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Ludacris - Theater of the Mind (Cover Artwork)

Ludacris

Ludacris: Theater of the MindTheater of the Mind (2008)
Universal Music Group

Reviewer Rating: 4
User Rating:


Contributed by: AnchorsAnchors
(others by this writer | submit your own)

Take a second to think about the most popular names in late-`90s/early `00s hip-hop. DMX? In jail. Master P? Out of the business. Puff Daddy? Raps scarcely. Nelly? Last album bombed. Big Pun? Unfortunately passed away. Dr. Dre? Detox was supposed to be released in 2004. Who'd have thought.
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Take a second to think about the most popular names in late-`90s/early `00s hip-hop.

DMX? In jail.

Master P? Out of the business.

Puff Daddy? Raps scarcely.

Nelly? Last album bombed.

Big Pun? Unfortunately passed away.

Dr. Dre? Detox was supposed to be released in 2004.

Who'd have thought back in 2000 that, besides Jay-Z and Nas, Ludacris would be the most consistent name in hip-hop? Luda has proven all doubters wrong, and with the release of Theater of the Mind, his sixth studio album, he's proving that longevity isn't a possibility -- it's a certainty.

Atlanta's favorite son has always impressed with a mix of wit and charisma that gives his songs a larger-than-life feel. But it's not as if 'Cris needs to rely on presence alone; his clear, authoritative delivery gives every bar a life of its own.

And Theater of the Mind kicks off with a track that proves just that. "Undisputed" re-establishes Ludacris as a man at the top of his profession. The drum-heavy beat is prototypically southern, and Luda's bombastic flow works to a tee in how his punchlines come across. After a quick intro from Floyd Mayweather (yes, that Floyd Mayweather) notice is served as to just who is the center of attention: "Back to put rappers on one knee like they bout to run 100 meter dash / Bow down to greatness, before I get pissed and run up in the stands like the Indiana Pacers." While the individual raps sound bigger than ever, Ludacris had grand ambitions for the album as a whole.

In an interview prior to Theater's release, Luda told an interviewer that he wanted every song on the album to be "an event."

Frankly, no event on the album is bigger than "Wish You Would," a song featuring two of southern rap's kingpins. Only -- until the recently squashed beef -- these kingpins have been far from fond of each other. Differences aside now, Ludacris and fellow Atlantian T.I. team up to trade bars on a slow but busy beat that places emphasis on every single word. Luda enlists the help of several prominent East Coast rappers on the album, but none (literally) bigger than Florida boss Rick Ross. His trademark simple-but-powerful delivery is the centerpiece of "Southern Gangsta," and his subject matter is still anchored by the coke cartel persona that have made Port of Miami and Trilla so popular: "Had a Lexus at 18, go picture that / Got a Chevy with pictures on it from pitchin' crack / Bitch I know Haitians, we speak in Creole / Bitch I'm a d-boy, still slingin' kilos."

Stepping back from his comfort zone for a bit, 'Cris, the Game and newcomer Willie Northpole ride on the G-Funk-influenced have-your-friends-back anthem "Call Up the Homies," with spectacular results. The drum samples bump in all the right places and a cascading melody accents the trio's respective flows. Later on, Common accompanies Ludacris on "Do the Right Thing," a swirling, jazz-influenced track that the Chi-town native feels right at home on.

Even with all the guest stars on the album, with all of the big production and cunning punchlines, Ludacris closes the album with the reassurance that what matters is the music itself. "I Did It for Hip-Hop" is a musical platform for Ludacris, Nas and Jay-Z to proclaim their undying devotion to the genre that made them. Luda does so with a genuine introspection ("But I don't do it for the money, I do it from the heart / I'll do it with the beatbox, I did it from the start / I'll do it for the DJs, I'll do it for the charts / The Van Gogh flow, Luda do it 'cause it's art") and Nas does it with braggadocio ("It's just like rap, some will buzz some will attack, compromising their own life in fact / 16 years since my first 16, pardon the rest of my niggas, but I'm the best whoever did it") but the result is the same -- an all-star callaboration that cements Theater of the Mind as one of 2008's best.

Just as it cements Ludacris as one of hip-hop's best.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
kylewagoner (January 24, 2009)

Uhhh...even when things are sometimes a little out of the "punk realm," I can sometimes still see the connection to why their news or albums would be put on here. Umm...I see nothing for this one.

SilentStorms (December 17, 2008)

I'm having the internal battle with whether or not stuff like this should be reviewed on this site. Personally I hear very little hip-hop that I think is even decent, and I hear some that is really good. I think we should expand our musical genres, but I fucking hate this kind of mainstream rap. I'm telling the truth about how I feel, but yet I feel bad for saying it. I'm so conflicted. Score is for my internal problems.

genebuonaccorsi (December 17, 2008)

people who liked this also liked:
Converge- When Forever Comes Crashing
Dead Hearts - Bitter Verses

lolz.

Ludacris, Converge tour!?

killthepatriarch (December 16, 2008)

and for the review

killthepatriarch (December 16, 2008)

Score is for the bitching and intolerance towards hiphop music, cause that's soooo punx.

