A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this music.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that we don't recommend this CD for any kid under 17 because of the explicit language, sex, and violence. That said, there's lots for adult rap fans to enjoy here. Ludacris is poetic, expressive, funny, and musically intriguing. It's too bad that it's next to impossible to find an edited version.
- Parents say
- Kids say
What's the story?
Ludacris finds a moment to slam Bill O'Reilly one more time on THE RED LIGHT DISTRICT, before leading us on through the usual themes of sex, drugs, street life, racism, sexist posturing, and negotiating the peculiar minefield of financial and popular success. Throughout, he delivers blistering commentary with humor, poetry, charisma, and every four-letter word in -- or maybe not in -- the dictionary. One spectacular high point is \"Potion,\" a track that combines a traditional field work song with a rumbling drum beat, looped cooing noises, gasping female backup vocals, and a male chorus singing \"What up?\" all textured under a rant about wiggling women and the pitfalls of stardom. It's not PC, but it's original, haunting, and even funny. It's the Ludacris genius at its best. Other inventive moments include a sample of Quincy Jones' \"Soul Bossa Nova\" (AKA the Austin Powers song) on \"Number One Spot\" and a wonderful steel drum track on \"Put Your Money.\"
Is it any good?
The production and musicianship of The Red Light District are lovingly crafted and stunningly mixed, and Ludacris performs with his usual expressiveness, an irresistible combination of enthusiasm, cynicism, and joie de vivre -- carefully enunciating every lyric, for better or worse. For many families, the sheer number of four-letter words will be enough to get this album banned forever from the home entertainment library. For the oldest teens and adult rap fans, though, this one would be a substantial and thought-provoking choice.