Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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Ludacris

  • Back for the First Time [Def Jam South, 2000] Neither
  • Word of Mouf [Def Jam South, 2001] B-
  • Chicken-N-Beer [Def Jam South, 2003] B+
  • Release Therapy [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2006] **
  • Theater of the Mind [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2008] Choice Cuts
  • Battle of the Sexes [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2010] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Back for the First Time [Def Jam South, 2000] Neither

Word of Mouf [Def Jam South, 2001]
It was ludicrous for an employee of the Fox Network, especially a lying bully like Bill O'Reilly, to criticize anyone else for coarsening public discourse. It was amusing to watch the Britney pimps at Pepsi cave first to O'Reilly and then to Ludacris, who with the help of the Hip-Hop Summit Action Network held Pepsi up for a few million to "support the arts in communities at risk," a matter in which I eagerly await the Ludacris Foundation's audited progress report. Also, he raps and rhymes with gusto, and I like his Timbaland beat so much I don't want to know how real its Glocks are. Nevertheless, he is or impersonates a no-class pimp motherfucker, and if he never reached a one of the nine-year-olds O'Reilly yammers about, he would still be coarsening public discourse. Song after song pumps the pimp theory that all women are whores. Rotate good-humored dance songs in which the best thing you say about female persons is that they crave your tallywhacker and the worst is that you'll murder them if they bother, and you'll change how real human beings of both sexes think and behave. Anyone who claims different is certainly a liar and probably a bully. B-

Chicken-N-Beer [Def Jam South, 2003]
Bill O'Reilly, we salute you--for most of this record, you've inspired your favorite rapper to make good on his rationalizations. For once he's ribald rather than obscene, subversive rather than gratuitous, especially when he's attacking you and yours on "Blow It Out Your Ass" and "Fuck You" (official titles: "Blow It Out" and "Screwed Up"). "Splash Waterfalls" examines the intimate links between fucking and making love; "Pussy-Poppin' "(official title: "P-Poppin' ") is worthy of Dyke and the Blazers. But on track 13 (superstitious? me?), here comes the X-rated misogyny of "Hoes in My Room," which Ludacris palms off on O'Reilly and I blame on hired dick Snoop Dogg. This disrupts the three-way that follows, after which Luda's losers shoot people for four minutes. Not in real life, of course. B+

Release Therapy [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2006]
Rap porn clown as rap businessman, a richer choice thematically than rap entertainment mogul or rap crime boss ("Tell It Like It Is," "Mouths to Feed," "Slap"). **

Theater of the Mind [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2008]
"I Do It for Hip Hop" Choice Cuts

Battle of the Sexes [Disturbing Tha Peace, 2010]
The raunch became less consensual than advertised when Shawnna lost her co-billing ("B.O.T.S. Radio," "I Know You Got a Man"). *