Mixtape Review: Ludacris – 1.21 Gigawatts: Back To The First Time
You don’t have to ask where Ludacris has been. If you go to the movies or listen to television (Radio Shack and Luda seemed to have become good friends), you’ll likely hear or see Ludacris. The one time mouth of the South has transitioned easily into the world of film and television, making some forget that he even does music.
But Luda didn’t forget. The multi-platinum artist felt like his presence is still needed in the rap world, and with some of these newcomers acting like they invented swag, Luda felt like this would be the right time to re-introduce himself to the world. 1.21 Gigawatts: Back To The First Time is Luda’s first mixtape and music offering in a while. So it’s no shock that he spits like he’s trying to build a name rather than remind people of who he is.
I’m On Fire, featuring the new prince of the South Big Krit, is a good showcase of that. Produced by Mike Will, the soulful track brings out the monster in Luda.
“I started out with nothing, just a dream and some hope. I fiend for riches like them crack heads fiend for the dope. I went from freeze tag to holding some weed bags. To a clown of hoes, juggling my bean bags…I heard it’s a recession, while you hardly survive. The hardest decision of my day is which car to drive.”
He doesn’t stop there. Luda keeps coming with heaters like “They say it’s cold on the outside, so like a dentists I’m just trying to keep their mouth wide. Reminiscing of my days on the Southside, I made Nene leak and I ain’t talking about no Housewives. From eating canned tuna to shooting deals with Puma. From women saying ‘Hey Chris’ to saying ‘Damn Luda’.”
No slouch, Big Krit provides more than just a hot name for the tracklisting. “I got a candy coated fetish, hoe don’t you forget it. It’s that KRIT stay beside me, let’s go get this dough. If you show me that you down, then I promise not to let you go….If that’s your bitch she don’t remember. I yell wood, she holla timber.”
The diss record Bada Boom had the Internet all anxious before the song was officially released. Talk that Luda was directing darts toward Big Sean and Drake was enough to make even lukewarm fans check for him. Luda didn’t disappoint lyrically. “Counterfeit rappers say I’m stealing they flows, but I can’t steal what you never made up bitch! Y’all some duplicate rap cloning niggas, I manufacture you hoes, put on your make-up bitch. Let me explain, nothings been the same since Big Daddy Kane. Flows get recycled, passed around to different names.”
The DTP boss holds nothing back, letting the youngsters know how he really feels. “You’re lying to yourself, just admit it, may not like way I used it, but you know you ain’t invent it boi. Do your research before you make a claim, so bogus that’s disrespecting pioneers in the game. Fuck the fame, but go head and get your 5 minutes, then you frontline cadets can report to your lieutenant…See I’m your past, future and your present. So watch your fucking mouth when you’re talking about a legend.” Lyrically, it’s a decent diss record, but no where on the level of some of the greatest diss records of all time.
Say It To My Face is another shot at the haters from Luda. Featuring Meek Mill, Luda dares the competition to “Didn’t your boss ever tell you that you can be replaced, to the fans you a disgrace, got a problem with me say it to my face, put a pussy ass nigga in his place.”
Sending veiled shots at one half of Field Mob and ex-DTP’r Shawn J like “You broke and now you’re fucking bitter. But how in the hell is a nigga gon start beef with me on his fucking Twitter.”
He really goes for the jugular later in the song with ”You Ludacris number one fan boy. Then you left and your gone and its goodbye, don’t miss you. Then you’re signed to a nigga, who’s signed to a nigga, who’s signed to another nigga…but all your records are my theme songs. Cause I’m still eating off your ringtone.”
Meek continues his onslaught of beats with this guest appearance, but for Say It To My Face this was really the Ludacris show.
Chris takes the spotlight all by himself with Save It For Another Day, produced by M-16, which brings Luda back to the old Luda. “Your look at a 8 figga nigga, gone off the liquor, and I’m fired up, like the booty of a swisher. Make the trunk shake like a California quake, and everywhere I go, these bitches trying to take my picture.”
My only problem with this song is that it sounds a lot like something that Atlanta’s latest flavor of the month, 2 Chainz, kept this to the side like leftovers that Luda found and decided to use. His flow is so reminiscent of Tity Boy aka 2 Chainz, that you could really slide in Tit and you might not notice that someone new is on the track.
Overall, 1.21 Gigawatts: Back To The First Time is a good “Welcome Back” tape for Luda. After being gone so long, this collection of bangers reminds old fans how ill Chris Luva Luva used to be and will open the ears of new heads. While not his best disc, it’s certainly head and shoulders above some of the other stuff available for free download. The issue is that fans expect more than just better than average music from Luda. Hopefully by the time he drops his next LP, he’ll remember that it’s more about lyrics, concepts and beats and less about beef.
Standout Tracks: “Say It To My Face”, “I’m On Fire”, “Bada Boom”, “I Ain’t The One”
2. Save It For Another Day
3. Rich & Flexin ft. Waka Flocka
4. Muthafucka Can You Buy That
5. History Lesson
6. Bada Boom
7. Say It To My Face ft. Meek Mill
8. I Ain’t The One ft. 2 Chainz
9. Shake & Fries ft. Gucci Mane
10. Do Somethin Strange For Some Change ft. Rick Ross
11. I’m On Fire ft. Big Krit
12. What You Smoking On ft. Wiz Khalifa