* Born: 11 September 1977
* Birthplace: Atlanta, Georgia
* Best Known As: Rapper who did "Southern Hospitality"
(born Christopher Bridges on September 11, 1977 in Champaign,
Illinois; commonly referred to as Luda) is an American rapper
and actor. He eventually moved to Atlanta, where he would go on
to make a name for himself as one of the most prominent Dirty
South rappers of the new millennium.
Ludacris began his music career as a radio DJ personality, Chris
Lova Lova, on the V103 urban radio station in Atlanta, Georgia.
He made his recorded debut on "Phat Rabbit", a track
from Timbaland's 1998 album Tim's Bio: Life from the Bassment.
Although both Timbaland and Jermaine Dupri showed interest in
signing Ludacris, he decided to take matters into his own hands,
and released the album Incognegro independently in 1999. The album
sold over 50,000 copies, most of them sold out of the trunk of
Ludacris' car. Def Jam Records signed Ludacris in 2000, and created
a new imprint, Def Jam South, around him.
Back for the
Ludacris' major-label debut single was "What's Your Fantasy",
from his Back For The First Time album, which was made up mostly
of tracks from Incognegro. In addition to introducing Ludacris,
his first single and music video, which became an MTV2 hit, gave
America its first glimpse of his fellow Disturbing Tha Peace member
Shawnna, a female rapper who has just recently begun to achieve
some success of her own. In addition to singing the chorus on
"What's Your Fantasy" and appearing in its video, Shawnna,
along with Trina and Foxy Brown, contributed original verses to
a remix of the track that featured Ludacris himself on the chorus.
In 2001, "Southern
Hospitality" became an even bigger urban radio and video
hit, achieving heavy MTV2 airplay and moderate MTV airplay. Back
For The First Time's third single was the controversial "Ho",
which, due to lyrics, was banned or restricted on many radio stations
and whose video was not played by MTV, MTV2, or even BET, although
it was available online at Launch for some time.
summer of 2001, Ludacris, with singer Nate Dogg, released a single
off of the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack called "Area Codes".
A continuation of the lyrical themes started with "Ho",
the song and video were only played in an edited version in which
all uses of the word "ho" were replaced with the word
Word of Mouf
Ludacris promptly completed his next album, Word Of Mouf and released
it at the end of 2001. Its lead single, "Rollout (My Business)",
was produced by Timbaland and gave Ludacris his first taste at
a minor mainstream crossover, and the song was enormous on urban
radio. Its next two singles, "Saturday (Oooh, Oooh)"
and "Move Bitch", performed similarly during 2002, and
all three songs' videos enjoyed MTV, BET, and MTV2 support. However,
"Move Bitch" was commonly referred to as simply "Move"
by radio DJ's and the word "bitch" was just muted out
wherever it occurred. The title of the video also appeared as
just "Move" when played on American video stations.
Despite the controversy, the video was nominated for a 2003 VMA,
and Luda performed it live at the awards' pre-show. Ludacris also
toured with Papa Roach in 2002 after the release of their sophomore
In 2003, after music from the controversial "Move Bitch"
had been used in a Pepsi commercial in which Ludacris also appeared
drinking the soda, Pepsi came under fire from Bill O'Reilly for
supporting Ludacris. O'Reilly believed that it was wrong for an
international corporation like Pepsi to target the American teen
audience by glamorizing a person like Ludacris, a “gangsta
rapper” who had admitted having been in gangs and whose
lyrics contained profanity, violence, and overt sexuality. O'Reilly
urged his viewers to complain to and boycott Pepsi for its affiliation
with Ludacris. Eventually, Pepsi gave in to O'Reilly and dropped
Ludacris. However, this created more controversy than it ended,
as Russell Simmons pointed out Pepsi's hypocrisy and what he considered
even to be racism: Simmons argued that Pepsi could not legitimately
fire Ludacris for being a presumed violent and profane role model
while also employing the Osbournes, who are also known for being
violent, vulgar, and profane. Simmons himself, along with Ludacris,
then called for a black Pepsi boycott. In the end, Pepsi settled
with Simmons by agreeing to help fund black causes, even though
the Osbournes were permitted to keep their advertising contracts
with the corporation. Ludacris, though annoyed about the situation
itself, was happy that he got to keep the money that Pepsi had
paid him for the ads. O'Reilly later protested Budweiser's deal
with Ludacris. On March 10, 2005, Ludacris announced on BET that
he was participating a essay contest in which the contestant would
win a free concert from Ludacris. The rapper will perform at high
schools that are willing to participate in the contest. Although
the contest had officially began, O'Reilly might protest and boycott
the performance due his on-going campaign against gangsta rap.
