  • Teddy

    ludas worst album listened to it twice since i got it not in a hurry to make it 3 might wait another year b4 givin it a listen again its such a forgetable album

  • http://xxlmag.com DOWN-SOUTH-CAT-WHO-KNOWS-MORE-ABOUT-HIPHOP-THAN-U

    Ima Luda fan but this album def wasnt an XL.I think if Shawnna wudve stayed thru the whole album,like it was originally planned,the album wudve been better.
    But the beat on “B.O.T.S. radio” is crazy!!

  • ff1one@yahoo.com

    Ya, i agree. he should’ve stayed with the same theme thru out, but like nas’s “n” album…u got suits who require that filler music which always f’s up an artist’s creative genuis. Even though, we the fans still would’ve peferred it. they feel just gucci name alone will help for a few sales. To be honest, because he is hott it prob will. Id say give it L too. he got an xl off his name and legacy. An L would’ve made him work harder.

  • mikel

    ludacris’ worst album easily, no way is it a XXL

  • KingDEE

    At best its a L…lyrics “L”, beat “XL”, orginality “XL”. Wish Gucci would have put one of his verses on the “Party no mo”. My Chick bad nicki almost stole the show with her (friday the 13th, guess who playing Jason), Overall the album was coo. I know the trey songz joint is about to be another hit waiting to happen. Not better than Theater of Mind, but something for us to digest till Ludaversal comes out

  • Durbey E.Macon

    I don’t understand why the album didn’t have a track called “Battle of the Sexes” featuring Luadcris in a cypher with several female MC’s from east and east coast.

  • General Yopeck

    Horrible album!!!!
    Damn fuck luda!!!

  • UptownStefan

    dumbass haters. why don’t yall make a fuccin album or matter of fact get a record deal with yall uneducated bullshyt. grow up the album is good not BEST and the singles and leaked shyt are also good. he’s debatably one of the better MC’s of this time and yall niggaz needs to be givind him some props. just because he don’t sing that gangsta music or known for freestylin over everybody beat on random mixtapes all over the place… and i’m sure some dumbazz wanna be rapper is gonna hate on this but yall realize yall ain’t the subject of this review so what does that say bout yall!

    • Mike

      Aye! All I gots to say is FUCK YOU LUDA!!!
      HAHAHAH!

  • Pingback: Ludacris’ ‘Battle of the Sexes’ Rules Billboard Hot 200

  • Zac47

    I agree with most of yall… The album definately not worth a XL! I was kinda hoping B.0.T.S would be the classic Luda needed to cement him amongst the greats of the game… But instead hes running around with mediocre artists. Lol… I just feel the album all over the place not really saying that much. Maybe next time then?

  • kedordu

    SHAWNNA KINDA DISAPPOiNTED ME WITH THIS ONE . SHE WAS SET UP VERY UNIQUELY WITH THIS ALBUM TO BECOME THE TOP FEMALE . nappy boy will never give her the exposure shes looking for . only if akon gets involved directly . obviously the album was kinda rushed .. but i like it as a concept album .coulda been much better . the concept was highly original… but it feels like a very good mixtape album .

  • http://www.djcbz@myspace.com CBZ

    Album was ok. could of been so much better, but Luda know this. Shawnna went & signed with t.pain so Luda had too still rush & put out a product on time so looking at it from that prospective makes me think it was not too bad!
    He got some good stuff for the radio on there for kid’s & ladies so it going to do some good numbers. How low is already plat. so watch out now! If he starts remixing some of these joints right he going to suprise some people.

  • Significant

    Luda is nothin more than a CORNBall…another pointless commercial album by this waste of airplay mc

  • TIGA

    IMO…THIS IS LUDA’S WORSE ALBUM, HE GETS OUTSHINED BY ALMOST EVERY GUEST APPEARANCE (SANS SCRAPPY AND GUCCI)

    BUT WHEN U R A LYRICALLY VERSATILE AS LUDACRIS AND NICKI MINAJ AND TRINA HAVE BETTER VERSES THAN YOU, THAT TELLS ME EITHER THE LABEL RUSHED U 2 PUT OUT ANOTHER ALBUM OR YOU’VE MADE YOUR RICHES AND JUST DON’T GIVE A DAMN ANYMORE

    I’M TIRED OF PEOPLE SAYING THIS IS “WORD OF MOUF 2″ MAYBE BEAT-WISE YES THIS ALBUM WOULD BE GREAT AS AN INSTRUMENTAL
    BUT THE TOPICS AND LYRICISM AS A WHOLE WAS SUBPAR

    I’VE SAID IT ONCE AND I’LL SAY IT AGAIN, LUDA CAN NOT MAKE A SOLID ALBUM THAT CAN BE PLAYED START TO FINISH

  • shakirra

    I wish Shawnna woulda stayed. This album would have been better. The album is still good tho, minus a few songs that could’ve been left off.

    P.S.:For an album to be called ‘Battle of the Sexes’, there were to many men featured, but I guess that’s b/c there aren’t enough female rappers.

  • shakirra

    Sorry, I meant ‘too’ not ‘to’.

  • Linval

    Gucci Mane would have must be in the filler section. aint worth shit

  • bukdaduktape

    not better than theatre of the mind

  • Marv

    its not a bad album n its not the best its just an album u can just listen to beacuse its luda