Wednesday, April 2, 2008

What times we live in......

Between the news that DJ Khaled will A&R the next Ludacris album, Bow Wow's sudden transformation from kiddie pop rapper to ballin' gangsta, the inexplicable popularity of "Lollipop", and Remy Ma & T.I.'s respective prison sentences, there's plenty going on to interest even the most casual fans of rap music. I'd prefer to focus on the this whole Khaled/Ludacris deal. In a word, it's reprehensible. The simple fact that a proven star would hitch his wagon to a such a fly by night property is bothersome enough. Now, mind you, I'm not a Khaled hater. "S On My Chest" & "I'm So Hood (Remix)" have gotten plenty of burn over here. I enjoy what he does with his albums, as far as putting together tracks that feature a lot of people and manage to make them sound cohesive. DJ Drama would do well to take a lesson from him whenever he manages to connive T.I. to put up the bread for "Gangsta Grillz: The Album II". But, the last time I checked, one of an A&R's primary duties on album is to pick guests and beats. I'm not an expert, but considering Khaled's track record of constantly assembling ridiculous posse cuts backed by thunderous, heavily synthezised scores, I don't like what this seems to mean for Ludacris. We seem destined for the first single of his album to be something much like "Down In The Dirty", the single he dropped for the seemingly forgotten about third volume of the Disturbing Tha Peace album series. The song itself wasn't bad, with a passable bass heavy Clinton Sparks track and fairly good 16s from Rick Ross & Bun B. But, I can remember the days when Ludacris' singles were always popular, and not necessarily formulaic. From "Southern Hospitality", "Roll Out", "Saturdays", "Area Codes", and on down. Even "Move Bitch" was the type of song that anybody could listen to and enjoy a certain aspect of. While he has already began to head down the direction of formula rap with his last album and its three singles/collabos with Pharell, Young Jeezy, and Mary J. Blige/Polow Da Don (who I will talk more about in a future post, probably as soon as his Nelly/Fergie produced collabo explodes), an album filled with Runners beats, and cameos from T-Pain is not what I or persumably anyone else wants in a Ludacris album. Here's hoping that Ludacris is wise and limits the Khaled contributions to a minimum. Maybe we luck out and he limits Khaled to a single, or maybe just a couple of album cuts. And no T-Pain or the like.

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