Theater of the Mind

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For the 1986 album of the same name, see Mtume.
Theater of the Mind
Theater of the Mind.jpg
Studio album by Ludacris
Released December 22, 2008 (2008-12-22)
(See release dates)
Recorded January 2, 2007 – September 13, 2008
Genre Hip hop
Length 60:15
Label Disturbing tha Peace, Def Jam
Producer DJ Premier, 9th Wonder, Clinton Sparks & Kamau Georges, Sean Garrett, Wyldfyer, Scott Storch, Trackmasters, Don Cannon, StreetRunner, Swizz Beatz, Darkchild, DJ Toomp, The Runners
Ludacris chronology
Release Therapy
Theater of the Mind
Battle of the Sexes
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 December 22, 2008, through Disturbing tha Peace and Def Jam Recordings.[2] Ludacris calls the album "theatrical."[3]


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;[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 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."


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]


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.


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]


Official singles[edit]

Other songs[edit]


Chart performance[edit]

Professional ratings
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3.5/5 stars 2008
The A.V. Club (B) 2008
Billboard (favorable) 2008
Blender 3/5 stars 2008[dead link]
The Boston Globe (favorable) 2008
Robert Christgau (choice cut) 2008
Entertainment Weekly (B) 2008
Now 4/5 stars 2008
Pitchfork Media (5.3/10) 2009
Rolling Stone 3.5/5 stars 2008 at the Wayback Machine (archived December 5, 2008)
XXL 4/5 stars (XL) 2008
Slant Magazine 3/5 stars [11]

The album was well received by music critics. It debuted at number five on the Billboard 200, selling 214,000 copies in its first week, making it his sixth top 5 album. 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.[12]

Track listing[edit]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Intro"   Christopher Bridges, Andrew Harr, Jermaine Jackson The Runners 1:55
2. "Undisputed" (Co-Starring: Floyd "Money" Mayweather) Bridges, Donald "Don Cannon" Clark, Ivory Joe Hunter, Beatrice Verdi Don Cannon 4:33
3. "Wish You Would" (Co-Starring: T.I.) Bridges, Aldrin Davis, Clifford Harris, Jr., R. Utley DJ Toomp, 8TRIX 4:47
4. "One More Drink" (Co-Starring: T-Pain) Samuel J. Barnes, Jean-Claude Olivier, T. Bowen, Bridges, Alexander "Spanador" Mosely Trackmasters 3:41
5. "Call Up the Homies" (Co-Starring: Game and Willy Northpole) W. Adams, Bridges, Clinton Sparks, Jayceon Taylor Sparks, Kamau Georges 4:04
6. "Southern Gangsta" (Co-Starring: Rick Ross, Playaz Circle and Ving Rhames) Bridges, Earl Conyers, Tauheed Epps, Williams Roberts II, Nicholas Warwar StreetRunner 4:34
7. "Everybody Hates Chris" (Co-Starring: Chris Rock) Bridges, Johnny Bristol, Clark, W. Robinson Don Cannon 4:54
8. "What Them Girls Like" (Co-Starring: Chris Brown and Sean Garrett) Bridges, Sean Garrett, Rodney "Darkchild" Jerkins Darkchild, Garrett (co.) 4:02
9. "Nasty Girl" (Co-Starring: Plies) Bridges, Kasseem Dean, Algernod Washington Swizz Beatz 4:32
10. "Contagious" (Co-Starring: Jamie Foxx) Jason "Poo Bear" Boyd, Bridges, Scott Storch Storch 4:45
11. "Last of a Dying Breed" (Co-Starring: Lil Wayne) E. Barrier, Bridges, Dwayne Carter, Jr., Wyatt Coleman, Gluseppe Donaggio, Y. Fowler, W. Griffin, Vito Pallavicini Wyldfyer 4:10
12. "MVP"   Bridges, Christopher Martin DJ Premier 3:50
13. "I Do It for Hip Hop" (Co-Starring: Nas and Jay-Z) Bridges, Shawn Carter, Coleman, Fowler, Nasir bin Olu Dara Jones Wyldfyer 5:22
14. "Do the Right Thang" (Co-Starring: Common and Spike Lee) Bridges, Patrick Douthit, Lonnie Lynn, Arthur Verocai 9th Wonder 5:14
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


Release dates[edit]

Country Date
Switzerland, Jamaica December 4, 2008
United Kingdom November 24, 2009
United States, Australia, Canada, Japan December 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


Chart (2008) Peak
Canadian Albums Chart[13] 22
Swiss Albums Chart[14] 46
US Billboard 200[15] 5
US Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums (Billboard)[16] 2
US Top Rap Albums (Billboard)[17] 1


  1. ^ "Theater of the Mind: Ludacris: Music". Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  2. ^ Def Jam Recordings : Def Jam News at the Wayback Machine (archived November 16, 2008)
  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.
  8. ^ Ludacris In 'Talks' To Tour With T.I. And Young Jeezy, Says Theater Of The Mind Is A 'Classic'.
  9. ^ Ludacris Interview.
  10. ^ Ludacris Speaks on Song Leaks. Accessed October 26, 2008.
  11. ^ "Ludacris: Theater of the Mind | Music Review". Slant Magazine. 2008-12-06. Retrieved 2012-03-12. 
  12. ^
  13. ^ "Top Canadian Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on July 31, 2013. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  14. ^ "Ludacris — Theater Of The Mind — Music Charts". αCharts. Retrieved 2008-12-04. 
  15. ^ "The Billboard 200 - Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Archived from the original on January 28, 2014. Retrieved 2008-12-27. 
  16. ^ "Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2008-12-27. [dead link]
  17. ^ "Top Rap Albums — Theater Of The Mind — Ludacris". Billboard. Nielsen Business Media. Retrieved 2008-12-27. [dead link]