Theater of the Mind

Music review by
Jacqueline Rupp, Common Sense Media
Theater of the Mind Music Poster Image
Cerebral but raunchy concept album from skilled rapper.

Parents say

age 17+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 13+
Based on 3 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this music.

Positive Messages

Although there are some redeeming values in songs like Do the Right Thang, many songs on this album promote questionable behavior, like smoking pot, getting drunk to have casual sex, and drinking and driving.


There are very few violent images on this album. The only time Ludacris' lyrics become aggressive is when he challenges other rappers. "A tisket, a tasket, a custom-made casket, Luda leaves rappers stretched out like gymnastics."


Ludacris bounces between romantic lyrics like "My woman keep me warmer than a polo sweater" to hardcore references such as "Women on my n-ts, they can catch my b-lls on any given Sunday." Most of the songs that do have sexual lyrics don't go too far into the realm of misogyny (compared to other hardcore rappers) however, Ludacris does talk about oral sex, female body parts, and anonymous encounters.


The "N" word is thrown around so often on this album, it's hard to keep count. Besides this expletive, the usual offenders are front and center, motherf----r, s--t and f--k all playing starring roles.


Ludacris loves to brag about his wealth and how much stuff he can buy. "So many shoes my closet look like Finish Line, so many diamonds the safe look like Kay Jewelers."

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

Ludacris seems to think the more marijuana you smoke the better, as he explains why he may be the cause of global warming because "I've been smoking up all the trees." Although smoking "blunts" is referenced several times, alcohol plays a far greater role in Ludacris' rhymes. One More Drink for example is a song all about "liquid courage" and how getting drunk helps Ludacris have a good time. "She started lookin' better with every Patron...if I take one more drink I'm gonna end up f--kin' you."

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this interesting, entertaining album is sure to please rap fans, but the explicit language, hardcore sexual references, and drug and alcohol talk make it only for mature audiences.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Parent of an infant, 2, 4, 7, and 11-year-old Written bylindsey678 February 16, 2011

BAD PARENTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Teen, 14 years old Written byspeyan727 September 11, 2018
Teen, 14 years old Written byUglyHotdogs November 29, 2015

Shows off Luda's inner talent; teens and up

I honestly don't get parents these days. They think if their child hears anything about sex before age 17, he/she is gonna be some prostitute drug addict.... Continue reading

What's the story?

With three Grammy awards under his belt, Ludacris is back with his sixth studio album, THEATER OF THE MIND. A loosely-based concept album, the LP is said to be formulated like a movie soundtrack, with Ludacris leading listeners through various emotions and scenes. Much attention has been paid to the rapper's "co-stars" on the album. In fact, Ludacris does call on the services of nearly 20 artists for guest appearances, but they aren't all rappers. The guest list on this playbill includes rappers like Jay-Z and Lil' Wayne, but also boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and director Spike Lee.

Is it any good?

Ludacris makes the most of the guest appearances, allowing each artist to play their role for the utmost entertainment value. And his skillful use of samples in nearly every song adds a final cinematic effect to this grand production.

The lyrics, while raunchy, mostly go beyond the stereotypical gansta rap theme. On Do the Right Thang, Ludacris tells listeners that even if life is hard, there's no reason to be a criminal, and on Nasty Girl (despite its title) he applauds a woman who can "make her own money, pay her own bills." But he also proclaims the joys of drunk driving and casual sex. For mature audiences who can tell the difference between misbehavior and good judgement, there's lots to like on this unique effort from one of the industry's best artists.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about how rap can be a form of social commentary. On this album, Ludacris makes lots of social and pop culture references, mentioning everything from presidential politics and the environment to Paris Hilton and LIndsay Lohan. Do you think this is common for rappers to take current events, personalities and issues and include them in their rhymes? Because there is so much explicit language and sexual references in rap music, do you think it's often overlooked as a source for perspective on our culture and society?

Music details

  • Artist: Ludacris
  • Release date: November 24, 2008
  • Label: Def Jam
  • Genre: Rap
  • Parental advisory: Yes
  • Edited version available: Yes
  • Last updated: July 14, 2015

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