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MUSIC REVIEW

Spread the Word

Ludacris’ Word of Mouf

Freddy Funes

STAFF WRITER

Ludacris quickly went from being an unknown Atlanta-based rapper to one of the most recognizable voices of rap. Word of Mouf, his newest album, is an amazing CD whose positive attributes more than make up for any flaws. Creativity, absurdity, and captivating all describe Word of Mouf. Ludacris uses unusual lyrics to sound both dangerous and funny. Most important, however, is the clarity with which Ludacris is having fun while rapping throughout Word of Mouf.

Word of Mouf begins with “Coming 2 America,” a song that creates high expectations for the rest of the CD. The beginning of “Coming 2 America,” a sexually charged parody of the movie Coming to America, is completely unexpected and incredibly funny. Ludacris’ lyrics are amazing; they stunned me the first time I heard them. His change of tempo throughout the song also adds to the song’s originality, and his unusual voice makes the song more bizarre and pleasant then it would have been otherwise. The mixture of the lyrics, shock value, bizarreness, and tempo change creates a nicely different song. While not the best song on Word of Mouf, “Coming 2 America” is a good predictor of what is to follow.

“Coming 2 America” is followed by “Rollout (My Business),” one of the heavily radio-played singles in the album. “Rollout (My Business)” is arguably the best song in the album, although its main strength is its radio-playability. “Rollout (My Business)” consists of Ludacris complaining about other people asking him about every detail of his lifestyle. This song’s lyrics are witty and truly original. Ludacris brings up some of the most random, yet intriguing subjects up in the song. “Now who’s that bucked naked cook fixin’ three course meals? / Gettin’ goosebumps when the body taps them six inch heels,” is probably one of the most unusual verses I have heard. The song simultaneously gives the impression that Ludacris is still ghetto, does not want anyone to interfere with his lifestyle, and lives a great lifestyle shaped by an excess of women and money.

One of Word of Mouf’s strengths is its skits. The skits, dispersed through the CD, bolster Ludacris’ songs, adding quick and hilarious stories explaining or playing on the song. For example, the skit preceding the popular single “Area Codes,” called “Nowhere (skit),” plays on the word “ho.” The skit ends with “I’m in the middle of Ho-where.” The song then nicely crosses over to “Area Codes.” All the skits in the CD are as effective of this one. “Greatest Hits (skit),” which consists of random white people rapping to Ludacris’ hits, is equally enjoyable. The skit contained within the song “Cry Babies (Oh no),” while vulgar, is a perfect intro to the song that follows it. Skits in most CDs usually take away from the quality of the CD; the skits in Word of Mouf, however, add a priceless comedic effect.

The most amazing song in the CD, however, is “Word of Mouf (freestyle).” If Ludacris and 4-Ize truly rapped this song freestyle, then my respect for Ludacris’ rapping ability doubled. Neither Ludacris nor 4-Ize stumble while rapping. Their lyrics, however, are neither weak nor lackluster; just like in all the other songs, they are are both illogically funny and pimping. Like a well-prepared song, the lyrics have a common theme and flow well. If the song did not have the word freestyle in the title, it would be hard to believe it was freestyle rap.

While Word of Mouf contains some songs which are by no means spectacular, it contains songs like “Rollout (My Business),” “Area Codes,” “Cry Babies (Oh no),” and “Move Bitch,” among others, that make Word of Mouf a unique hip-hop album. The intriguing mixture of ghetto subjects with a humor unique to Ludacris makes Word of Mouf truly great.