Christopher Brian Bridges – to most of the world – is known as Ludacris, the rapper with a flow like no other. Ludacris has been on and off for a while, perhaps it’s the pressure and the time that goes into shooting the Fast and Furious movies. He is back with his latest album titled Ludaversal. We have anticipated this album for so long, at a point, I thought it had suffered indefinite release.
The last time Ludacris graced us with an album was back in 2010 with Battle of the Sexes. You ought to remember this album as it gave us a lot of great music, and it had insanely great collaborations. This is the album that birthed “How Low,” which saw a lot of girls pushing their bodies to the limit to see how low they could go. It is still the album that gave gentlemen a soundtrack to brag about their stunning girlfriends with “My Chick Bad” (which featured the stunning Nicki Minaj). We also had Trey Songz, Ne-Yo, Monica, Flo Rida, Trina, Eve, Lil Kim and Gucci Mane among others featuring on it. Battle of the Sexes was an incredible album which had 137,000 sales in the first week and is certified gold.
Two years ago, in preparation for the Ludaversal album, he released an EP titled Burning Bridges, which was well presented. It contained only 6 songs, but these 6 songs were extremely satisfying. It brought Ludacris back. I remember reading online where a fan was saying that “it is exciting to have 6 new Ludacris songs.” And, indeed, it was exciting. The excitement was greatly backed by the insane flow, the captivating lyrics with overly clever punchlines and the unchallenged Ludacris delivery.
Now we have Ludaversal which, by all measures, is a great album. If you must push back an album several times, it is only right that you make it worth the wait. Ludacris is well aware of this, and the 18-track album is definitely worth the wait. Everything great about this album starts with the cover art. Ludacris is a man of style and class; this is exhibited on the cover art of the album. It contains a picture of a private jet and a 1993 Acura-Legend car, which is said to be Ludacris’ first car ever. They both have their doors open, and I found this art work extremely symbolic. The ultimate dream and achievement in transportation is a private jet. For it to be alongside his first car, I believe the symbolism here is Ludacris’ journey and how he has grown and continued to be successful. The Acura-Legend symbolizes where he started from and the private jet symbolizes where he is now in his journey. This is very impressive symbolism.
Ludaversal features big names like Big K.R.I.T, Monica, Usher, Miguel, John Legend and CeeLo Green. From the lineup of the artists on it, it is an assured masterwork of a creation. And it lives up to that expectation. There are several notable things about this album. The Ludacris flow is here in all its mighty. From the Ludaversal intro, Ludacris does not save the best for last; he serves the best right from start to finish. In the intro, the flow is fast, rhythmic and it has great lyrics to accompany the entire presentation.
The first 8 tracks on the album are just Ludacris alone. He has 8 tracks all to himself to speak his mind. He talks about the industry and a couple of things that are wrong with it. He talks about rappers that say things but can’t really back them up. He can back up whatever he claims in his verses. He reminds other emcees that he is still the truth. He eats emcees for breakfast. The industry is so full of fake rappers, and Ludacris talks about how he will never be one of them. He is still the realest rapper in the game. He warns anyone coming at him to be ready because he is always up for the challenge.
In a song titled “Beast mode,” you listen to Ludacris in total beast mode. He is an animal out to feast on these fake rappers. As he begins, he calls for attention, clears his throat and says, “listen closely.” Then the lyrical flood gates open; he is not specific with whom he might be talking about but issues some major threats. Ludacris talks about being too impressive that he might make these other rappers’ fans unfriend them on Facebook. That’s how good this guy is; he will get your fans reconsidering and switching sides. And since he is always high, it is kind of hard to overlook him. He will always be right there above you that you cannot miss him. The last line of this track is the big finish and he says, “this one verse is harder than a lot of N****s albums.” If this was a freestyle, now would be the time to drop the microphone and walk away.
In case you are wondering, the whole album is not entirely hardcore and venomous. He later softens up. On songs like “Good Lovin’” featuring Miguel, he appeals more to his ladies. He sings for the women, and he brings it back with Usher on “Not Long.”
This album is also extremely deep and personal. He talks about his kids and his woman. You feel the family man Ludacris on this album as well. He talks like a proud family man who is passionate about his family. On “Ocean Skies” featuring Monica, he does a tribute to his late father, Wayne Bridges. In this song, you’ll hear some personal stuff about Ludacris’ life and childhood. It makes you realize that the struggle is for everyone, and with hard work, anyone can make it out. He preaches love on this song, love for your parents, and I must commend the technique of conveying such a message through a testimony. It is more real and more relatable.
Ludaversal is truly a great album. Ludacris upholds the versatility he has always bore in his music. He brings the best artists on board, and they create a hip-hop album that does not discriminate the listening crowds. The variety on it will provide for every listener. Ludacris is a multi-talented guy. He is famous for the music and later movies. Being part of a hit movie franchise calls for a lot of his time. But still being able to come back and give the world a smashing album shows us that he can handle both careers without a hustle. Ludaversal has been long awaited and it is worth every second of anticipation.