Damn You, Ludacris!

20 Sep


Why did you fuck this up?

I’ve been one of your staunchest supporters. I hated “What’s Your Fantasy,” but based on your solo catalog and your takeover as the best cameo artist in the game, I’ve declared you as one of the best MCs out there, and the most underrated rapper in the industry (tied with Busta Rhymes).

And it’s been trying. People always battle my assertions, saying, “Ludacris is cool, but I can’t ever take him seriously. He’s a comedian more than he is a rapper. He’s not on the level of the game’s elite MCs.” But I’ve always defended you: you ride beats better than 90% of the rappers out there, you’ve single-handedly created your own lane, you’re incredibly charasmatic, and you have one of the most distinctive voices in rap. You’re also a complete MC: you’ve got punchlines to spare; you’re equally dexterous at both the drawn out, enunciated flow and the fast-rapping style; you’re versatile enough to team up with any other artist out there and outshine them on their own shit, all the while keeping in the vein of the original song; and you’re the only nigga who raps about women/sex so well that I can bump it and respect the wit instead of shutting the shit off because I’m not female. You’ve got great songs with serious subject matter too (“Child Of The Night,” “Large Amounts,” “Growing Pains,” “Cold Outside”), but you just don’t make those as much. Plus, your intros are better than some MCs’ entire careers. I’ve consistently said that you had the talent, charisma and resources to make a classic album.

With your new album, Release Therapy, you’re affirming my statements about your lyrical ability. You hold your own alongside C-Murder, Beanie Sigel and Pimp C on “Do Your Time,” doing an excellent job of spitting about the things you love and perfectly setting the mood for the other three to shed light on their prison experiences. “Runaway Love” is the highest lyrical point of your career, as you tell three stories of young girls entangled in everything from rape and alcholic parents to drug abuse and young single parenthood. On “Freedom of Preach” you do the tried and true praying-while-rapping method better than many MCs before you have, and you shed light on the Oprah situation with a maturity unseen in your previous beefs. With so many others that are dime by the dozen, “Tell It Like It Is” is one of the most compelling critiques of the music industry since A Tribe Called Quest’s “Show Business.” Even tracks with subject matter you’ve tread before (“Mouths To Feed,” “Slap”) come across as hungrier and more potent than your other efforts, and your sex raps and punchline-heavy verses are still in tact. This is the complete, versatile lyrical showcase I’ve been hyping everybody up about for years.

And you have the nerve to litter this album with your weakest beats yet? Where’s the A-List production from the homies Kanye West, Timbaland, and Organized Noise? All of your past albums had several beats that stood out from not only the other songs on the album, but other rap music out there altogether: Timbo’s farm animal sounds on “The Potion,” the Austin Powers funk of “Number One Spot,” the Lazy-Boy recline of “Diamond In The Back,” the haunting keys of “Stick Em Up,” the trunk-rattling “Southern Hospitality,” even the grit and bloody-eyed coughs of “We Got.” Release Therapy doesn’t have ONE beat that stands out; “Money Maker” and “I Grew Up A Screw Up” come mildly close, but no cigar. Honestly, this sounds like a more mature version of Back For The First Time; better lyrics, but damn near every one of these beats sounds like it belongs on a debut album from a semi-newcomer, not from a certified superstar like you. The beats aren’t flat-out garbage, but they’re at a notably lower quality than your previous efforts. **EDIT: Maybe, with your new-and-improved lyrics, you picked lesser quality beats to accentuate your lyrics more? Who knows – maybe I’ll interview you and find out.** Looks like you pulled a Samson, homie; when you lost your hair, you lost your ear for hot beats. I’m downloading your Green Lantern mixtape right now, but I’m not going to listen for a while; because if this shit is better than your album, I’m going to be very upset.

I’d say, “Maybe next year,” but you’re disappointing me like Peyton Manning and the Colts have for the past few seasons. And at this point, a division championship just isn’t enough. Like I said, I’m a huge fan, and I’ll still bump the new record. But this shit is getting annoying.

Fuck you very much,

William E. Ketchum III


5 Responses to “Damn You, Ludacris!”

  1. Mr. Clark September 21, 2006 at 10:07 pm #

    FIRST!!! (I hate that…) Anyways, I haven’t heard the album in its entirety (do you got it?) But I have hear three of the songs (Tell It Like It Is, War With God, and Money Maker < -- trash) and a snippet of one (Mouths to Feed). So, I agree with you on the sentiment that Ludacris is our modern-day Samson. But will the album still be a classic?

  2. JAWS September 22, 2006 at 2:51 am #

    Damn You, Billie!

    I come to your site and what do I see? Three new posts since I was last here! Damn you! What do you think you’re doing? Trying to take over the blog game?

    Good posts on Diddy, Luda and JayZ. I personally haven’t listened to any Luda until the album officially drops, because I want that same feeling that I got when I was younger and the internet was something for scientists. That’s too bad to here that about the beats, but I will let my ears be the judge. Oh by the way, I think I am copping that Green Lantern too, just not hitting ‘press play’ until his official album drops.

  3. Smack Grew Up a Screw Up September 25, 2006 at 3:57 am #

    lol @ “maybe I’ll interview you and find out”

    But on the real, we’re all just gonna have to face the fact that we will NEVER have that perfect album from Luda. NEVER! That’s like waiting for The Growth to drop (as I already made that example to you before lol).



  4. Cierra September 28, 2006 at 4:03 am #

    I still like it and Mr. Clark tell it like it is is not trash.

  5. Adam September 29, 2006 at 8:53 pm #

    Luda is a fantastic MC, and a really cool person, but yes, we will never get the album we want out of him. I don’t know if Def Jam rushes him or what, but every album he’s done has been missing that special something that makes it a classic.

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