Ludacris Release Therapy Album Review, Listen to his New Song
By REBECCA LOUIE
For the Associated Press
NEW YORK - He's pocketed platinum albums as a campy rap character and nabbed Hollywood props in the Oscar-worthy films "Crash" and "Hustle and Flow." But these days, Ludacris just wants to be himself. On his new album, "Release Therapy," Chris "Ludacris" Bridges peppers his usual raunchy club bangers with introspective, socially conscious tracks. Tackling ghetto strife, prison life, Hurricane Katrina and the struggles of women, Luda said his latest work represents a 29-year-old man with a daughter and a vision. "Life is about growth and change and that's what's happening right now," he said. "Once you get to your late 20s, a lot of things start becoming more clear. You're just trying to be a better person."
"Therapy's" first single, however, plays it safe: "Money Maker," featuring Pharrell Williams, is about jiggling body parts and subsequent things to do with them (other album guests include R. Kelly, Young Jeezy, Beanie Sigel, Pimp C and C-Murder). "Money Maker" is climbing the charts, but whether fans will embrace Luda's new message remains to be seen. "I feel in Luda's career, his over-the-topness ended up being a detriment because he didn't make a real connection to the audience," said Elliott Wilson, editor in chief of hip-hop magazine XXL. "It's becoming more and more frustrating for him and I think that he's challenging himself to reinvent himself, to show more sides." Ludacris offered another explanation."My [5-year-old] daughter has had a major impact in my life," he said. "Struggles that go on with younger ladies, with child abuse, early pregnancies, I just feel like talking about it is the first step in trying to solve the problem."
You can hear his new song, "Girls Gone Wild," Here.