Anchors (December 16, 2008)

Oh that's right, I remember this dude now. He did some stuff with Juelz Santana that I really dug.

I love the production on his stuff, I'll definitely have to review something of his.

The_Bunk (December 16, 2008)

http://www.myspace.com/wale

He puts out all his mixtapes for free online.

Anchors (December 16, 2008)

I haven't heard Wale, got a myspace?

I could definitely do Binary Star though, love that record.

The_Bunk (December 16, 2008)

Really appreciate the divertiy in the reviews, any chance we could get a review of Wale's mixtape about nothing or an old classic like Binary Star-Masters of the universe?

chrisafi (December 16, 2008)

I love these threads

crackpotdemagogue (December 16, 2008)

you all need to stop listening to this bullshit mainstream 'hip-hop' and check out the pioneering voice of the true underground: 50 cent.

Xote (December 16, 2008)

I was hoping this was Norma Jean before they were norma Jean. Either way it's a 0/10

damnitsderek (December 16, 2008)

Haha, Rob_Rob, you're ignorance boggles my mind. Try thinking about what you say before you say it, you retarded fuck.

dante3000 (December 16, 2008)

Indeed it does. By the way, you don't have to manually sign every one of your posts, seeing as you have a user name and all.
Never heard that before. All knowing and original. Shit, it's like having the body of Drew Carey and the personality of Mariah Carey.
-Dante

SlowStupidHungry (December 15, 2008)

Indeed it does. By the way, you don't have to manually sign every one of your posts, seeing as you have a user name and all.

dante3000 (December 15, 2008)

Everyone: Pretending to like mainstream hip hop is the new pretending to like jazz. Anchors, I respect your choice. I hope you get lots of hipster pussy at the dance club.
One day I hope to be able to know peoples motivations for everything.
Omniscience rawks.
-Dante

freesandwich (December 15, 2008)

If you want to hear good rap get the album "Lifestylez Ov Da Poor & Dangerous" by Big L

thus_spoke_sean (December 15, 2008)

good review! not really my thing, but this is a better review than 90% of the other ones written for this site!

Phantom_Maggot (December 15, 2008)

I respect hip-hop and some of the more talented MC's out there, though I almost never listen to it. I also don't mind that this site puts out the occasional hip-hop review sometimes. However, I do feel that by so vociferously defending your reviews that you're almost looking for a fight. Why waste your time arguing with "MxPunX420" or whoever? If you're practicing writing hip-hop reviews, just write them and leave them be. By defending these reviews to this ludacris (rim shot here) point it does almost come across as flame bait and holier than thou.

ForgetThisPlace (December 15, 2008)

I don't understand all the anger about hip-hop/rap reviews. If you don't like them, don't read them or write more reviews for things you do like.

I never really listened to hip-hop albums, I was jaded by the whole bitches/grills/pimps/bling/the overall excessive aspect of popular rap. But a year or two ago I started listening to Lupe Fiasco's Food & Liquor and realized how amazing his lyrics were. I don't know too much about indie hip-hop/rap, but some other artist suggestions would be appreciated.

fallingupwards84 (December 15, 2008)

xshoutoutx - you didn't exactly get my point, did you? read what i said one more time; i was criticizing people who strictly listen to only one type of music and flip their shit when another type of music is suggested.

yea i liked MxPx's last album, Secret Weapon. so? i like pop-punk every now and then - i pop it in when i'm in the mood.

SlowStupidHungry (December 15, 2008)

Everyone: Pretending to like mainstream hip hop is the new pretending to like jazz. Anchors, I respect your choice. I hope you get lots of hipster pussy at the dance club.

rob_rob (December 15, 2008)

Yeah, i'm such a fucking biggot, hanging out with my best friend jeremy who is black, not wanting white people to steal there culture and turn into a series of blogs or whatever the hell else you people do. What a dick i must be.

colin (December 15, 2008)

what in the fuck

xshoutoutx (December 15, 2008)

To fallingupwards84:

Man, you have a lot of nerve telling someone in that snide comment about listening to the same three groundbreaking chords over and over again, when you have an mxpx release in your top albums. Not that it's of any validity when talking about mxpx, but a 2007 release nonetheless.

Something is SERIOUSLY wrong with this paradigm.

fallingupwards84 (December 15, 2008)

Scruffy - the mere fact that you just compared Luda to Hillary Duff and Nickleback highlights perfectly the extraordinary amount of ignorance you have about hip hop.

Keep listening to the same type of music over and over and over, I'm sure you'll never get tired of it. The same power chords again and again. Very innovative, groundbreaking stuff.

CCSummers (December 15, 2008)

1) rob_rob, what you said was fucked up and bigotry isn't something you can tell people to "chill out" about. I dread the day when people relax about these kinds of issues. Instead of just see what you said was wrong, apologize and move on.
2) Can we please just get some reviews on some hip-hop that people have heard about before? I'm tired of arguing about the ridiculousness of this shit. Please, just enlighten me with some rap I don't know about and stop starting the same argument over and over.

