‘Golden Grain’

By Peter Boskey

Ludacris brings out his slew of friends from “Disturbing tha Peace” to produce his latest album “Golden Grain.” The album features stars such as Too Short, Twista and Mystical, along with a group of lesser-known performers.

There are 14 tracks on the album, two of which are skits. While skits usually prove senseless, these have some substance, poking fun at the music industry and describing how musicians and recording artists are constantly ripped off.

-The album opens off with “Break Sumthin’,” which consists of a slow beat, bumping bass kicks and detuned synthesizer sounds. These were terrible moves on the executive producers’ part (Ludacris and Chaka Zulu) because they make it a boring opening track. However, the next track, “Growing Pains” featuring Lil’ Fate, Shawnna, Ludacris, Scarface and Keon Bryce, is an uplifting track sampling a high-pitched voice over a 70s-sounding background of wah guitar and strings.

Next is “Posted,” featuring Shawnna. She opens the track by repeating “Posted a-ha muthaf****rs,” and then a complicated synthesized drumbeat drops in with a harpsichord playing the same two notes over and over again. “Smokin’ Dro,” featuring Tity Boi, I-20 and Ludacris, is basically a braggart song about women, cars and being proud of “smokin’ dro.” The beat consists of soft strings with a few piano interludes in the background. The song itself is decent, but the lyrics are far from artistic.

“A-Town Hatz,” featuring Lil’ Fate, Tity Boi, I-20 and Chimere, is about wearing Atlanta gear. The beat sounds like something Warren G would put out, but he also would do a much better job rapping over the track. “N.S.E.W.,” featuring Shawnna, Tity Boi, I-20 and Lil’ Fate, is a headache. Imagine a redundant beat with little melody combined with someone repeating “North, North, South, South, East, East, West, West,” and you have “N.S.E.W.” How clever, right?

Parliament is felt in the next track “When I Touch Down,” with Lil’ Fate and Jazze Pha. This exceptionally smooth beat has a perfect blend of strings and wah guitar, giving it a 70s vibe. In “Outro on Ya A**,” featuring I-20, Tity Boi, Lil’ Fate and Ludacris, I-20 says “Bi**h A** 16 times in 55 seconds. The song has a sloppy beat, and “Outro on Ya A**” shows that Ludacris isn’t as good a producer as he is a lyricist.

There are a few good tracks on “Golden Grain,” but they are overshadowed by the bad ones. Basically, all the tracks featuring I-20 are garbage. Ludacris should find a better performer for his next album instead of trying to help his no-talent friend out.