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Ludacris Comes Angry, Stays Polished on 'Burning Bridges'; EP Features Rick Ross, Jason Aldean, John Legend Guest Spots

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Society always celebrates the records that top the Billboard 200 album chart. Back of The Billboards is a Music Times weekly segment that looks at the opposite end: the new record that finished closest to the back of the Billboard 200 for the previous week. We hope to give a fighting chance to the bands you haven't heard of. This week we look at Ludacris' new EP 'Burning Bridges' and its lead-up to a new album during 2015, 'Ludaversal.'

Week of 01/16/2015
WHO: Ludacris
WHAT: Burning Bridges
SPOT: 158

If we were to use Ludacris' most recent release, the EP Burning Bridges, as an indicator what to expect when Ludaversal finally drops this year (supposedly), we'd guess that he's angry. It's less than surprising: The new LP keeps getting pushed back and he hasn't dropped a full album since 2010, the overly poppy Battle of The Sexes.

If mixtapes released since then, such as #IDGAF, are any indication, Ludacris is avoiding the pleasantries this time around. That doesn't necessarily mean he's coming as raw as he once did at the turn of the century, but early number "Money" and the title-track comes from the mouth of an emcee with blockbuster films instant recognizability under his belt, not the young rapper right out of College Park. Both he and Rick Ross drop their previous high-lifestyle boasts during the former track to paint themselves as litigation targets.

Still, there's no doubt that Burning Bridges has a degree of pop pedigree smoothed into its approach. Following the intro short, every one of the next five features a high profile guest, none of which as vocally intimidating as Ross: John Legend joins "In My Life," Miguel handles the single "Good Lovin" and even fellow Georgian Jason Aldean makes an appearance for "Burning Bridges."

The themes are more mature here but don't think a wise man can't come hard. We'll see you later this year Luda.

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