By Sarah Godfrey
Ludacris's latest project was born of noble purpose: to give female perspectives, notoriously scarce in hip-hop, much needed attention. Early reports characterized "Battle of the Sexes" as a head-to-head matchup between Luda and rapper Shawnna, who appeared on his first big single, 2000's "What's Your Fantasy."
Then Shawnna left Luda's Disturbing tha Peace crew. Her voice is still on the new album, but her role seems small, and several other female MCs are sprinkled throughout. Unfortunately, a guest verse here and there isn't enough to make "Battle of the Sexes" a showcase for female rappers, or even an exercise in equity.
(Catchy but hardly groundbreaking, after the jump.)
Instead, there's a ton of sexed-up, party-oriented music - catchy but hardly groundbreaking. The squeaking "How Low" has been inspiring club-goers to wind it down to the ground for several months now, as has "My Chick Bad," which, despite a Nikki Minaj verse, is a guy's song about women. "Sex Room," featuring Trey Songz (who else would one feature on such a song?), is filled with hilarious freakiness, but it's a one-sided account.
Women finally step out front on the remix of "My Chick Bad," as Diamond of Crime Mob, Trina and Eve stretch out and do some bragging. On "Hey Ho," Ludacris addresses the gender double-standard of sleeping around, then brings in Lil' Kim to help break down the hypocrisy.
There is plenty of fun happening on "Battle of the Sexes," but still, the fellas clearly run it; the ladies are hardly even given a chance.
Recommended tracks: "My Chick Bad (remix)," "Hey Ho"