After going incognito from the music industry for a while, veteran rapper Ludacris has finally reemerged with a bang, with his long awaited album Ludaversal hitting the shelves on March 31. Over the past five years, Luda remained largely committed to Hollywood, appearing in The Fast and Furious franchise; yet, his return to the rap industry is nothing but a step forward in his career.
The strength of Luda’s album largely lies in his lyrics, which convey a solid transformation of character from a notorious party animal to a settled-down dad, which is evident in his song “The Grass is Always Greener”: “I used to be out partying every damn night/ Now sometimes I’d rather be with my kids.” Furthermore, the contemptuous tone depicted by the word choice of “fake appearances” and “crap game” in his song “Charge it to the Rap Game” illustrates Luda’s dissatisfaction with the rise of a superficial rap industry. However, the rap industry isn’t the only thing Luda is unhappy with, as he highlights in his song, “Call ya Bluff.” Luda mentions, “Leave the booth and then go lay low hiding behind your security detail,” in order to emphasize his discontent and haughtiness towards the new generational rap artists.
Although Ludaversal is an impressive album, it lacks consistency in terms of artistic tone. The overarching theme of the album is the significant progress the 37-year-old has made over the past 15 years, yet his song “Ocean Skies” is a melancholic tribute to his father, who dealt with alcoholism. While the more serious tone is a welcome shift from Luacris’ more typically vapid style, it feels out of place in comparison to the rest of the album.
All in all, Ludaversal is Luda’s eager shot-in-the-dark attempt to regain a title he once had.