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20 Watts Reviews Ludacris’s Battle of the Sexes by jluposello

Ludacris's Battle of the Sexes.

PREVIEW: VISIT Ludacris’ MySpace
WE GIVE IT: 14/20 Watts

Ludacris isn’t exactly known for respect towards women in his raps. But with his latest release, Battle of the Sexes, Luda tries to offer a woman’s point-of-view on partying, sex and relationships. While these topics are not new to Ludacris’s repertoire, the juxtaposition he creates in his seventh studio album shows that the rapper still has something fresh to offer the hip-hop scene. Battle of the Sexes boasts a good mix of party anthems and sex-driven songs featuring some of today’s most well-known female rappers.

The intro to BOTS makes it clear that ‘Cris still loves to party hard, making numerous references to smoking weed within the first two minutes. “Everybody Drunk” and “Party No ‘Mo” encourage picking up women at the club and drinking till you pass out. Lil’ Scrappy is featured on the final cut of the more laid-back “Everybody Drunk,” while the original, which was released in April 2009, featured Shawnna.

Battle of the Sexes was supposed to be a collaboration album with Shawnna, but turned into a solo project after Shawnna signed with Nappy Boy Records. However, BOTS brings together some other big names in hip-hop to make up for the change, including Flo Rida (“I Know You Got a Man”), Gucci Mane (“Party No Mo’”) and Lil’ Kim (“Hey Ho”).

Throughout the rest of the album, Luda struggles with the antithesis of lust and love, channeling his inner Marvin Gaye with “I Do it All Night” and “Sex Room.” Trey Songz adds his signature tranquil, sensual sound to “Sex Room,” while the techno backbeat on “I Do it All Night” harkens back to Luda’s “What’s Your Fantasy” days.  By the end of Battle of the Sexes, he realizes that relationships are difficult (see “Can’t Live with You”), but wants women to be more open and confide in him (“Tell Me a Secret”).

The bonus track on BOTS, “Sexting,” shows that Luda has been able to better adapt his music in order to be successful in 2010. Almost a decade after Back for the First Time, Battle of the Sexes shows that Ludacris has begun to realize that there is more to life than strippers and Cadillacs.

-Dana Rose Falcone

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