RisingTide (December 15, 2008)

What does this have to do with "punknews"?

Scruffy (December 15, 2008)

Then publish the Hillary Duff review, start reporting on Nickelback, and continue dismissing outright and not actually respecting, reading or considering any questions raised in the doing.

Anchors (December 15, 2008)

I'm glad you wasted your time typing out all that garbage, but considering I never claimed or implied that Ludacris, Lil' Wayne, Nas, Joe Budden or anything else had fuck all to do with "punk," hardcore, indie, metal, ska or anything else the point you tried to so cleverly articulate is a moot one.

By all means, though, you and everyone else can keep crying about me reviewing rap here.

Scruffy (December 15, 2008)

So, by the precedent that is now firmly established, will I be able to get reviews of classic literature published here? How about video games?
Because the precedent is now set that the reviews on this site can have fuck-all to do with punk and they'll still get published. I don't care if it's good. I don't care if it's got "integrity". "Oh, rap has social relevance and rebellion just like punk."
So does The Master and Margarita, and it's a lot more important than Mr. Hulk Hands here. And, hey, The Lawrences Arms loosely based an album on it. That's a connection right there. Will you publish that review if I submit it?
Blake Swarzenbach reviewed video games. Is that an apt enough connection to publish a review of Rayman Raving Rabbids?
How about TV shows? Lenny Briscoe's pretty cool. I think I'll review Law And Order.
How about Beethoven? Tim McGraw? The Day The Earth Stood Still? The precedent now set, between reviewing comic books and this kind of hip hop, that any form of media should be fair game.
Or is it just because a certain subset loves hip hop just as much as punk, so we'll ignore the fact that they have little to nothing to do with each other, stylistically, musically, etc... When you review one or two hip hop albums, claiming that their attitude or lyrics make them relevant to a punk audience, that works. When you start reviewing mainstream hip hop for no other reason than you enjoy it, without considering its relevance to your audience, you have no right to be self-righteous and condescending when people ask why they're reading it. This isn't your personal blog.

And, Anchors, when you say stuff like this:

Also, as far as rap not having integrity, find me any punk song with more integrity than...And I'll eat my fucking foot.

It sounds like you hate punk, and you're belittling, stereotyping and insulting it the way most people on here do to the hip hop you're trying to defend.

rob_rob (December 15, 2008)

alright fellas, put on your eazy-e t shirts you bought from hot topic and listen to the "best of" albums (or dreaded itunes mixes) with only the popular songs and then delete them in four months and start listening to glam rock when some bullshit band starts namedropping it.

Anchors (December 15, 2008)

How is hip-hop a trend? It's existed for over 30 years.

Do you people actually think about the shit you type before you press 'post?'

rob_rob (December 15, 2008)

to xshoutxoutx
Its just funny to me the way indie rockers jump trends by trying to listen to cool music they bashed just years prior. Chill out, have a drink.

xshoutoutx (December 15, 2008)

To rob_rob:

Personally your below comment disgusts me. Is music somehow permitted or preconditioned for only select groups to enjoy? Are black kids not allowed to listen to punk rock because it is driven by a predominantly white crowd? If an individual can find a way to relate to any words, sung by or spoken out of whoever's mouth, than genres are simply irrelevant. I know you probably didn't mean for your comment to be taken as such or to this degree, but the underlying tone beneath those words SCREAM bigot.

rob_rob (December 15, 2008)

whats with white people and pretending like they enjoy/understand hip hop? Its that whats replacing the beard thing now?

eazyd3 (December 15, 2008)

needs more cowbell, nigga.

yaa (December 15, 2008)

so I visit Punknews and click on Best New Music and this is the very first record I see. I think the possibility of a scenario like this needs to be taken into consideration when posting reviews. there's certainly a place for this record, it's just not on the top of that list on this site

chrisafi (December 15, 2008)

I do love the fact it says

People who liked this also liked

No.1 Reccomendation - Converge

rude_reckless (December 15, 2008)

Our mandate is to provide an inclusive community-based site for the delivery and discussion of music news surrounding Punk, Ska, Hardcore, Emo, Metal and Indie.

Ludacris doesn't fall into these mandated categories does he? People coming to punknews.org for the first time will see under the recommendations site Ludacris' new album...?

Terrible. (i like a bit of luda now and then too.)

CCSummers (December 14, 2008)

No, the kids at ap.net are just more tolerant and open minded, that's all. That's why they keep bumping Chiodos all day.

14theroad (December 14, 2008)

Can we stop reviewing these?
What is this ap.net?
I don't even think I've ever seen them do a review on this garbage.
It's not funny.

nocigar (December 14, 2008)

score is for the review. Please don't mistake rap with hip-hop. If you are calling Puff Daddy, DMX, and Nelly hip hop artists than you are clearly out of your mind.

