Album: Ludacris

The Red Light District, DEF JAM SOUTH
Click to follow
The Independent Culture

Some rappers are particularly ill served by the more tiresome conventions of hip-hop culture. Take Ludacris, one of the lynchpins of Atlanta's flourishing Dirty South movement. As fashion dictates, Luda's fourth album opens with two tracks of tedious boasting about his commercial prowess, which frankly holds rather less fascination than he imagines. And of course, his financial health is no guarantee in itself of his work's aesthetic worth - indeed, Luda's populism rather downplays his abilities, which are far better employed elsewhere on The Red Light District, an album designed to offer a broader picture of the rapper's indulgent lifestyle, from the gambling championed in "Put Your Money" to the personal survey of the world's ladies offered over the bumping groove of "Pimpin' All Over the World". Countering the usual dope, booze and broads lifestyle familiar from a thousand other rap records, however, are observations on his own changing status, notably complaints about relatives hitting him

Some rappers are particularly ill served by the more tiresome conventions of hip-hop culture. Take Ludacris, one of the lynchpins of Atlanta's flourishing Dirty South movement. As fashion dictates, Luda's fourth album opens with two tracks of tedious boasting about his commercial prowess, which frankly holds rather less fascination than he imagines. And of course, his financial health is no guarantee in itself of his work's aesthetic worth - indeed, Luda's populism rather downplays his abilities, which are far better employed elsewhere on The Red Light District, an album designed to offer a broader picture of the rapper's indulgent lifestyle, from the gambling championed in "Put Your Money" to the personal survey of the world's ladies offered over the bumping groove of "Pimpin' All Over the World". Countering the usual dope, booze and broads lifestyle familiar from a thousand other rap records, however, are observations on his own changing status, notably complaints about relatives hitting him up for loans ("Large Amounts", built on a sample from "You've Got to Pick a Pocket or Two") and the aggressive assertion of his need for personal space in "Get Back". It may go against his instincts, but if Ludacris could stop banging on about his wealth, he might actually fulfil his aim of changing the direction of hip hop.

Comments