O'Reilly believes that Ludacris is involved in narcotics sells.
On his show O'Reilly believes that Ludacris is the reason for
violence and criminal activities in the music industry. There
is no proven evidence that Ludacris was involved in any criminal
During the spring of 2003, Ludacris returned to the music scene
after a brief hiatus with a new single, "Act A Fool"
off the 2 Fast 2 Furious soundtrack. At around the same time,
he released the lead single from his upcoming album, Chicken &
Beer, called "P-Poppin'". Neither of his new singles
was as well-received by either the urban or pop audiences as his
previous songs had been, and both music videos received only limited
airplay. Chicken & Beer opened strongly, but without a popular
single, the album fell quickly.
the fall of 2003, Ludacris rebounded with his next single, "Stand
Up", which appeared on both Chicken & Beer as well as
the soundtrack for the teen hip-hop/dance movie, Honey. "Stand
Up" went on to become Ludacris' biggest mainstream hit to
date, hitting the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 and garnering
heavy airplay on mainstream pop, rhythmic, and urban radio stations,
as well as on MTV, MTV2, and BET.
next single, "Splash Waterfalls", was released in early
2004. Though not a pop hit, it became a success at urban radio
and BET, thanks to its being Ludacris' most sexual video yet and
an R&B remix that featured Raphael Saadiq and sampled Tony!
Toni! Tone!'s "Whatever You Want". Luda next released
"Blow It Out", a gritty song that had a heavily low-budget,
gritty, and urban-looking music video, which was a huge departure
from the colorful, sensual, R&B leanings depicted in "Splash
Waterfalls". "Blow It Out" acted as a scathing
response to Ludacris' critics, namely Bill O'Reilly, who is mentioned
Despite O'Reilly's rants on the rapper, he is also engaged in
a beef with former protege Chingy. Chingy had since parted ways
with Disturbing Tha Peace and the president Chaka Zulu. In a recent
magazine, Chingy discussed the situation between him and Ludacris.
The issue was brought to Ludacris' attention but he really didn't
comment on the matter. But in few weeks he stated that all respect
was lost during the time Chingy lashed out against him. Also a
rival rapper by the name of T.I. also addressed Ludacris' name
numerous times. He had retilated back through a on record verbal
bashing through Young Buck 's Straight Outta Cashville album.
And most recently a rap group known as I.O.F. (It's Only Family)
has sued him and producer Kanye West for copyright infringement
over the hit "Stand Up" off the Chicken & Beer album.
Ludacris's final single from Chicken & Beer was "Diamond
In The Back". On December 7, 2004, he released his fifth
album, Red Light District.
The Red Light
The fifth studio album from Ludacris. Although entirely different
from the usual antics of the previous albums, Ludacris had taken
a more mature approach to his album. Ludacris openly boasted that
he may be the only rapper able to keep the Def Jam label afloat.
Ludacris had recently filmed and recorded the single "Get
Back" in which he was featured a muscle-bounded hulk who
was being annoyed by the media and warned his critics to leave
him alone. The follow-up single was "The Number One Spot".
It was produced by Hot 97 personality DJ Green Lantern. It used
the Quincy Jones sample of "Soul Bossa Nova" and sped
it up to the tempo of Ludacris' rap flow. Ludacris also filmed
the video in which he pokes fun at Bill O'Reilly's problems with
Andrea Mackris. Production credits come also from veteran producer
Timbaland, Lil' Jon, The Medicine Men and legendary rapper Doug
E. Fresh. Featured on the album include rappers, Nas, DMX, Trick
Daddy, and Disturbing Tha Peace newcomers Bobby Valentino (of
Mista fame) and Dolla Boy and Small Wonder. The album debuted
at number one on the Billboard charts, a first for Ludacris. And
most recently the rapper had used his opportunity to start his
own foundation. The Ludacris Foundation started by Ludacris and
Chaka Zulu is a organization that helps young middle school and
high students motivate themselves in creative arts. Ludacris also
has a daughter by the name of Karma. The mother of his child is
unknown due to the high-profile life of Ludacris. Ludacris had
also participated at The Superbowl and is the spokesman for the
Boost Mobile Phone ad-campaign.