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Chicken 'n Beer (Def Jam)


Ludacris doesn't give a rat's ass if Bill O'Reilly finds him tasteless, which is why the Atlanta rapper uses the conservative windbag for cannon fodder on his third full-length effort. Last year, Luda was dropped by Pepsi after the right-wing blowhard made an on-air stink about the rapper's endorsement deal. O'Reilly won the battle, but Luda clearly intends to win the war -- and it won't be a quiet one. "Blow It Out" succinctly summarizes Luda's stance: Shout out to Bill O'Reilly/I'm gonna throw you a curve/You mad 'cause I'm a thief/And got a way with words/I'm 'a start my own beverage/It'll calm your nerves/Pepsi the new generation/Blow it out you ass. And that's only the beginning. On "Hoes in My Room," Luda and Snoop Dogg wonder how a flock of skanked-out groupies got backstage. Who let them in? O'Reilly, of course. When he's not verbally collaring Fox's moral watchdog, Luda sticks to the topics that caught O'Reilly's ire in the first place: alcohol, bragging, weed, bragging, sex, bragging. Oh, and then he brags some more. At times, Luda's speed-hungry turns of phrase are compelling and complex -- "Hip Hop Quotables" features the rapper flowing over a solitary beat, no hooks, no singsong chorus, no catchy samples. At other times, Luda's ponderous entendres and dumb-tongued lack of creativity make one question if O'Reilly was onto something. If Rush Limbaugh and William Bennett taught us anything, it's that a blowhard's true colors are always revealed in the end. With Chicken debuting at No. 1 on the pop charts and O'Reilly's ratings sky-high, the victor of this war of words has yet to be determined.

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