Christopher Brian Bridges (born September 11 1977), better known by his stage name Ludacris, is an American rapper and actor. Along with his manager, Chaka Zulu, Ludacris is the co-founder of Disturbing tha Peace, an imprint distributed by Def Jam Recordings. Ludacris is tied with Nelly for the title of the hip-hop solo artist with the second most Billboard Hot 100 number-one hits (four each). He has sold more than thirteen million records in the United States. alone. He is also the rapper with the most Top 40, Top 25 and Top 10 Billboard Hot 100 Hits of all time.
Ludacris was born Christopher Brian Bridges in Champaign, Illinois, the son of Roberta Shields and Wayne Brian Bridges. Ludacris lived in Oak Park, Illinois and attended Oak Park and River Forest High School. He only attended his freshman year. His family later moved to live in Atlanta, Georgia and in this time his father exposed him to all kinds of music ranging from Hip Hop to Rock. At nine years old, he started rapping, soon pursuing his own career as a rap musician.At 14 years old ludcaris became a member of the rollin 20z N.H.B gang in atlanta.
Ludacris first revealed his personality to local media as the radio DJ Chris Lova Lova at Hot 97.5 (which later became Hot 107.9), an urban radio station in Atlanta, Georgia. His first shot at of exposure was when he penned lyrics for the "Swing My Way"(remix) by KP and Envyi on East West Records America in 1998. He also had his opportunity to gain commercial exposure when hip hop producer/rapper Timbaland heard him on Atlanta radio. Timbaland contacted and made an offer for Ludacris to work with him at the radio station. Timbaland then produced a beat for Ludacris in the radio station. The two worked together and made Ludacris' recorded debut on "Phat Rabbit", a track from Timbaland's 1998 album Tim's Bio: Life from da Bassment. He currently owns a house in Centreville, Virginia (where his mother lives and he visits regularly), along with a house in Los Angeles and his permanent residence in Atlanta.
Although 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 with most of them sold out of the trunk of his car. Through Scarface, Def Jam Records signed Ludacris in 2000 and created a new imprint, Def Jam South, around him. Def Jam then re-released a newer version of Incognegro, titled "Back for the First Time". The album launched Ludacris' career as a Southern rapper. Ludacris had more of a comedic rapping style earlier in his career.
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 album Chicken-N-Beer, called "P-Poppin" (short for "Pussy Poppin'"), which is heavily inspired by Too Short. 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-N-Beer opened strongly, but without a popular single, the album fell quickly. Guest appearances include Playaz Circle, Chingy, Snoop Dogg, Eightball & MJG, Lil' Flip, I-20, Lil Fate, & Shawnna.
In the fall of 2003, Ludacris rebounded with his next single, "Stand Up", which appeared on both Chicken-n-Beer as well as the soundtrack for the teen hip-hop/dance movie, You Got Served. Produced by Kanye West, "Stand Up" went on to become one of Ludacris's biggest mainstream hits to date, hitting the top spot on the Billboard Hot 100 garnering heavy airplay on mainstream pop, rhythmic, and urban radio stations, as well as on MTV, MTV2, and BET. Luda was sued by a New Jersey group called I.O.F. who claimed that "Stand Up" used a hook from one of their songs, but in June of 2006, a jury found that the song did not violate copyrights. "I hope the plaintiffs enjoyed their 15 minutes of fame," Ludacris said after the verdict.
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". Ludacris also received his first Grammy Award with Usher and Lil Jon for their hit single "Yeah". Luda next released "Blow It Out", a gritty song with an urban, low-budget music video. A departure from the R&B leanings of "Splash Waterfalls", "Blow It Out" acted both as a response to the criticism levied by Bill O'Reilly and an attack on Pepsi's role in the affair.
The Red Light District
Although not entirely different from the usual antics of the previous albums, Ludacris had taken a more mature approach to this, his fourth album. Ludacris openly boasted that he may be the only rapper able to keep the Def Jam label afloat on the opening track. Ludacris filmed and recorded the single "Get Back" in which he was featured as a muscle-bound hulk who was being annoyed by the media and warned critics to leave him alone. He first appeared on the long-running sketch show Saturday Night Live as a special guest performing with musical guest Sum 41 on a season 30 episode hosted by Paul Giamatti. He then recorded Get Back with Sum 41 to make a rock crossover single. The follow-up single was the Austin Powers-inspired "The Number One Spot". It was produced by New York City's 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. He 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 producers Timbaland, Lil' Jon, The Medicine Men. Featured artists on the album include Nas, DJ Quik, DMX, Trick Daddy, Sleepy Brown, 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.
