WaTunes: Ludacris “Battle Of The Sexes”
Since cutting his braids prior to Release Therapy, Disturbing the Peace leader Ludacris has looked to establish himself as a lyricist, feeling that he has been underestimated since he first debuted back in 2000.
Showing his lyrical abilities in Theatre of The Mind, along with countless verse stealing performances on other rapper's records, Luda looks to pit his skills against the opposite gender with Battle Of The Sexes.
With Shawna being subbed out for the season, the rapper reached out to other female rappers to give them a chance, as the population in Hip-Hop is close to zero, to show and prove themselves in a genre dominated by men.
Opening in true Luda fashion, “Intro” gives the rapper breathing room to do what he does best and just rhyme, but this time he gives the females a little time to rep their side.
Following are the singles “How Low” and “My Chick Bad” where Nicki Minaj sounds like a female reflection of Luda due to her animated flow.
The true battle of wits comes in the forms of “Hey Ho” and “B.O.T.S. Radio.” Featuring Lil Kim, “Hey Ho” continues the debate of the double standard and how a man's sexual escapades works to his favor and gives him the title of being a player, whereas a woman is labeled a “ho” or a “slut” when they have numerous notches on their belt.
For a change, Lil Kim weighs in on the misconception and establishes the fact that women always do it better.
"And women cheat better than men, we don't disturb em/ My motto is ‘What they don't know, won't hurt em'/We just doing like you do, see the roles done switched/ If I'm a h*e, you's a h*e, if I'm a b**ch, you's a b**ch/ No that I'mma stay rich, fellas do what you do/ Cuz yall don't f**k us, n**gas we f**k you."
“B.O.T.S. Radio” serves as a time for men and women to have their questions answered as it relates to dealing with the “errors” in the opposite sex.
"These tricks gon keep trickin so hustlers gon kepp hustling/ Long as there's new coochie, then dogs gon keep f**kin/ So don't be all up in my phone, replying to women's pages/ I thought yo momma told you, you should never talk to strangers/ Don't ever ask no questions that you don't really want the answer to/ Stop poppin off at the mouth or like Nino Brown, I'll have to cancel you."
Stepping outside the battle with cuts like “Sex Room”, “I Do It All Night” and “Feeling So Sexy”, however, the rapper shows signs of his origins when he was DJ Chris Lova Lova and asking the women, “What's Your Fantasy?” Looks like Luda can't help but to cater to the women.
Looking to set the mood by dropping lines such as this, the rapper sounds as though he writing pages to his own personal Luda-Sutra.
"Feeling high, but I'm hung real low, looking sorta like a tripod/ So power down your cell phone and power up your iPod/ Power down your inhibitions and power up your inner freak/ (Yes, Yes, F**k) is the only words that you finna speak."
With Monica singing the hook, the track “Can't Live With You” shows Luda tackling the everyday problems and confusion that comes from relationships knowing that the person that you love can be the same that you hate to love as good times are always accompanied with bad times when emotions are involved.
"Don't know what I want or what's the right thing to do/ But the right thing is you, you're my destiny/ Even at my worse, you still bringing out the best in me/ But then you testin me, trying to push buttons/ Fussin, fighting, yea we always getting into something."
Even with her not being featured on the credits, Shawna does get to have her presence felt, although it might not be the magnitude as it would have been initially, before the move to T-Pain's camp. Leaving verses on “I Do It All Night” and “B.O.T.S. Radio” the former member of Disturbing Tha Peace is still given her opportunity to wave her flag and provide the female perspective instead of allowing Luda to dictate how the women feel. It might actually be thanks to Shawna that the women are able to be given more of a lyrical spotlight on the album.
The major drawback to Battle Of The Sexes is the fact that there's no real battle of lyrical wit going on. Outside of the “B.O.T.S. Radio” and “Hey Ho” the rest of the album isn't able to actually follow the initial theme that was planned by Ludacris and there is no actual “battle” going on. Listeners mostly just hear Luda giving his perspective on the conflict between both sexes with more male features than female.
Cuts like "Everybody Drunk" featuring Lil Scrappy and "Party No Mo" have absolutely nothing to do with the concept and only serve as potential mainstream hits.
Overall, the album plays out like a general album from Luda, which happens to have songs loosely based on the theme of genders battling. Still, however, if the listener chooses to not think of the theme, Luda is able to deliver in his usual fashion with this release.
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