SydBarrett420 (December 14, 2008)

On the part of the review where it says "people who liked this might also like" there should be an image of a pile of dog shit

chrisafi (December 14, 2008)

re-establishes Ludacris as a man at the top of his profession.
Why wasn't he before? Some backstory would make these references work, as per my previous example.

The drum-heavy beat is prototypically southern? (que?)
several prominent East Coast rappers? (wtf is an east coast rapper?)
jazz-influenced track that the Chi-town native feels right at home on? (jazz? chi-town? can you please just say Chigago dawg)

To you I probably sound like an idiot, but hey, re: this I am and I don't understand half this shit.

crackpotdemagogue (December 14, 2008)

oh my god a shite hip hop album reviewed on punknews etc. where is scott heisel to proclaim this the best punkrock album ever made? oh wait... he's busy stroking the lead singer from underoath's prostate whilst simultaniously reciting verse from the old testament

Anchors (December 14, 2008)

I understand what you're saying about writing to a general audience, but what about the review is hard to understand for somebody without a background in hip-hop? I re-read it a few times and the only thing I could think of was usage of the word 'bar'.

A 'bar' is a line, essentially. Any time you see a '/' breaking lyrics in one of my reviews, it's breaking one bar from another. There's no set length or anything for a bar, it's generally where the rapper stops to pause for a second.

Also, a '16' is a common length of a verse in a song. That means '16' bars. Every rapper and every song varies the length of verses, but if there's three rappers on one song, chances are each is rapping 16 bars.

Also, as far as rap not having integrity, find me any punk song with more integrity than:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X0R7I7LjZ2A
http://www.y outube.com/watch?v=4uxelkNOoM0
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q6 yT3qSPtDg
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nw9gDdZRW4s
http://www .youtube.com/watch?v=vqIulJ8ZjH4
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v= smogzeCAAfs
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qd7MGOdGYGA

And I'll eat my fucking foot.

SydBarrett420 (December 14, 2008)

Failling Upwards, I like a lot of rap/hip hop, but I have no use for it on this site and don't see why it is reviewed at all as it has zero relation to anything remotely "punk".

I'm not threatened by hip hop, I just find it to have as little or less musical integrity than most genres.

chrisafi (December 14, 2008)

2) It might not seem it to you, but all these reviews are written to a general audience. There's no way to review a Ludacris or Nas album in a "punk" way, and if there was, I wouldn't do it. That's not in line with the style of music.


Bollocks. I cba to nitpick but the example I used before highlights why this is bollocks - you presume prior knowledge - & its not about writing to a 'punk' audience, thats completely missing the point, its about writing to an ignorant audience. you wanna teach us about hip-hop? start talking like a teacher not a preacher dawg

(dawg being my attempt at being hip and hop innit)

and re:high scores 5/6/7 out of 10 doesn't mean you hate something. your still scoring these too highly and as for the reasons i said before, this will piss people off.

Morgan (December 14, 2008)

luda has alot of talent and is probably one of the best rappers still around putting out consistent albums. this one is good but not great like word of mouf

KurtTGS (December 13, 2008)

The first 5 tracks on Red Light District are unbeatable. This album is aiiight.

CCSummers (December 13, 2008)

So, if people starting posting reviews of Fall Out Boy annndd Boys Like Girls, everyone would be cool with it right?
I mean, the real problem here is that all of us just have this indescribable HATRED for hip-hop, right?

I got nothing against Ludacris, I don't listen to him, but what I've heard is cool enough. Nas I respect, his put out some legendary, legendary shit. The problem here is the Lil Wayne and Joe Budden bullshit.

Anchors (December 13, 2008)

Whateveryournameis, I'll address these two questions one last time:

1) Not only is "high" score subjective, but the reason the albums I've reviewed have received 8's, 9's and 10's is because I'm reviewing some of my favorite stuff from the year. None of this was sent to me. I'm doing it on my own accord, and that's why I'm reviewing what I like, and not wasting my time on some shitty album and giving it a 4. That benefits no one.

2) It might not seem it to you, but all these reviews are written to a general audience. There's no way to review a Ludacris or Nas album in a "punk" way, and if there was, I wouldn't do it. That's not in line with the style of music.

Posted by jeremyRVN on 2008-12-13 14:02:18
also, Anchors, what are some good Hip-hop releases this year that might have flown under the radar of someone not in the know of anyhting but the more mainstream Hip hop world? (thanks for turning me on to Joell Ortiz, the guy is incredible talented)


Glad you dig Joell. One of my absolute favorites. On that tip, he just joined/started a group with Joe Budden, Crooked I, and Royce Da 5'9" called slaughterhouse. For my money, these four are the best rappers and lyricists in the underground, maybe in all of hip-hop. Check these tracks out:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_M7cQmDlyc
http://www.yo utube.com/watch?v=vZNwucV3VkM

If you dig those, check out:

Joe Budden - Halfway House
Joell Ortiz - Who's Nice?
Royce Da 5'9" - The Bar Exam 2
Crooked I - The Block Obama, The Block Obama II

Other great underground stuff from this year:

Taliib Kweli - Focus
Charles Hamilton - The Pink Lava Lamp, Death of the Mixtape Rapper
Termanology - Politics As Usual
B.O.B. - Who The Fuck Is B.O.B.?
Bishop Lamont - The Confessional
Styles P - The Phantom Menace, The Ghost That Sat by the Door

I'll be reviewing all of this stuff in time, but that's just something to get you started.

mikexdude (December 13, 2008)

Can someone please explain to me the vehement hatred that a lot of the people have on this website for hip hop music?

