Ludacris: George Holz/Corbis Outline

Chicken-N-Beer

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October 24, 2003 at 04:00 AM EDT

That Ludacris is a funny guy. Snaps, the dozens, cracks, or whatever you want to call them — Luda’s third album has gut-busting insults and boasts for days. And, as always, the Atlanta rapper ramps up his punchline potency with explosive enunciation (”BLAH!”). The problem with Chicken-N-Beer is that too many cuts are simply one-note jokes stretched out to three or four minutes.

You can certainly bank on ”Blow It Out” for big laughs. And the minimalist, aptly titled ”Hip-Hop Quotables” packs some pretty witty wordplay (”People think I’m bad, they say, ‘Oh, he’s so evil’/’Cuz I go on blind dates with actual blind people”). But Luda’s more libidinous offerings — ”P-Poppin”’ and ”Teamwork” — are cringeworthy, misogynistic snorefests. The Snoop-featuring ”Hoes in My Room” is an especially excruciating epic with a desperate and lazy denouement.

And while it’s admirable that Ludacris opted against using big-name producers here — Kanye West and Erick Sermon are the album’s highest-caliber beatmakers — the amateurs blow their shot with campy sampling and cartoonish composition. Sure, ”Chicken-N-Beer” can sometimes make you chuckle, but then so did the Fat Boys.

Chicken-N-Beer

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Chicken-N-Beer

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