For raunchy rapper Ludacris, Amsterdam's Red Light District is a state of mind. On the Atlanta emcee's new CD, which opened at No. 1 on the Billboard pop albums chart, he embraces all forms of vice: sex, drugs, alcohol, gambling, you name it. The Sleepy Brown-assisted "Blueberry Yum Yum" is a munchies-and-all ode to marijuana; "The Potion," with its heady, Timbaland-produced jungle groove, serves up a patent mystery adult beverage; and the Jeep-rocking player anthem "Pimpin' All Over the World" is a celebration of "the fancy cars, the women and the caviar" that Ludacris has enjoyed from Brazil to Japan. But the over-the-top party vibe on Red Light District, which basically picks up where 2003's double-platinum Chicken-N-Beer left off, may sometimes leave you feeling like you have over-indulged. Two of the disc's most introspective tracks, though, reveal Ludacris to be a bit conflicted about his lewd behavior. On the bluesy "Hopeless," he examines the feelings that cause men to want to escape from reality, while on "Child of the Night," which employs a sped-up sample of Teena Marie's "Portuguese Love," he wonders why does "everything that's bad for me feel so good." —C.A.
DOWNLOAD THIS: "Child of the Night"