People hate what they want--such is life. Oh well... i think the bigger issue is that it's "mainstream" and not underground than a hatred of hip hop.

bluexmaslights (December 13, 2008)

At first i didn't want to see hip hop albums reviewed, and it still doesnt make that much sense to review it on this site. then again, i dont consider the postal service or death cab punk but they're still mentionned. i'm getting a lot of laughs out of reading the comment shitstorms from the posts, so keep it up.

fallingupwards84 (December 13, 2008)

Jeremy - pick up Q-Tip's new album The Renaissance... its achieved enormous critical success

http://www.hiphopdx.com/index/reviews/id.1040/title.q- tip-the-renaissance

joshisnthardcore (December 13, 2008)

Personally I like hip-hop, my favorite rappers include Wu-tang clan, Notorious B.I.G, Outkast pre year 2000, The Pharcyde, Tribe Called Quest, Nas, etc. I gotta admit i believe ludacris is really doing his thing in comparison to most hip hop coming out today. His rap deliverys unique and his lyrics are obscure for the most part. I look forward to giving this record a listen, as i thought chicken and beer was a very good album. the scores for primarily dipping my feet in punk music, but breaking the mold of having hip-hop reviews on this site is a huge plus in my book.

jeremyRVN (December 13, 2008)

I love reading the comments on Anchors hip hop reviews. this is funny stuff. But I do have on query: what is "backpacker" music? sorry if this is a painful n00b question.

also, Anchors, what are some good Hip-hop releases this year that might have flown under the radar of someone not in the know of anyhting but the more mainstream Hip hop world? (thanks for turning me on to Joell Ortiz, the guy is incredible talented)

fallingupwards84 (December 13, 2008)

Can someone please explain to me the vehement hatred that a lot of the people have on this website for hip hop music?

Its one thing to not listen to a particular genre of music - I never listen to country, for example. But I don't hate country and country artists, they can do what they want and their fans have every right to enjoy it and talk about it with other people. I don't go around calling country music "garbage," "offensive," or any of the other disparaging terms used to describe hip hop music by posters below. I simply don't like it, choose not to listen to it, and leave it at that.

Some of you here (i'm looking at you, Syd, and to a lesser extent, Tudor and others), have a real hatred for hip hop and rap artists. And it confuses me. Just don't listen to it. Its almost like you feel threatened by rap music. What's so threatening about it?

Fans of "rock music" have always falsely perceived a dramatic conflict with hip hop music, dating back to the late 1980s and early 1990s, as if the very existence of hip hop music threatens music with the sacrosanct guitar instrument.

My question is, who gives a shit? Leave it alone. Syd - I dare you to not comment on the next hip hop review (and there will be more). Just... don't click on it. Try it out, and tell us how it works out for you.

Music is all relative - there is nothing inherently "better" about punk music than country music, or hip hop music, or metal, or emo, or folk, or even gospel. So since no type of music is inherently better than any other type of music, why not calm down and relax about other types of music being reviewed? Its not that big of a deal, people.

whatchokesbegin (December 13, 2008)

Okay, first of all, punknews, please fix your timeout settings. I wrote a long post here, and when I went to submit it, it said that my session timed out.

Not to belabor the point, but Anchors is completely missing the importance of what people are saying. I know there are plenty of people who like this kind of music, but I bet that if they want to read reviews about it, they know where to get it, and that's where they'll go. We don't mind experiencing new things or reading about what other people like. However, music is very important to me. It is very difficult to find good new music, and the last thing we need is one the best and only sources for it to spread information that is irrelevant to us. It's certainly fine to review good, underground hip-hop. And I know that it's okay for people who like punk the enjoy this "music." But honestly, this is kind of offensive. That's just the truth.

Tudor (December 13, 2008)

What bugs me about this "new wave" of rap albums being reviewed here is that there's tons of underground punk, metal. grind bands that go totally over-looked on this site.

Instead we get some shitty mainstream rap album to appease the 2 people on this site that actually listen to this garbage.

chrisafi (December 13, 2008)

Anchors.

Forget all the 'this is punknews boo hoo comments' - even though they still have a point

But my points I still think are big reasons your getting flamed, but youve not responded so I post again.

1. Everything score 8/10 or above. Come on. If someone else dished out 5 reviews of a 'non-punk' genre, whether it be metal or folk music or something, they would get flammed for being ridiculous, to generous and stupidly biased.

