Since putting the rap game on the back burner to focus on acting, Ludacris has seemed to have gotten the reputation of not being able to spit like he could when he dropped Back for the First Time or Word of Mouf, that is definitely not true. With what seemed like to be another Detox case, Ludacris dropped Ludaversal after almost 3 years of being placed on hiatus. Luda has not been subtle with this album or his style set upon it. He effortlessly flexes that he is still able to get with a lot of rappers lyrically and spit just as hard as before and this album is proof of that claim.
If you haven’t heard or seen the video to it, the “Ludaversal Into” is nothing but Luda’s fast, aggressive and gritty raps that makes you have to repeat it to see if you heard it correctly. Any Luda fans that missed his style won’t be cut short with just the Intro. “Call Ya Bluff” is another track with a visual that is straight bars. This track is more than just than that classic Luda. On top of lyrics and a sick beat produced by Syk Sense, there was a message to new school rappers (most likely Drake & Big Sean due to a past confrontation over a certain flow that all three rappers have used), when you see him be about your words and man up like you said it in the BOOF. Luda even had Drake impersonated within the first minute of the song that lets listeners know who he was taking a shot at.
Much like the title of the album, this is Luda’s universe. There are two dynamics to the album: the first is a blast to the past with his lyrical skills and the second is where he is in life now and what he has gone through to get here. These two dynamics set the tone for the album to transition from upbeat to a more relaxed feel that correlates with his subject matter.
One of the deeper and more emotional songs of the second half of the album is “Ocean Skies” featuring Monica, which is a song dedicated to his father. The day Luda won his second and third Grammys, was when his dad was in critical condition and died due to complications, not giving him the opportunity to say goodbye. His father had a drinking problem that developed and got worse to the point where he put his hands on Luda’s mother. Throughout the track he expresses how much he misses his father and forgives him for everything that happened. Luda’s ultimate point he is trying to convey is to speak to your parents while you still have the chance because you only get the ones that birthed you.
For fans that have missed Ludacris like I have, this album will be a nice dosage of that early 2000’s Atlanta rapper that raised the competition in the game. Ludaversal is definitely not his best work but it is nice that he still has the capability to spit like his trademarked style. With that being said, not every track is as appealing as others. The momentum change of the album is so sudden that it takes away from the fast paced raps and jittery punchlines that would take you down memory lane. With production from the J.U.S.T.I.C.E. League, Just Blaze, David Banner and more this is definitely a album worth listening to especially if you have been a Ludacris fan from the start.
Check out the video to the "Ludaversal Intro" below: