Volume 7, Issue 1 University of Houston
Ludacris does the expected in 'District'
Album fails to bring fans anything they can't see coming
The slick burlesque-show theme Ludacris uses for the liner notes on The Red Light District may be a departure from the raunchy debauchery of the notes for Chicken N Beer and the low-budget head enlargement of Word of Mouf's booklet, but the music is just what everyone has come to expect.
"Get Back," produced by The Medicine Men & Tic Toc, and "Put your Money," produced by Icedrake, both bang with beats that belong with "Rollout (My Business)" as ring tones for OGs and suburban high school hustlers alike. With a Nate Dogg chorus and a sample of Teena Marie's "Portuguese Love," the DK All Day-produced "Child of the Night" is reminiscent of "Diamond in the Back," and "Pass Out" is yet another great Ludacris song that seems to be custom-made for fans to yell along with it, like "Blow It Out" was in its own time.
"Hopeless" is Luda's obligatory "you're not alone in the struggle" track on this album. Like "Hard Times," "Cold Outside" and even "Growing Pains," "Hopeless" has a laid-back beat -- this time it's a snare-heavy slow one with a hypnotic bassline and a smoky little spiral of guitar -- with lyrics about tough times. This time around, the track has some nice lyrical imagery: "A black man, but I feel so blue / So I smoke green and purple till my dreams come true / And my eyes turn red, the sky turns gray / Children slangin' white in the hood; we call it Yay!"
The drug ballad "Blueberry Yum Yum" is a nice, subtle bouncer, and Timbaland's production on "The Potion" makes the song ripe for a Missy Elliot cameo, but she doesn't come through. Nas puts in a nice verse for "Virgo," and the beatboxing beat in the background makes the song sound like a freestyle, another standard in Luda's arsenal.
All told, this is another album aimed at popular consumption, and it won't single-handedly change the face of hip-hop. Where the Young Bucks and Fabolouses of the world seem intent on taking hip-hop down with them and their only-one-decent-song albums though, Ludacris sells his fans a solid album every time.
The Red Light District
Disturbing tha Peace/Def Jam South
Verdict: Just like his other albums, this one doesn't disappoint.