Column: The High End Theory - A Luda State Of Mind

I never gave Ludacris a second thought when he first entered the game.

When Back for the First Time dropped in 2000 I was less than impressed. "What’s Your Fantasy" was a hit but there was nothing impressive about him. When Word of Mouf was released a year later I saw that he had enough, at least in terms of radio capability, to stick around for a while.

Nevertheless, he was unproven as a true MC in my eyes. It wasn’t until Release Therapy in 2006 that I began seeing the maturing and growth of not just someone who can make hit songs, but of someone who can make substantive music. "Runaway Love" had social commentary that Luda never attempted to touch on before. "Tell It Like It Is" and "War with God" also showed a more introspective side. Theatre of the Mind continued to show lyrical growth.











Now Battle of the Sexes derails all the progress. The album is chocked full of sure-fire club bangers and songs that will hit #1 on iTunes instantly ("How Low" has already gone platinum). The Nicki Minaj and Flo Rida-assisted album is obviously aimed at the charts and not at artistic advancement; at radio and not headphones.

It’s safe to say that Luda is in a different mind frame. His Conjure cognac has him in a party mentality and he clearly wants to have fun on his seventh go-round. There’s nothing wrong with a little fun, but when an artist is clearly capable of so much more, it’s difficult to hear a dumbed down version of them.