Ludacris may be the biggest Austin Powers fan in hip-hop. The Atlanta MC is such an aficionado of the shagadelic spy, as well as many of the other characters from the film franchise, he references them on "No. 1 Spot," from his upcoming The Red Light District. Produced by DJ Green Lantern, the song even samples the film's now-famous theme song (Quincy Jones' bouncing 1962 track "Soul Bossa Nova").
Apparently Luda isn't over his beef with conservative political commentator Bill O'Reilly, as he also calls out the host of "The O'Reilly Factor" and his recent sexual scandal on the song. Two years ago, O'Reilly's criticism of Pepsi for naming Ludacris a spokesperson cost the rapper his endorsement deal (see "Ludacris To Get Revenge On Bill O'Reilly With Upcoming LP").
Elsewhere on The Red Light District, due December 7, Ludacris teams with Nas and beat-box pioneer Doug E. Fresh to pay homage to the old school on "Virgo." The three MCs, who all share the astrological sign, trade verses over Fresh's trademark oral acrobatics.
On the hypnotic "Large Amounts," Luda discusses the perils of his financial success and how he deals with begging family members, greedy women and the IRS.
The Red Light District also serves as a platform for the rapper to introduce the newest members of his Disturbing Tha Peace crew: Small World, Dolla Boi and Bobby Vee. The first two turn up on "Not Me," while Bobby Vee, the group's first R&B artist, guests on "Pimpin' All Around the World."
Other highlights include the lead single, "Get Back" (see " 'Get Back,' Ludacris Commands, Or He'll Take You Down"), the Timbaland-produced club banger "Potion" and the West Coast-inspired "Spur of the Moment" featuring DJ Quik.
Luda's follow-up to last year's Chicken-N-Beer also features Lil Jon, DMX, Trick Daddy, Nate Dogg and Sleepy Brown, among others.