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Ludacris Biography

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Ludacris (born Christopher Brian Bridges on September 11, 1977 in Champaign, Illinois), is an American rapper and actor. Born in Illinois, he was raised in Atlanta, Georgia, where he eventually made a name for himself as one of the most prominent Southern rappers. He is also featured on Rap Closet and D12 World thus posts on both.

Early years: Bridges began his music career as a radio personality and DJ as Chris Lova Lova on Hot 97.5, an 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 release the album Incognegro independently in 1999. 

The album sold over 50,000 copies through the Atlanta based indepedent music distributor, Southern Music Distribution. The same year, he recorded the theme to the video game Madden NFL 2000. Scarface, an original member of the Geto Boys, signed Ludacris in 2000 to Def Jam Recordings, and created a new imprint, Def Jam South, around him.

Back for the First Time: Ludacris released his major label debut, Back for the First Time in October 2000. The album reached as high as #4 on the charts, and was a major success. 

Ludacris made his mark on the industry with singles such as “Southern Hospitality” and “What’s Your Fantasy”. Back for the First Time was the beginning of Ludacris’s explosion to the top of the rap world.

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 boycotted in many 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 album lovehatetragedy. Ludacris reached a new level of notoriety when TV’s Bill O’Reilly expressed outrage that Pepsi had hired Ludacris as a spokesman. O’Reilly repeatedly attacked Ludacris’s foul language and called for a nation-wide boycott of Pepsi, who then fired Ludacris and hired Ozzy Osbourne’s family instead.

Chicken & Beer: During the spring of 2003, Ludacris returned to the music scene after a brief hiatus with a new single, “Act A Fool” from 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” (short for “Pussy Poppin'”). 

Neither of his new singles were 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.

However, in 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. Produced by Kanye West, “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.

The album’s next single, “Splash Waterfalls”, was released in early 2004. Though not a pop hit, it became a success at urban radio and BET. It was 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 both as a scathing response to the aforementioned criticism levied by Bill O’Reilly and an expression of disgust at Pepsi’s cowardice in the affair:

Shout out to Bill O’Reilly, I’m’a throw you a curve
You mad cause I’m a thief and got away with words
I’m’a start my own beverage, it’ll calm your nerves
Pepsi’s the New Generation?—Blow it out ya ass!
On June 1, 2006, a federal jury found that “Stand Up” did not infringe on the copyright of a song called “Straight Like That” by a New Jersey group known as I.O.F. “I hope the plaintiffs enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame,” Ludacris said after the verdict. “This whole experience is proof to me of why I will always fight for what I believe in.” 
The Red Light District: 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 Austin Powers-inspired “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 O’Reilly’s problems with Andrea Mackris (Hi Mr. O’Reilly / Hope all is well kiss the plaintiff and the wifey). 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, DJ Quik, DMX, Trick Daddy, and Disturbing Tha Peace newcomers Bobby Valentino (of Mista fame) and Dolla Boi and Small World. The album debuted at number one on the Billboard charts. And most recently the rapper had used his opportunity to start his own foundation.

The Ludacris Foundation started by Ludacris and Chaka Zulu is an organization that helps young middle and high school students motivate themselves in creative arts. Ludacris also has a daughter by the name of Karma. Ludacris had also participated at the Super Bowl and is the spokesman for the Boost Mobile Phone ad-campaign. Ludacris also received his first Grammy Award with Usher and Lil Jon for their hit single “Yeah”.

Release Therapy: In a recent issue of XXL, a hip-hop based magazine, Ludacris was placed in the number nine spot for the most anticipated albums of 2006, for Release Therapy. The album Release Therapy will be released in September.

Acting career: Ludacris has been acting in film since The Wash in 2001, but his big break came in 2005, where he received critical praise for his roles in Hustle & Flow and Crash. Crash includes an ironic sequence where Ludacris’s character is dismissive of hip-hop music. He is occasionally credited as “Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges”.

On January 29, 2006 he was awarded with a Screen Actors Guild Award for Best Cast in a Motion Picture for his work in the film Crash. Ludacris also starred in 2 Fast 2 Furious, and appeared in the March 28, 2006 episode of Law & Order: Special Victims Unit.

Beef: In a 2006 interview with Gentlemen’s Quarterly, Ludacris criticized Oprah about his appearance on her show recently. He claimed that he was censored, and didn’t think Oprah wanted him on the show or respected his opinon for that matter. Ludacris was the sixth rapper ever to make a guest appearance on the talk show. Previous rappers were LL Cool J, Will Smith, Queen Latifah, Sean Combs (Diddy) and Kanye West

This would not be the first time though that Ludacris would have controversy in his career. In 2004, before the release of his debut album Straight Outta Ca$hville, Nashvillle, Tennessee and G-Unit member Young Buck would enlist the services of fellow Atlanta emcee T.I., also known as T.I.P. in his native Bankhead neighborhood of westside Atlanta. They would create a track entitled “Stomp” amid growing tension between Buck’s good friend Ludacris and T.I.

On the track, T.I. takes subliminal shots at Ludacris including the line “me gettin’ beat down, that’s ludicrous.” Buck, immediately sensing the tension, decided before releasing the track to notify Ludacris that T.I. had mentioned him since he didn’t want to position himself as encouraging T.I.’s actions. Ludacris hears the track and asks Buck if he can add his own verse to which Buck agrees.

