Theater of the Mind

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Theater of the Mind
Theater of the Mind.jpg
Studio album by Ludacris
Released November 24, 2008 (2008-11-24)
Recorded January 2, 2007 – September 13, 2008
Genre Hip hop
Length 60:15
Label
Producer
Ludacris chronology
Release Therapy
(2006)Release Therapy2006
Theater of the Mind
(2008)
Battle of the Sexes
(2010)Battle of the Sexes2010
Singles from Theater of the Mind
  1. "What Them Girls Like"
    Released: August 7, 2008
  2. "One More Drink"
    Released: October 28, 2008
  3. "Nasty Girl"
    Released: January 20, 2009

Theater of the Mind is the seventh studio album by American hip hop recording artist Ludacris.[1] It was released on November 24, 2008, through Disturbing tha Peace and Def Jam Recordings.[2] Ludacris calls the album "theatrical".[3]

Background[edit]

The album was slated for release on October 21, but was pushed back to November 22. In April 2008, a song named "Let's Stay Together" appeared on xxlmag.com;[4] supposedly from the new album. It is now an iTunes bonus song on the album. T.I. appeared on a track called "Wish You Would", produced by DJ Toomp.[5][6]

The album cover was released on October 24, 2008 at wemix.com. The cover is an homage to Sly and The Family Stone's Life album, which had the band appearing as all the cinemas goers in the picture. Ludacris planned on releasing a sequel to this album in 2009.[7]

In ’09, I’m definitely dropping another album. I’m working on a Battle of the Sexes album and a Theater of the Mind 2. With Battle of the Sexes, I’m trying to do some stuff with Shawnna."

Ludacris has been talking to T.I. and Young Jeezy about a tour together.[8]

"I haven't confirmed anything yet. It's little talks here and there. But I'll put it out there: I would love to do a tour where it's me, T.I. and [Young] Jeezy. Me, Tip and Jeezy would be outrageous. But nothing is confirmed at the moment."

Guests[edit]

Ludacris stated before the release of the album that, rather than featuring "guests", the tracks would have "co-stars", in keeping with the concept of the album as a "movie".[6] "Co-stars" on Theater of the Mind include Nas, Plies, Jay-Z, T.I., Common, T-Pain, Willy Northpole, Rick Ross, Playaz Circle, Ving Rhames, Chris Rock, Spike Lee, Chris Brown, Sean Garrett, Lil Wayne, Floyd Mayweather Jr., Jamie Foxx, and The Game.[9]

Promotion[edit]

Ludacris released a "Gangsta Grillz" mixtape, with DJ Drama, titled The Preview. The mixtape was released as a digital download on July 28, 2008. This mixtape was well known for his disses toward George W. Bush, Hillary Clinton and John McCain.

Leaks[edit]

On October 24, 2008, three songs from Theater of the Mind, "Do the Right Thing", featuring Common and Spike Lee, "I Do It for Hip Hop", featuring Jay-Z and Nas, and "Last of a Dying Breed", featuring Lil Wayne were leaked to the Internet. Ludacris commented on the situation:

Although I don't know where the leaks came from, the 3 songs leaked to the Internet today were unfinished tracks and premature versions of songs. I'm glad that my fans are excited about the new project, but to get the final masterpiece, the album Theater of the Mind premieres on November 24.[10]

Singles[edit]

Official singles[edit]

Other songs[edit]

Reception[edit]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
SourceRating
AllMusic3.5/5 stars[11]
The A.V. Club(B)[12]
Billboard(favorable) 2008
Blender3/5 stars[13]
The Boston Globe(favorable) 2008
Robert Christgau(choice cut)[14]
Entertainment Weekly(B)[15]
NOW4/5 Ns[16]
Pitchfork(5.3/10)[17]
Rolling Stone3.5/5 stars[18]
XXL4/5 stars (XL)[19]
Slant Magazine3/5 stars [20]

