Release Date: Mar 31, 2015
Record label: Def Jam
Genre(s): Rap, Southern Rap, Hardcore Rap, Dirty South
P.O.S. :: Chill, dummyDoomtree RecordsAuthor: Patrick TaylorI've been a fan of Stefon "P.O.S." Alexander since his debut nearly 10 years ago. On "Audition" and 2009's "Never Better," he proved himself to be one of the few artists who could successfully meld punk rock and hip-hop. Fellow Minnesotans ….
Hip-hop has a towering pile of "the game needs me" albums where an artist returns to stake their claim, but Ludaversal still feels fresh, alive, and needed, and maybe just because it comes from the unique voice that is Ludacris. Back on his last album, the sex-starved Battle of the Sexes, the man barely even sounded like himself, and yet all that's wiped away by the David Banner-produced, simply titled "Ludaversal (Intro)" plus the cartoonish highlight "Grass Is Greener," which boasts about problems like "Did some movies and started to miss this rap shit/Back to rap, then started missin' them movies. " "Call Ya Bluff" goes "back to the basics/Back to them Adidas with fat laces," then the key cut, "Beast Mode," earns a Chicken -N- Beer-sized laugh with the quintessentially Luda "since I'm always high it's hard to overlook me.
A truth recognized by just about everyone is that the term “classic” is criminally over-used in Hip Hop. And yet, the inevitable thought that most often springs forth when a widely-regarded legend releases new material is whether or not the new body of work lives up to the old primetime releases. Undeniably, the pull of the music connoisseur is to hear something otherworldly, an immaculate collection of songs that not only send reverberations down their own spines, but across the Internet.
Although he's responsible for penning some of the most prevalent rap hits of the 2000s, Ludacris' recent efforts to mimic his previous triumphs haven't quite connected since the days of "Stand Up" and "Act A Fool. " Focused on crossover business ventures and Hollywood instead, Chris Bridges has continued to cash in. Returning with an album five years after its predecessor however, the Atlanta-based rapper is eager to regain his former place on the charts with the postponed Ludaversal, which highlights the evolution of the veteran artist, who's still around 15 years later.
Ludacris has been focused more on acting in blockbuster movies than on making music in recent years. But on his first album since 2010, he's still the same elastically flowing shout-rap dirty bird — gleefully wilding out on Southern party jams like "Get Lit" and "Beast Mode." At 37, Luda also indulges in some dad-rap introspect: "I used to be out partying every damn night/Now sometimes I'd rather be with my kids," he notes on "Grass Is Always Greener." There's a somber R&B R.I.P. for his alcoholic father ("Ocean Skies," featuring Monica), and bonus track "Problems" explores celebrity isolation in ways that make Eminem sound like a greeter at Applebee's.
Though Ludacris’ acting credits have overshadowed his musical output in recent years, it’s hard to deny that the Atlanta-bred rapper had a legendary run, churning out Dirty South hit after Dirty South hit. In the early and mid-2000s, he became an omnipresent star even though his albums were generally considered less than classic when taken whole. To say nothing of the crossover success he found with songs like Usher’s “Yeah!”, his biggest songs (“Southern Hospitality”, “Move Bitch”, “Get Back”, and “Number One Spot” among them) became hits thanks to his confrontational (and often hilarious) verses and sixth sense for penning some of the most unshakeable hooks in Southern rap history.
At the Comedy Central Roast of Justin Bieber, Kevin Hart introduced Ludacris as “one of the most successful rappers of 2001. ” It was a joke premised on a few things: Luda's age, maybe, or his drift from the rap world as he moves deeper into his acting career. (He is now a two-time Fast & Furious franchise cast member.
Since his 2000 major label debut, Back For The First Time, Ludacris has consistently proven that he could flow alongside great MCs like T.I., Nas and Jay Z. With a motion flick, Furious 7, breaking records at the box office, the newly wed MC is back to prove that he can wax poetically with hip-hop’s new breed on his new studio album, Ludaversal. Ever since 2003’s Chicken-N-Beer album, Luda has kicked off his projects with his well-known fast and furious introductions laid over menacing production.
Most young music fans are probably more familiar with Ludacris from the “Fast and Furious” film franchise than for his career as a Southern hip-hop star with a fast tongue and an even quicker wit. It’s doubtful he’ll find a new audience with his first record in five years, but he flashes the kind of song smarts and cleverness that elude many of the rappers he’s influenced. At 37 he’s toned down his ribald tendencies and added more pop and R&B elements, working with Miguel, Monica, and Usher.