Ludacris - Theater of the Mind

Ludacris - Theater of the Mind
Okay, as pretentious as Theater of the Mind may sound, don't judge a book, well, album by its cover. One of the South's favourite sons, Ludacris is back on it and has managed to mash up the elements of his older works with a good dose of the intelligence and wit found on Release Therapy.

Being a theater concept album, plenty of non-music celebs make cameos on these tracks. It doesn't harm the album because they seriously do not try to rap! Left to Luda, you can see the advantages on cuts like Undisputed, which "co-stars" former boxing champ Floyd Mayweather in a cut drowned (but far from dead) with similes and punchlines.

Some would be looking at Wish You Would, the collaboration with former rival T.I. and creaming in their pants, but though they deliver mediocre at worst lyrically, the beat supplied by Toomp and 8TRIX is a headache. Even trashier is the Chris Brown and Sean Garrett collab What Them Girls Like - yes it is obviously a club/radio song so you can bounce to it, but don't jump into it seeking quality, though Ludacris does drop some decent lines, except "I love women so much I am one!"...umm...moving on...

Despite them, there is so much to say about the three final tracks of the album so I'll spare you that and tell you this - MVP ('scored' by DJ Premier; yeah who thought it wouldn't happen, but it did), I Do It For Hip Hop ('co-starring' Nas & Jay-Z), and Do The Right Thang ('co-starring' Common and, how proper, Spike Lee and 'scored' by 9th Wonder) - yes, the quality of the tracks matches the names involved in this triple threat...I mean treat. Believe that.

You gotta love concept albums, as long as they're pulled off well enough. Aside from the actor cameos (also from Chris Rock and Ving Rhames) and the 'co-starring' and 'scored by' credits, Ludacris' Theater of the Mind is not one which really stays on point as far as being a concept album, but regardless it still packs a lot of punch and you'll get quite a few kicks out of it too. Definitely a must-hear.

Available through DTP/Def Jam Records

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