A crude collection - more thug rap with little depth or skills...

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Ludacris: Back For The First Time

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Ludacris: Back For The First Time

The first release on Def Jam South, you can really see why DJS president Scarface [from the Geto Boys] liked this. This is hardcore, southern hip-hop, indicative of material that comes from the Houston-based Rap-A-Lot label. Only problem is, the only progressive sound to come from the Rap-A-Lot label came from Scarface and Geto Boys – and this, definitely, is not on that level. A crude collection effective only on a regional level, you can see this being one of those albums that shifts millions in the States but has little presence elsewhere. It’s funky and well produced, with Organized Noize, Jermaine Dupri and Timbaland contributing their inimitable talents to the project… but it’s simply just more thug rap with little depth or skills.

Ludacris, for his part, has done well. He originally released this independently under the title ‘Incognegro’, shifting over 30,000 units in just over three months before catching the eye of Scarface. However, this album is like reading a novel that contains entertaining elements but is badly written and in dire need of good editing.

If you look beneath the surface, you might find something worth listening to here. But you’d have to be a serious hip-hop head – or have way too much time on your hands – to do so. And if that’s the case, you need to get a life.

Derek A Bardowell