Word of Mouf
Word of Mouf is Ludacris’ breakout album. It proves he is the consummate Southern rapper, and one of the only performers who can unite the South’s sub-divided regional styles into an all-encompassing musical movement. Ludacris is not as subversive as OutKast, or as wild as Mystikal, or as stylishly cool as UGK, but his larger-than-life persona and sense of humor endear him to every audience. His commanding, brazen delivery is equally at home on Timbaland’s twitchy North Carolina bounce (“Rollout (My Business)”), Organizes Noize’s pensive country funk (“She Said”), and KLC’s rambunctious New Orleans eruptions (“Move Bitch”). In his hands even the silly, simple concept behind “Area Codes” becomes irresistible, while on “Cry Babies” and “Keep It on the Hush” he turns the nastiest come-ons into lovable punchlines. Word of Mouf shows that Ludacris can be funny, funky, and sincere all at once, and with songs like “Growing Pains” and “Cold Outside” he displays a rare ability to speak to the mainstream without sacrificing any of his homegrown Georgia grit.