Theater of the Mind was well received by music critics. Entertainment Weekly's Simon Vozick-Levinson said about the overall feel of the album: "Theater feels a bit like yet another Ocean's Eleven sequel. We've watched this movie more than a few times, but it's always fun to see this many talented pals cutting loose together."[15] Josh Eells of Blender felt the lyrical content making up the whole concept record was lacking and too complacent for Ludacris, saying that "Punch line for punch line, Luda is still the best in the business, but these sex jams and hater disses feel too flat and perfunctory for his thousand-watt personality." He concluded that after the final track "the whole thing seems less like an album than a branding exercise—an obligatory effort to keep the “hip-hop star” line on his CV."[13] Robert Christgau cited "I Do It for Hip Hop" as a "choice cut",[14] indicating a good song on "an album that isn't worth your time or money."[21]

Chart performance[edit]

The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 214,000 copies in its first week, making it his sixth top 5 album on that chart. It was his first album since 2000's Back for the First Time and 2001's Word of Mouf to not reach number one status, and his lowest charting album in his career. As of March 2010, the album has sold about 671,000 copies, achieving a gold certification.[22]

Track listing[edit]

No.TitleWriter(s)Producer(s)Length
1."Intro"Christopher Bridges, Andrew Harr, Jermaine JacksonThe Runners1:55
2."Undisputed" (featuring Floyd "Money" Mayweather)Bridges, Donald "Don Cannon" Clark, Ivory Joe Hunter, Beatrice VerdiDon Cannon4:33
3."Wish You Would" (featuring T.I.)Bridges, Aldrin Davis, Clifford Harris, Jr., Ron "8TRIX" UtleyDJ Toomp, 8TRIX4:47
4."One More Drink" (featuring T-Pain)Samuel Barnes, Jean-Claude Olivier, Theo Bowen, Bridges, Alexander "Spanador" Mosely, Faheem NajmTrackmasters3:41
5."Call Up the Homies" (featuring The Game and Willy Northpole)William Adams, Bridges, Clinton Sparks, Jayceon TaylorSparks, Kamau Georges4:04
6."Southern Gangsta" (featuring Rick Ross, Playaz Circle and Ving Rhames)Bridges, Earl Conyers, Tauheed Epps, Williams Roberts II, Nicholas WarwarStreetrunner4:34
7."Everybody Hates Chris" (featuring Chris Rock)Bridges, Johnny Bristol, Clark, William Robinson, Jr.Don Cannon4:54
8."What Them Girls Like" (featuring Chris Brown and Sean Garrett)Bridges, Christopher Brown, Sean Garrett, Rodney JerkinsDarkchild, Garrett (co.)4:02
9."Nasty Girl" (featuring Plies)Bridges, Kasseem Dean, Algernod WashingtonSwizz Beatz4:32
10."Contagious" (featuring Jamie Foxx)Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Bridges, Scott Storch, Eric BishopStorch4:45
11."Last of a Dying Breed" (featuring Lil Wayne)Eric Barrier, Bridges, Dwayne Carter, Jr., Wyatt Coleman, Gluseppe Donaggio, Youtha Fowler, William Griffin, Jr., Vito PallaviciniWyldfyer4:10
12."MVP"Bridges, Christopher MartinDJ Premier3:50
13."I Do It for Hip Hop" (featuring Nas and Jay-Z)Bridges, Shawn Carter, Coleman, Fowler, Nasir JonesWyldfyer5:22
14."Do the Right Thang" (featuring Common and Spike Lee)Bridges, Patrick Douthit, Lonnie Lynn, Arthur Verocai9th Wonder5:14
Sample credits
  • "Undisputed" contains samples of "We'll Find a Way" performed by Edwin Starr.
  • "One More Drink" contains samples of "Take That To The Bank" performed by Shalamar.
  • "Everybody Hates Chris" contains samples of "It Takes a Whole Lotta Man for a Woman Like Me" performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips.
  • "Last of a Dying Breed" contains samples of "You Don't Have to Say You Love Me" performed by Dusty Springfield, and "Eric B. Is President" performed by Eric B. & Rakim.
  • "MVP" contains samples of "Virgo" performed by Nas, "DTP for Life" performed by Disturbing tha Peace, and "All Night Long" performed by Mary Jane Girls.
  • "Do the Right Thang" contains samples of "Na Boca Do Sol" performed by Arthur Verocai.
  • "Let's Stay Together" contains samples of "Everybody's Breakin' Up" performed by Billy Paul.