The results end up being costly for T.I. as he is berated throughout Ludacris’ verse and called out by name in his last line. Representatives from T.I. notify Buck that T.I.’s vocals will not be cleared for the album unless not T.I. is allowed to change his verse, and also have Ludacris change his. Buck refuses this offer and T.I. prohibits his vocals from being used. Buck has hypeman and fellow rapper D-Tay replace T.I. on the song and D-Tay himself is eventually replaced by The Game on the official release.

Although T.I. was removed, the street cut featuring him and Ludacris had already been leaked to DJs in Atlanta and New York. T.I. was unable to stop the track’s distribution throughout the streets of the nation at this point. It is widely accepted that T.I. “lost” this battle with Ludacris easily being the victor. The beef between Ludacris and T.I. was then put to an end behind closed doors as the rappers have both said that the problems between them have ceased.

In 2006 however, T.I. would release his highly anticipated fourth solo album entitled KING. In his Just Blaze produced track titled “I’m Talkin To You,” T.I. lyrically attacks one or more unknown targets who have widely been speculated to be either Ludacris, New Orleans emcee Lil Wayne, or Houston rapper Lil’ Flip (whom T.I. also had beef with but has since ended their animosity behind closed doors) or a combination of all three.

It is still unknown whether or not T.I. was in fact dissing Ludacris or anyone else for that matter at all.Although facts later proved that T.I. wasnt dissing Ludacris.In one of T.I.s lines he quotes “me and ludacris had a fall out but he still my nigga”. In July of 2006, a track entitled “War with God” would see Ludacris return after some time off in movies.

In the track, Ludacris goes on the defensive against an unknown rapper who apparently never sold drugs, isn’t as rich as he and likes to give himself titles – all very well known characteristics and facts directly relating to T.I. The track is rumored to be a selection from Ludacris’ upcomin album Release Therapy this September. In this instance it also unknown whether or not Ludacris is indeed attacking T.I. or not or even if the track was recorded recently.

In an issue of XXL, Ludacris was placed in the number nine spot for the most anticipated albums of 2006, for Release Therapy. The album Release Therapy was released on September 26, 2006. Ludacris formatted the CD to have two sides: a Release side and a Therapy side on a single CD. Guest appearances include Pharrell Williams, R. Kelly, Young Jeezy, Mary J. Blige, Field Mob, Bobby Valentino, Pimp C, C-Murder, and Beanie Sigel. The first single, “Money Maker”, which features Pharrell Williams, was released to U.S. radio outlets on July 17, 2006.

“Money Maker” reached number one on the BET program 106 & Park. It then went to become the rapper’s second number one single after 6 years. His second single, “Grew Up a Screw Up”, featuring Young Jeezy, dispels rumors that the two are or ever were in a dispute. His third single, “Runaway Love”, soon peaked at number one on the U.S. Billboard Hot Rap Tracks and won Best Collaboration in the 2007 BET Awards.

His album then reached number one on the Billboard 200 album charts with sales of 309,000 in its first week. With the release of this album, Ludacris marked a change in style in his career with his musical style. The new album itself features a departure of the lighthearted mood of his previous albums, and introduces a darker side. A change of hair accompanied this as he cut off his trademark braids for a more conventional “fade” cut. To promote the album, Ludacris returned to Saturday Night Live (as both host and musical guest) on November 18, 2006.

The Preview, a mixtape to preview the album was released on July 28, 2008. Theater of the Mind, released on November 24, 2008, and in April 2008, the single “Let’s Stay Together” appeared on; supposedly from the new album (“Let’s Stay Together” was expected to but was released as a bonus track on the CD). A song with Small World called “Pinky Shinin” was expected to be on the album, but it was dropped. In an interview with Complex Magazine he stated that Chris Brown, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross, T.I., Plies, Common, T-Pain, Jay-Z, Nas and The Game will be on the album; The Game is featured in a track with Willy Northpole titled “Call Up the Homies”. T.I. was on the album on a track called “Wish You Would” squashing the long feud between them. The album debuted at number five on the Billboard 200 with 213,493 sold first week. The album was released the same day as Kanye West’s 808s & Heartbreak, which took the number one spot.

His first single “What Them Girls Like”, featuring Chris Brown and Sean Garrett, peaked at #33 on the Billboard 100. His second single, “One More Drink”, featuring T-Pain, peaked at #24 on the Billboard 100. The third official single is “Nasty Girl”, featuring Plies.

Ludacris’ seventh studio album was released on March 9, 2010, with his first promotional single for the album being “Everybody Drunk” which features Lil Scrappy, originally featuring Shawnna. The first concept idea of the album was to have Ludacris and Shawnna battle it out on the album back–to–back, but this was later axed upon Shawnna’s depature from Disturbing tha Peace, ending her contract on Ludacris’ label and joining T-Pain’s Nappy Boy Entertainment label. The first official single released from Battle of the Sexes was “How Low”, which was released on December 8, 2009. The follow–up single was “My Chick Bad”, released on February 23, 2010. Ludacris’s “Battle of the Sexes” entered the chart at No. 1, with 137,000 sales in the first week.

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