Fresh off shooting a video with Justin Bieber for the teen sensation’s single “Baby,” Ludacris made his way to the famed Capitol Records Tower in Hollywood to preview selections from his new album Battle of the Sexes for a room full of tastemakers on Thursday (Jan. 28). Luda and his manager Chaka Zulu thanked everyone for supporting him throughout his 10 years in the game before launching into the star-studded album, which features “females from past, present, and future” including Lil’ Kim, Eve, Trina, and Nicki Minaj, plus R&B heavy-hitters Trey Songz, Monica, Ciara, and Ne-Yo.
The Atlanta rapper goes head-to-head with the opposite sex. “I talk to women, I have records with women talking back to me,” he explained. “Of course you’ve got the Ludacris sex records and you got the Ludacris fun records.”
Not all the tracks were played at the listening session and more will be added to the project prior to its March 9 release. Luda is so confident about his latest work that he may put out up to six singles.
1. “Hey Ho” featuring Lil’ Kim
The title raised some eyebrows when it was first announced, but Luda explained the concept of how it tackles the double standard of men sleeping around and being called players and pimps, but when women do the same thing, they’re called hos. “If men sleep around, we some players/ But for women, they be saying, ‘Hey ho,’” he raps on what he calls the sequel to 2000’s controversial “Ho” from his debut album. Luda said he got the “old Lil’ Kim” rapping again. “Ya’ll don’t fuck us, ni**as we fuck you,” spits the Queen Bee.
2. “Tell Me a Secret” featuring Ne-Yo
“You would never think that Swizz [Beatz] produced this song,” he said of the R&B-flavored jam. This one is on some “‘Lovers and Friends’ reminiscent type shit.”
3. “My Chick Bad” featuring Nicki Minaj
“She’s an animated female and I’m an animated rapper myself,” remarked Luda of his pairing with It girl Nicki Minaj. The chorus is bound to get stuck in your head: “My chick bad, my chick ’hood, my chick do stuff that your chick wish she could.” He even drops a reference to Tiger Woods’ wife. “That’s one of the records that we gonna put out there,” he told the audience of the potential single.
4. “Got a Man” featuring Flo Rida
Luda called this his “radio smash” featuring “radio controller” Flo Rida. It won’t be the second single, but may be the third or fourth. The Infinity production is the album’s most pop-sounding record with a catchy hook that recalls Positive K’s “I Got a Man”: “I know you got a man, man, man, but tell me what your man, man, man gotta do with me?” a male voice sings, while the female responds, “I know you got a girl, girl, girl, but tell me what your girl, girl, girl gotta do with me?”
5. “Can’t Live With You, Can’t Live Without You” featuring Monica
“Anybody who’s ever been in a relationship has definitely thought in their head that they can’t live with the person and they can’t live without them at the same damn time,” Ludacris said of this number that’s sure to appeal to his female fans. His “cousin” Monica sings the hook.
6. “How Low (Remix)”
There will be three or four official remixes to Luda’s chart-topping hit. One features Rick Ross and Twista, the other has Ciara and Pitbull, and Fabolous appears on a third. Ciara sings part of the hook on her remix and adds her own verse, as do all the rappers.
7. “Sex Room” featuring Trey Songz
Another song the hip-hop star likens to Lil Jon’s “Lovers and Friends.” “It’s exactly what you would expect if Ludacris and Trey Songz were to do a fucking record together,” he laughed about the X-rated material. Trey seduces while Luda talks dirty: “You can be my firecracker, my tongue gonna spark you up.”
When asked what the follow-up to “How Low” would be, Ludacris said it has yet to be chosen. He is selecting from three songs that are not complete and were not played at the listening.