The rumor mill initially spouted that Ludacris’ latest concept album, Battle of the Sexes, would include him trading bars with Disturbing Tha Peace alum Shawnna for the duration of the Def Jam album. Turns out Shawnna is still on the album – unnamed in song titles – plus a small handful of chicks mixed with some dudes to create what sounds like a regular Ludacris album. Battle of the Sexes is an idea that lost momentum somewhere in the middle of its inception, and the result is a haphazard collection of cuts with no clear direction.
Even at its most simplistic execution, calling something a “Battle of the Sexes” would insinuate that multiple men and multiple women were involved. Luda postured himself as the one man standing to take out all of these girls on his album, and he doesn’t even do that successfully, especially when half of the tracks do not even feature women. The opening Intro provides the generic “do the fellas run this”-style chest-beating, supposedly setting the stage for this great battle. The opening song/single “How Low” doesn’t feature a female, but sounds like a splashy spring break track. What follows is “My Chick Bad”, ultimately the best song on the album featuring Femcee of the Year, Nicki Minaj. Nicki delivers as she should on this horror-infused single with lines like “Now all these bitches wanna try and be my besty / but I take a left and leave ‘em hangin’ like a teste(s).” Their giddy verb fight leads into the estrogen-lacking “Everybody Drunk” where Luda and Lil Scrappy sit around and talk about exactly what the title states.
“I Do It All Night” follows where an uncredited Shawnna challenges Luda to an oral sex contest and ultimately loses since he can’t even say her name. “Sex Room” with Trey Songz arrives, a sure to be summer anthem, but unless Songz is playing the female, there’s no woman present. The hook singer on the syrupy “I Know You Got a Man” with Flo Rida doesn’t count either. A pair of Ho’s continues – Lil’ Kim on the suffrage retracting “Hey Ho”, where Kim’s over-animated rhymes make you forget she came before Nicki Minaj, and the dreadfully generic “Party No Mo” with Gucci Mane.
Luda wastes his cousin Monica’s chops on “Can’t Live With You” by attempting to make her sing in that nuvo-Mary J. Blige cadence. The ghost of Shawnna’s past lurks on “Feelin So Sexy” where she anonymously moans all over the track. The only song worth mentioning for the second half of the album is the “My Chick Bad” remix (sorry “Sexting”), where Luda uses up his well of women (Diamond, Trina and Eve) to throw them all on one song.
Ludacris duped the masses with Battle of the Sexes by off-putting the album’s initial concept with swishy party tracks amidst random ovarian song drops. Had this project been properly executed, it would’ve been unstoppable. Even in Luda talk, this album doesn’t touchTheater Of the Mind. Hopefully, Ludacris stays on track for his next project.