Ludacris: Battle Of The Sexes
It might seem strange to praise a rapper for his progressive attitude toward women and sex when he has songs like “Move Bitch” on his résumé. But on Battle Of The Sexes, Ludacris treats his strong female verbal sparring partners as equals. Life is one big party for the Disturbing Tha Peace head honcho, and on Sexes, that party invariably ends in the bedroom. On the monster single “How Low,” Ludacris presses Chuck D into service, motivating strippers by speeding up a sample from “Bring The Noise” until it makes the Public Enemy frontman sound like Alvin the chipmunk. The swaggering “My Chick Bad” provides a vital forum for red-hot Lil Wayne protégé Nicki Minaj on the original track and Eve on the remix, and while the album’s momentum sags in its R&B-heavy final third, Ludacris remains an underrated lyricist with unparalleled verbal dexterity. His liquid flow crams an awful lot of polysyllabic words into even the tawdriest sex jam, and no rapper alive conveys joy as effortlessly or infectiously. On Battle, sex is a source of ecstasy to men and women alike; Ludacris is as obsessed with giving pleasure as receiving it. His lively new disc suggests that when the battle of the sexes leads to a sweaty truce between the sheets, everyone emerges a winner.