Theater of the Mind- Ludacris
So Finally an album I can get somewhat excited about as Ludacris finally drops Theater of the Mind. One of the most underrated artists of today's age is out with what i believe is his 6th album. Coming out with a concept where every song is based off of either a television show or a movie for it's theme. The concept works and it is great to see some innovation...for the most part.
From the beginning of the album, Ludacris brings true wordplay and lyricism in "Undisputed" which co-stars Floyd Mayweather. Co-starring is another theme of the album instead of "features" and don't worry Floyd is just talking shit not actually rapping. Further example of Ludacris' verbal talent is on "Last of a Dying Breed" where he spars with Lil Wayne whose syrup induced verse (at least I hope thats the reason) is confusing to say the least. "MVP" features production by Premier and Ludacris sounds at home on the classic New York sounding track. The Highlight of the album has to be "I do it for Hip-hop" which co-stars Nas and Jay-Z on what I could consider the better sounding "Swagga Like Us". The blueprint for the posse cut as it features a topic that gave the rappers something to point their lyrics too and each of the artists sets a high bar and brings something unique to the track.
Unfortunately, as with any Luda album, this one has it's missteps. While "Call up the homies" and "Southern gangster" aren't the worst songs, they show Ludacris forcing himself to try and produce street credentials to appeal to the "gangster" crowd. "Everybody hates Chris" uses the show title to produce yet another song about flossing, although the track is reminiscent of an 80's sitcom intro. "Nasty Girl", "Contagious", and "What them girls like" all end up being filler tracks to fulfill the female friendly quota for the album when Luda could have been better utilizing his talents.
"One More Drink" fulfills the one t-pain slot per southern album requirement and it is a decent song but nothing spectacular, as is "Wish you Would" which only garners a mention because it features one time foe T.I. .
Overall, any Ludacris album is probably going to be better than most albums that are released in general. The maddening part is his wildly inconsistent material. While at one moment he showcases an impressive array of lyrics and wittiness, and others he puts out something lazy that you can tell he thought of while taking a piss. It is still better than a lot of recent releases but it falls short of the classic status that could elevate Ludacris from one of the most slept on to top 5 without a doubt.