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Ludacris, 1.21 Gigawatts: Back to the First Time

Ludacris has used hip-hop as a springboard in a way that only a few of his peeps have been able. After solid albums, mixtpaes, singles, guest spots and videos that solidified him as a force of an artist in the first half of the 2000s, the Atlanta native began seep into other ventures; appearances in Crash and Hustle & Flow began to build his chops as an actor; he’s also opened restaurants, and has his own line of liquor and headphones. With the new mixtape, 1.21 Gigawatts: Back to the First Time, Luda looks to reinsert himself into the conversation of the hottest MCs in the game.

On this 12-track offering, the rapper’s message is pretty clear-cut, from start to finish: I’m successful and I’m still nice with it, so don’t fuck with me. Over thumping Southern flavored production, he unabashedly lays this out on cuts like “Save It For Another Day,” “Say It To My Face” (featuring a characteristically aggressive and believable verse from Meek Mill), and “ I Ain’t The One,” next to 2 Chainz. The much buzzed about “Bada Boom” is more of the same, where Luda sends a warning shot in the direction, it seems, of Drake and Big Sean, for not only failing to acknowlede his own history with the pause, stop/hashtag/”Supa Dupa” flow, but for naming him, in interviews, as a culprit of misusing it.

Through his career, inventive flows have been a forte of DTP head honcho. Cris has continually shown an ability to fire off frenzied flows, with quick changes in pitch, tone and tempo. Here, that comes in pockets. On “Intro,” he does employ a tongue-twisting delivery reminiscent of some of his best performances, and on the Rick Ross-assisted “Do Sumthin Strange,” Luda’s words are entertainingly enunciated; on “Muthafucka Can U Buy That,” it’s a little of both.

Though he’s not quite back to the first time with his latest mixtape, missing some of the hunger (despite talking about it) and a bit stale in content, Ludacris does remind why he’s reigned as one of rap’s heavyweights for a decade-plus. —Adam Fleischer

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  • H.H.F.L.

    What the the hell were you listening to this shit was atleast xxl some of ludas best shit showing his real talent and it wasnt full of poppy concept records, maybe thats what yall didnt like it good to hear luda goin in again dudes got punch lines for days and he schooled big sean for openin his mouth and played the proof of what he ws sayin in the song that shits been goin on since the early 90′s when you was just a baby fool

    • fish!!

      i agree dats a classic xxl bullshited

    • Magnito

      @H.H.F.L – I agree with you. This deserve more than “L”. This is a mixtape and it sounds better than most of these other rappers official releases. Keep it up Luda!!! This will be in heavy rotation in my house!!! By The Way – eat a dick Adam Fleischer!!!

  • Big Shane

    I also agree this deserves a way higher rating, although at this point this rating system almost means nothing. Also he doesn’t just go at them “for not only failing to acknowlede his own history with the pause, stop/hashtag/”Supa Dupa”, but because Big Sean tried to say he invented it himself.

  • josh

    XXL just needs a new rating system.. because as of these ratings, Gucci Mane’s Writing On The Wall got a better score than Ludacris… And we all know that’s just plain silly. They need to just go 3 categories and score them 1 out of 10.

  • OldChild

    I cant believe that this shit didn’t get XXL… I am highly disappointed.. I don’t know what mixtape yall were listening too, but the shit i heard was some of luda’s best work yet

  • jfl11

    I didn’t listen to it yet… but to say a ludacris mixtape (or any mixtape for that matter) is a perfect xxl is just absurd. this isn’t something that will be remembered 10 years or longer down the road

  • T-Mac

    2 Chainz got XL and Luda L ??? LOL at XXL …

  • Soulja BGR

    ok yall buggin becuz this mixtape doesnt deserve a XXL not even close….its hot but not that hot…maybe a XL n i find it hard to even give him that…..the last luda mixtape which was The Preview was way better n i mean way better…..XXL got it right its average at best

  • DJ P

    Never mind the rating mishap, the spelling alone in this is atrocious.

  • http://benjaminnwaoha.tumblr.com BEN


  • T-Bag

    How old is Luda? 40-something? He’s still talkin the same shit he talked when he first came out.

    • MicFiend

      Thats y its called “back to the FIRST time”

  • Sean Izzle

    This deserves the rating it was given, and L

    Cmon people this def not anywhere near Ludacris best shit! Ludacris best shit is some of the best music overall in the world. Been that way since Word Of Mouf. Word Of Mouf is a certified classic, Ludacris best album, from start all the way to Welcome To Atlanta. Aint no one that can disagree and say sum else! This is the worst intro ive heard on a Ludacris album/mixtape period. The way Word Of Mouf started with Coming 2 America is just…incredible :O

    Ludacris doesnt fit with any of the artists featured on this shit except for Tity Boi/2 Chainz. Any Ludacris fan from way back should agree with that… really Cmon, Mystikal aint even featured on this mixtape! No DTP crew, The Neptunes production and no beats that fit Ludacris. Ludacris doesnt fit on any of these beats, the sound is not Ludacris sound, no anthem songs its clearly an L not an XXL

    • Ace

      Not Luda’s best shit? Of course it isnt lol it’s just a mixtape. But it is Ludas best body of work since Theater Of The Mind.


    I personally am a dedicated Luda fan, and I also agree with the rating Ludacris received, He could’ve done better, I know what he’s capable of doing and this latest mixtape isn’t shit compared to his past projects. Dude’s to busy focusing on managing his restaurants and movies.

  • D-Lloyd


  • hangn fruh mah nutz

    like an OrAngaTAnG

  • K-F

    Luda spit on all orginal beats, how can a Mixtape not get an XXL.. Ludacris mixtape sounds better than Drake’s bullshit overrated album.. Big is piss warm, but Luda shit is that Crack!!

  • Delciid

    This Clearly Deserves AT LEAST a XL…I Must admit this mixtape is better then 3/4s of the albums out right now! I Think its Safe to Say Luda Is Clearly a Hip Hop Heavy Weight N Soon 2 Be LEGEND…Been Going Through A Bunch Of Mixtapes and This Deserves a DOWNLOAD. C’mon XXL Quit Sleepin

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  • hS

    XL but why he cut wiz from the last song??