That pisses people off

2. You don't write these reviews to your audience.

Alot of people reading this aren't 'big' on hiphop so you need to hold our hands and write for the n00bs that we are - maybe then you'd get a better reception. Half of this review might as well be written in Portugese - thats how much I understand it.

e.g. (paraphrased)

Back in 2000 who would have thought Ludacris would have been one of the most consistent artists

Why? I don't know why no-one thought that. Degenerative heart condition?

SydBarrett420 (December 13, 2008)

I assume my reviews of the latest Beyonce and Taylor Swift albums are now relevent to this site as well?

pasha (December 13, 2008)

I don't see how "“Call Up the Homies" is G-funk influenced, but apart from that good review even if don't like the album.

Spit_My_Last_Breath (December 13, 2008)

What a crock of shite.
This kinda music pisses me off.
Nothing but a corporate cash sponge.
All these people care about is getting the biggest record deal, making the biggest amount of money, driving the biggest cars and making sure everyone knows they're cool. This music has no passion, it has no balls, no substance.

Im not narrow minded about music - i like a fair range of genres but i cannot stand this shit 'music for the masses' that fills our airwaves.

2 Points here;

1. If you're into this mediocore mainstream moneygrabbing worm. GET SOME REAL FUCKING MUSIC

2. In the words of the late and great Bill - PLAY FROM YOUR FUCKING HEART

fallingupwards84 (December 12, 2008)

excuse me, he's got a great style

fallingupwards84 (December 12, 2008)

TrueBeliever - AP.net posts rap reviews all the time; ironically enough, the people over there are mature enough to accept that and deal with it. The people over here are not (i'm not saying you aren't, just a lot of the posters)

This wouldn't be hard, as I know next to nothing about hip hop. Feel free to enlighten me, but please not with this generic garbage.

how could you in one sentence claim to no "nothing about hip hop" and then in the next sentence, call a particular hip hop artist "garbage"? i thought you knew nothing about hip hop?

Ludacris is one of the all-time greats, he's pretty legendary and he's a great style and an even greater flow. Seriously, listen to this album, few people can rap better than Luda. That's just a fact. Mainstream or not.

SydBarrett420 (December 12, 2008)

Anchors, everytime you post a review you come into the comments section and whine like a little bitch about the comments posted.

Just accept the fact that 9/10 of us do not care or come to this site for your "insightful" takes on hip hop. It has nothing to do with being "kids" or "close minded". I actually enjoy rap/hip hop, but have no use for it on this site

I'm beginning to think these reviews are posted weekly for the epic comments and nothing more.

TrueBeliever (December 12, 2008)

Dude, you seriously gotta take everything into consideration. Don't get me wrong, I enjoy rap. In fact, I'd say Common is better than a lot of the bands that are regularly mentioned on this site.

What you have to understand is, the main appeal people come to this site for is to have a website dedicated to the music we love. Punk is my main passion in music, which is why I contribute to this site so much, it's almost like it's exclusive to my taste. When I feel like discussing other genre's of music, I'll go to another site. It's not that I'm (or "we're") closeminded or anything, it's just not what I look for here.

Imagine the response a review of a mainstream band like Green Day or Fall Out Boy would get on what is supposed to be a Hip Hop exlusive site.

You gotta accept people aren't attracted to "punknews.org" by the large variety of genre's it reports on.

danperrone (December 12, 2008)

anchors...stop trying to save punknews

Martholamew (December 12, 2008)

I think everyone is over the fact that you're revieiwing hip hop Anchors. The problem is, if real shitty punk had the same kind of reviews you give real shitty rap, there would be the same kind of backlash. I'm fine with hip hop reviews, but I'd rather it be something I wasn't aware of, so that it encourages me to expand my horizons. This wouldn't be hard, as I know next to nothing about hip hop. Feel free to enlighten me, but please not with this generic garbage.

Anchors (December 12, 2008)

Posted by TheMarc on 2008-12-12 16:19:14
"I don't expect a whole lot from kids on this site"

I personally don't mind seeing these kinds of reviews, but jesus christ, dude.


Have you read 85% of the comments on my rap reviews? I've reviewed 500 albums for this website, and I do a few rap reviews and it's a complete and total shitstorm. I'm sorry if you expect me to see any merit in the average poster here when I get the kind of comments I do.

And I don't want to hear "well what do you expect posting rap reviews on a 'punk' site"? I expected it for the first review or two, and now on the fifth one that's still most of what I'm getting.

I don't really care and I'm going to continue to review the kind of hip-hop I want to review, but if you're expecting me to say "the posters here are great!!!" you're going to be waiting a while. Some are. A lot aren't.

NotPatriotic (December 12, 2008)

"Had a Lexus at 18, go picture that / Got a Chevy with pictures on it from pitchin’ crack / Bitch I know Haitians, we speak in Creole / Bitch I’m a d-boy, still slingin’ kilos."

Anchors, this is not a good verse. You are not going to convince anyone to go out and get this album when you put terrible lyrics into the review.

NotPatriotic (December 12, 2008)

Score is for the Blue Scholars and Common Market show this upcoming Saturday and the Blizzard Man comment.

