Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Ludacris ... This Guy Knows Rap's Magic Is in the Mischief

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

It's Ludacris ... This Guy Knows Rap's Magic Is in the Mischief

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS ELWELL-SUTTON

Ludacris Cafe de Paris uUuUuUuU.

PEOPLE take hip-hop too seriously.

All too often, critics subject the lyrics of rap songs to po-faced analysis, as though they're dealing with some kind of social manifesto rather than a piece of light-hearted entertainment.

Rappers are often their own worst enemies, acting as though they're too cool to crack a smile.

Last night, however, Ludacris served the crowd at Cafe de Paris with a refreshing reminder - rap is fun.

Raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Ludacris successfully straddles the line between mass appeal and retaining credibility with

"the street" with a gruff rap flow, witty, playful lyrics and an overall sound that's edgy yet accessible.

The formula works: he's sold more than ten million records in the past five years, earning himself a Grammy, as well as acting, to critical acclaim, in the Oscar-winning movies Crash and Hustle & Flow.

Backed by a hyperactive cohort

who did a splendid job of leading audience participation sessions, and a stellar DJ who skilfully resurrected the all-too-rarelyseen art of cutting and scratching with real vinyl, Ludacris delivered rap that was crisp, passionate and word-perfect.

It was no surprise, then, that his devoted fans jumped and cheered from the start to the irresistible stomping rhythm of Act A Fool, followed by the mischievous, melodious romp that is Area Codes. …

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