by Julia Chirls
American rapper and actor Ludacris finished up the month with a satisfactory new album, Ludaversal, which will impress some of his universal fan base and possibly leave the rest of us behind. Released on March 31, this is his ninth studio album since the start of his acting and singing career nearly 20 years ago. Perhaps he is known for his guest appearances in Usher’s “Yeah!” and DJ Khaled’s “All I Do is Win”. He also appeared in four of the seven films that make up The Fast and the Furious action film series.
Among others, Ludacris has won three Grammy awards for his musical work and has been nominated 17 times since 2002. He won “Best Rap/Song Collaboration” for the song “Yeah!” in 2005, and both “Best Rap Song” for “Money Maker” and “Best Rap Album” for the album Release Therapy in 2007. In 2005, he won Outstanding Performance by a Cast at the Screen Actor’s Guild Awards with his fellow cast from Crash.
Ludacris’ major debut album, Back for the First Time, earned the #4 spot on the U.S. Billboard 200 in 2000. It also reached #2 on the U.S. Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In 2003, his second official single, “Stand Up,” followed the same path, reaching #1 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Since then, he has earned seven more achievements like these on the Billboard charts.
In Ludaversal, Ludacris wrote every song that is on the track list—quite impressive. He also features four fellow singer songwriters in four of the songs: Big K.R.I.T., Miguel, Jason Aldean, Monica, and Usher. Each infuses his or her own style, but Ludacris maintains the hip-hop style for which he is best known.
The first single from Ludaversal, and the most popular song on the track, “Good Lovin’”, was released on December 15, 2014. This track features R&B and pop singer Miguel. One of Miguel’s most popular songs “Sure Thing,” was released in 2011 and hit #1 on the Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart. “Good Lovin’” contains several segments in the song where Miguel features his rapping skills that he learned when he was just 13. The background music features a piano and a drumbeat that maintains the tempo. Ludacris keeps the range of pitches small, but it is just right to make the song an enjoyable listen.
“Come and See Me Interlude” is the least popular song on Ludaversal among iTunes listeners, and I have to agree with their disapproval. The beginning of the song contains a small segment with a woman yelling in the background amidst rapping by Ludacris. Almost every word that she yells is profane, which is particularly unappealing. In addition, the pitch of her voice does not compliment Ludacris’. The song has a slow tempo that is maintained by a drumbeat. A synthesizer counteracts this beat, however. As a whole, I would have to say that the song is a bit all over the place and, truthfully, could have been left off of the album. Maybe the goal of this song is to steer the listener far away to find a different song on the album that suits his or her likings.
I do recommend buying some of the songs among the collection on Ludaversal such as “Good Lovin,” but depending on what suits your own desires and tastes, definitely sample a song on iTunes before you buy it just so you don’t waste your money. Although this was not his most impressive music, Ludacris has had many successful years in the music industry, and I have confidence that he will continue to grow in the years to come.
Sophomore Julia Chirls is a staff writer. Her email is firstname.lastname@example.org.