TheMarc (December 12, 2008)

"I don't expect a whole lot from kids on this site"

I personally don't mind seeing these kinds of reviews, but jesus christ, dude.

DrGunn (December 12, 2008)

"i heard Luda's got more nuts than Delta airlines"

i think you'll find he PACKS more nuts than delta airlines. also his rap career goes back further than your father's hairline.

joemomma420666 (December 12, 2008)

review the new kanye west

miniblindbandit (December 12, 2008)

i don't have a problem with rap being reviewed on pn, but i always thought that one of the big reasons of having a review section on this site was to give some exposure to some bands/artists who normally wouldn't get reviewed anywhere else. i just googled "ludacris theater of the mind review" to count how many reviews of this are already out there. I stopped at 50. i dont think its really needed here and the spot could have been used for a relatively less-known artist. just my two cents. it was well-written though. kudos.

someone-yeah (December 12, 2008)

What about tupac?

Martholamew (December 12, 2008)

Thank god for a Ludaris review. I can now sleep at night. Dude showed his mad turn table skills in Fred Claus.

freesandwich (December 12, 2008)

I got ho's
in different area codes
areaaaaaaa

niveK82 (December 12, 2008)

What's brown and rhymes with snoop?

mikexdude (December 12, 2008)

"I don't expect a whole lot from kids on this site"

Have some faith in the viewers of the site you work for.

mikexdude (December 12, 2008)

Finally a mainstream score I can back. I don't care what anyone says, Ludacris is one punk motherfucker.

Score is for album and review.

smelltheglove (December 12, 2008)

I love a lot of rappers who are considered mainstream, but I can't really stand the majority of Luda's stuff. And I hate Rick Ross. But how ridiculous is it that people complain about Anchors reviewing mainstream hip hop here? Why should he consider the audience when a real "punk" audience should be open minded? I know the term has come to describe a typical "punk" sound, but shouldn't we keep some of the ideology behind the word? I'll admit, I have my preconceived notions of this album and what it sounds like, but I have no problem with it being on this site.

Some of you here sound like those uptight people who complain about shock jocks. It's not that big of a deal. If you don't like it, don't expose yourself to it.

24HourPriapism (December 12, 2008)

obligatory pitchfork comment.

i have to listen to bullshit like this, lil wayne and TI and that godawful new kanye west joint all day at work (and i actually enjoy some of kanye's work, but god DAMN that new album sucks). fuck this ironic reverence of mainstream rap. stop trying to pull substance out of mindless pablum. what's next, a 4-star review of Soulja Boy?

Bipedcasserole (December 12, 2008)

i heard Luda's got more nuts than Delta airlines

scorpiondeathlock (December 12, 2008)

score is for the song "Catch Up" off of his first album, and me rocking out to it in middle school on a daily basis...

mattramone (December 12, 2008)

The comment below made me laugh uncontrollably.

I love Ludacris and don't care what anyone says.

icapped2pac (December 12, 2008)

I really wish everybody would shut the fuck up about hip-hop reviews being on this site. As a guy who listens to equal parts punk (and sub-genres) and hip-hop, I love having a place to discuss it where the comments aren't all "FUCK ALL YOU FAGET ASS BITCHEz WHO DONT LYKE LUDA HE #1" or the like.

icapped2pac (December 12, 2008)

Thanks to fallingupwards for pointing out the Premo song. I probably never would've known about it (enforcing your point) otherwise, and I'm the biggest Gang Starr fan you'll ever find. That song further strengthens the notions I had about this guy since Nas' "Virgo". Dude can rap his ass off, but I'll never be an avid listener of his because of the proclivity of shitty commercial hip-pop beats. And for me to even compliment him at all is a big deal, because he should never be forgiven for that awful "What's Your Fantasy?" (I think that was it) song that put him on the map. I still gotta give him props for going back at O'Reilly though. So I guess the bottom line is: I've grown to have some respect for him as a rapper, but for the most part I can't stand his music.

GarrettIrish (December 12, 2008)

I want to see an Abd Al Malik review.Better than 95% of the American stuff.

Also...Punknews.org? I think the name is pretty clear. Seriously, not the best place to start writing hip hop reviews,especially Ludacris and Lil Wayne. Go try the MTV boards.

john_stone (December 12, 2008)

Ah, suburban nerds discussing hip-hop. Refreshing!

IamMclovin (December 12, 2008)

Anchors--I enjoy your reviews but why not just let them stand on their own. It seems pointless to get into a pissing match with everybody on every review. It's just the same shit over and over.

fallingupwards84 (December 12, 2008)

you know nothing about hip hop, do you? Biggie is to hip hop as the Ramones are to punk or as Minor Threat is to hardcore. He practically defines it on his own.

chrisafi (December 12, 2008)

no, im just saying im not excited about him jizzing all over Biggie

fallingupwards84 (December 12, 2008)

And Biggie to come? I'm not excited. Try giving a hip hop cd a bad score.

did you just suggest that Biggie wasn't real hip hop?
you're out of your fucking mind, son.

freesandwich (December 12, 2008)

Score is for the Ludacris, Chingy, and Lil John concert i went to in 2003.

