Album Review: Ludacris, Battle of the Sexes


Battle of the Sexes (released March 9, 2010)

Remember back in December when I reviewed Robin Thicke’s latest album? I wasn’t very kind to the brain-dead track “Shakin’ It For Daddy.” My brother-in-law took me to task for dissing it, saying that “I only like songs with people preaching on them” and that “it’s OK to have a fun club song sometimes.”

He probably was just mad I dissed Nicki Minaj. But I don’t have sympathy for Muppets.

For the record, I have no problem with club songs. I just hate stupid songs. Take, for instance, “How Low,” the lead single from Battle of the Sexes. I doubt you’ll hear Maya Angelou reciting its lyrics during the next presidential inauguration, but it’s fun, spirited, and Luda’s verses display talent – he’s not just saying random words that rhyme.

The single actually got me excited for the album. Originally, it was to be a collaboration between Ludacris and longtime partner Shawnna, but, it what probably will prove to be the dumbest move in history, at the 11th hour she decided to jump ship and join T-Pain’s label. Why would you hook up with a one-trick pony whose 15 minutes of fame were up 2 years ago?

Many of Shawnna’s ad-libs and verses are still sprinkled throughout the disc, and Luda turned to a ton of guest stars to fill the gaps. Sometimes, it works. The second single, “My Chick Bad” bumps thanks to Traxster’s solid production, and thankfully Nicki Minaj doesn’t sound as scatterbrained as she usually does.

“Hey Ho” is definitely an anti-GeorgiaMae track. As ridiculous as it is, the call-and-response hook will get stuck in your head for hours. But feisty feminists shouldn’t worry – while Ludacris and Lil Fate diss the ladies, Lil Kim shows up to flip the script and deems all us men ‘hos.’

Everybody gets degraded!

Sadly, most of the other tracks are throwaway club songs. Most of the guests do nothing but sing hooks. On “Party No More” Gucci Mane just mumbles four of five words – they could have paid me to do that.

I wish Shawnna would have stuck around longer to provide more tracks like “B.O.T.S. Radio,” where she, Luda and I-20 give ghetto advice to the lovelorn. Concept tracks like that would give the album much more purpose.

As it stands, there’s not much “battling” going on between the sexes – it’s mostly just Ludacris spittin’ freaky verses. True, he spits them very well, but even the most talented rapper runs out of ways to talk about going to the club, getting drunk and getting lucky. By the summer I’ll forget I even have this album – it’s not atrocious, but it’s nothing but empty calories.

As I told my bro-in-law, I’m all for a little ear candy every now and then, but I can’t eat Skittles for dinner every night.

Best tracks: “How Low,” “B.O.T.S. Radio,” “Hey Ho”

3 stars out of 5


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