Personnel[edit]

Release dates[edit]

Country Date
Switzerland, Jamaica December 4, 2008
United Kingdom November 24, 2009
United States, Australia, Canada, Japan November 24, 2008
Poland December 9, 2008
Mexico December 11, 2008
South Africa January 18, 2009
Egypt October 2, 2008
Ireland February 15, 2009
Italy February 9, 2009
India, Argentina, France, Germany, Greece, Brazil November 16, 2008
New Zealand March 5, 2009
Middle East, Costa Rica January 16, 2009

Charts[edit]

Chart (2008) Peak
position
Canadian Albums Chart[23] 22
Swiss Albums Chart[24] 46
US Billboard 200[25] 5
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[26] 2
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[27] 1

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Theater of the Mind: Ludacris: Music". Amazon.com. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  2. ^ "Def Jam Recordings : Def Jam News". Archived from the original on November 16, 2008. Retrieved 2008-11-10. 
  3. ^ (July 16, 2008). Ludacris Gets Theatrical on Sixth Album Rap-Up. Accessed August 3, 2008.
  4. ^ Ludacris "Let's Stay Together" audio.
  5. ^ DJ Toomp: Grammy Family. Accessed July 6, 2008.
  6. ^ a b Ludacris, T.I. 'Wish You Would' Believe There's No Beef Between Them. Accessed August 8, 2008.
  7. ^ Ludacris: Audio Cinematic. HiphopDX.com.
  8. ^ Ludacris In 'Talks' To Tour With T.I. And Young Jeezy, Says Theater Of The Mind Is A 'Classic'. MTV.com.
  9. ^ Ludacris Interview.
  10. ^ Ludacris Speaks on Song Leaks. HipHopDX.com. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  11. ^ Jeffries, David. "Theater of the Mind - Ludacris". AllMusic. Retrieved December 12, 2010. 
  12. ^ Rabin, Nathan (December 17, 2008). "Theater Of The Mind · Ludacris · Music Review". The A.V. Club. The Onion. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  13. ^ a b Eells, Josh. "Ludacris : Theater of the Mind". Blender. Alpha Media Group. Archived from the original on December 6, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  14. ^ a b Christgau, Robert. "CG: Ludacris". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved March 22, 2012. 
  15. ^ a b Vozick-Levinson, Simon (November 19, 2008). "Theater of the Mind". Entertainment Weekly. Time Inc. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  16. ^ Stewart, Addi (November 26, 2008). "Ludacris". NOW. NOW Communications. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  17. ^ Cohen, Ian (January 5, 2009). "Ludacris: Theater of the Mind". Pitchfork. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  18. ^ Hoard, Christian (November 27, 2008). "Theater of the Mind : Ludacris". Rolling Stone. Wenner Media. Archived from the original on December 5, 2008. Retrieved April 10, 2010. 
  19. ^ Cantor, Paul (November 19, 2008). "Ludacris:Theater Of The Mind". XXL. Townsquare Media. Retrieved August 22, 2016. 
  20. ^ "Ludacris: Theater of the Mind | Music Review". Slant Magazine. December 6, 2008. Retrieved March 12, 2012. 
  21. ^ Christgau, Robert. "Key to Icons". RobertChristgau.com. Retrieved December 1, 2017. 
  22. ^ http://www.billboard.com/articles/news/959309/ludacris-how-low-single-goes-high-on-the-charts
  23. ^ "Top Canadian Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  24. ^ "Ludacris — Theater Of The Mind — Music Charts". αCharts. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  25. ^ "The Billboard 200 - Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on January 28, 2014. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  26. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on April 26, 2014. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  27. ^ "Top Rap Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2008-12-27. [dead link]