Shit was off the chain.

fallingupwards84 (December 12, 2008)

Excellent album from a legendary rapper

none of the people below have heard a single song from this album, try this one, Luda raps over a Premo beat:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GoOBXYn-C4A

Slazey (December 12, 2008)

I've actually found these reviews are getting more and more difficult to get into for someone with next to no background in rap. Which, presumably, is your target audience.

I like the idea behind doing these reviews- but c'mon, dude. At times this comes across as the critical equivalent of jamming your fingers in your ears and shouting at your audience.

I don't mean to sound patronising...

briennis (December 12, 2008)

knew who had written this review the second that i saw it existed.

cheesetits (December 12, 2008)

Anchors, I get it dude, but is Punknews seriously the place to "get your feet wet" with rap reviews? Isn't there a place where your reviews would get more appreciation before you bring underground rap reviews here, where people might not be so automatically reviled by this? You kind of have to realize where most of the people on this site are coming from as well and accept it.

Stenny (December 12, 2008)

Luda has some fun ass LPs.

Back for the First Time and Word of Mouf' are a good time.

TraumaSponge (December 12, 2008)

But how's the track with Blizzard Man?

notfeelingcreative (December 12, 2008)

I just can't get into current mainstream rap. I'm not arguing that underground hip-hop is superior or more site-appropriate, hell, in my opinion Outkast's 'Aquemini' is one of the best hip-hop albums ever recorded, but I just understand why anyone, much less a punk/hardcore fan would be into lil' wayne or ludacris!

chrisafi (December 12, 2008)

Such high fucking scores every time!

This shit is stinky man, like some of the stuff you've reviewed is pretty much fair game but serious Lil Wayne and now this? And Biggie to come? I'm not excited.

Try giving a hip hop cd a bad score.

Try reviewing some hip hop that isn't a massive mainstream limpdick.

Oh and one constructive point - your writing these reviews sometimes to a hip hop audience. You haven't got one. You need to really get tight on writing to a punk audience if you want a better reception

xshoutoutx (December 12, 2008)

Hahahahahahahahaha.... Ha!

canaandrumzz (December 12, 2008)

I think Luda is really underrated by a lot of people. If you really take the time to listen to his raps, booty shaking anthems and all, he shows some real lyrical talent. Plus, he always has good beats and cool hooks. I don't really see what there is to dislike about him as a rapper.

Anchors (December 12, 2008)

Also, I'm not wishing for hip-hop to go back to 2000, I'm emphasizing the point that Ludacris has far outlasted everyone else that was "big" at the time.

I'd also agree that Eminem was the biggest (and best) rapper to emerge from that period, but he's got a new album coming out in February so he didn't fit the point of the intro.

Anchors (December 12, 2008)

I've already stated this numerous times, but I'm also going to be reviewing underground stuff. I listen to as much of that as I do mainstream; my point in reviewing this, Wayne, Nas, ect (besides legitimately liking it) is that I'm new to writing about rap, and I figured I'd start with the biggest releases of 2008 to get my feet wet.

I'll continue to review this kind of stuff, I'll be reviewing underground stuff (Elzhi, Termanology, Charles Hamilton) and some classics. Got a Biggie review on the way.

And I don't give a shit about the relevance to punk, either. Five years ago, I'd have never even thought about listening to anything like this. Now, I see as much merit and talent in this as I do (if not moreso) than any punk or hardcore I heard this year.

I don't expect many people to agree with me, but this is the same website that literally shit a collective brick when I (rightfully) had Justin Timberlake on my year-end list in 06. I don't expect a whole lot from kids on this site.

FrankReich (December 12, 2008)

Seriously? If this website is going to do rap/hip-hop reviews couldn't it do better than this asshat? I liked that Nas was covered. I also wouldn't mind seeing Common reviewed as I think he might have at least some appeal to the people of this site. Same goes for The Roots, Mos Def, Atmosphere, and Sage Francis to name just a few. Toolboxes like Luda and Lil Wayne are probably not going to convert any orgers over (well maybe) but I can't help but associate this kind of garbage with white baseball cap wearing frat bros blaring it out of their Jeep Wranglers.

SlowStupidHungry (December 12, 2008)

Big Pun and Dr. Dre are the only talented people on that list. Are you seriously wishing for a revitalization of the "hey day" of Nelly, DMX, or Puff Daddy with his cornball samples and even worse flow?

And I don't know about you, but by far the biggest rapper to come out of that period in my eyes was Eminem.

PS - Ludacris... Uh, whatever. It's Ludacris. Southern party rap. I was forced to listen to this enough in high school. No thanks.

ryannn (December 11, 2008)

I like hip-hop as much as the next guy, there is some awesome stuff out there. However, Ludacris is far removed from that class, far far removed.

shot_in_the_dark (December 11, 2008)

I hate sound repetitive, but why are we reviewing this? Ludacris? Really? This isn't fucking XXL.

miniblindbandit (December 11, 2008)

i see a pattern here...

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