Rapper Ludacris has churned out big club hits for a decade now, with "How Low," "My Chick Bad" and "Hey Ho" among the latest. But who knew the guy had a concept album in him?
OK, it’s Ludacris, so we’re not talking “Tommy” here. But recently the rapper, born Chris Bridges, elaborated on the common thread that links several tracks from his new album, “Battle of the Sexes,” which dropped March 9.
“You mostly hear a male perspective on so many different (rap) recordings,” he said, calling from a stop on tour with Black Eyed Peas. They’ll reach the Tacoma Dome on Saturday.
“You’re missing a female voice in hip-hop,” he said, “so I really wanted to give females that voice. If you hear a male perspective on a certain subject, I want you to be able to hear the female perspective, also.”
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Again, it’s Luda. So expect loads of hedonism, not so much feminism. Sample lyric: “Show me what you workin wit / I’ll show you some of this bank roll.” Sample collaborators: Rappers Lil’ Kim and Nicki Minaj.
But on the equality front, he does poke fun at sexual double standards on “Hey Ho,” the single featuring Lil’ Kim. Don’t expect the Lilith Fair stamp of approval anytime soon, but it’s a start.
“I have songs talking about women, talking to women and records where women are talking back to me, just like that song with Lil’ Kim,” said Ludacris, who has been performing the new hits on tour with Black Eyed Peas.
“I’ve known those guys for quite some time,” said the rapper, who collaborated with the lone female Pea, Fergie, on her 2007 hit “Glamorous.”
“Just seeing their success just rise from where it was to where it is now (makes me) very proud and happy to be a part of what’s going on with this tour. We just go out and give people their money’s worth and then some. It’s a very, very visually stimulating and high-energy show.”
Tacoma is one of the final stops on the Peas’ tour. And this summer you can expect Ludacris to return to his second love – acting.
“I’m just mostly concentrating on music until around summer of this year,” he said. “Then we’ll be going back into the movie projects, hopefully ‘The Fast and the Furious 5.’ ”
Listen to clips from the Ludacris interview, including the rapper’s reflections on 10 years in the music biz, on Tacoma Rock City, blog.thenewstribune.com/ tacomarockcity.
Ernest Jasmin: 253-274-7389