After the success of The Red Light District, Ludacris then used his opportunity to start his own foundation. The Ludacris Foundation, started by Luda and Chaka Zulu, is an organization that helps young middle and high school students motivate themselves in creative arts.
In an 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 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. With the Release side having songs that allow him to get everything off his chest and the Therapy side being just feel-good music, on the flip side it's extremely dark in mood. Guest appearances include Pharrell Williams, R. Kelly, Young Jeezy, Mary J. Blige, Field Mob, Bobby Valentino, Pimp C, C-Murder, & 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 106 & Park. It then went to become the rapper's second number one single after 6 years. His second single, "Runaway Love", soon peaked at number one on the U.S. Rap Billboard and won Best Collaboration in the 2007 BET Awards. His album then reached number one on the Billboard 200 album charts with sales of more than 300,000 in its first week. This album as well as the lead single "Money Maker" were also awarded Rap Album of the year and song, respectively during the 2007 Grammy Awards. 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 light-hearted 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. This was done to project a new image for the album. To promote the album, Ludacris returned to Saturday Night Live (as both host and musical guest) on November 18, 2006.
Theater Of The Mind
Ludacris recently revealed to Entertainment Weekly that he has collaborated with rock group Good Charlotte for his upcoming sixth solo album titled Theater Of The Mind. Luda also divulged that he also wants to work with Eminem on the album. The album was slated for release in August 2008, and in April 2008, a single named "Stay Together" appeared on xxlmag.com; supposedly from the new album.
On July 7, 2007, Ludacris performed at the American leg of Live Earth. Luda made a verse for 50 Cent's "I Get Money" remix. He also appeared on the four hundredth episode of The Simpsons, "You Kent Always Say What You Want." The rapper has also recorded a verse for DJ Khaled's "I'm So Hood Remix."Luda also made a track entitled " Down In The Dirty" which features Rick Ross & Bun B. In the booklet of Release Therapy it says, in the "coming soon" section, his next album will be called "Theater of the Mind". More recently Luda has made a verse for Alicia Keys' "Like You'll Never See Me Again" Remix, as well as a verse on the remix to "Dey Know" by Shawty Lo'. A verse for Lloyd's How We Do has also been made. He is also featured on Ciara's new single "High Price" from her third studio album Fantasy Ride that will be released later this year. '
Ludacris And T.I. have been involved in a long standing rivalry. This "beef" supposedly started because of some miscommunication between the two camps. The "beef" exploded after Young Buck invited them to record a song called "Stomp". T.I.'s verse was a diss towards Luda, and when he heard the verse, Luda recorded a scathing verse torwards T.I. The verse goes like this:
Muthafucka, I'm A Monster In This Game, Similar To The Lochness My Rhymes Is Nappy Rooted, Sum Verces Gotta Process The Truth In This Booth, Ain't No Doubt When I'm Rappin' If I Say It, I've Either Done It, Or It's 'Bout To Happen When I Pull Up In The Louie Truck On 26's, People Dumb Out If Life's A Crap Game, I'm Rollin' 7's On The Come Out These Rapper's Think I'm Ig-nent, Love Sayin' My Name Cuz Maintainin My Fish Tank, And They House, Cost The Same Ask Me, I'd Say I Made It, And It Sure Wasn't Luck Cuz Hustler's Relate To Me, And Some Are Younger Than Buck You See I'm Married To My Music, But We Got A Prenupt So If That Bitch Don't Act Right, I'm Still Gettin My Cut My Deals Never Get Screwed, My Contracts Practice Abstinence I'm Masterin This Program, Hazin' These Undergraduates So, Pimpin' Be Easy, Quit Catchin' Feelings Cuz You Worth A Couple Hundred Grand, And I'm Worth Millions Nobodys Thinkin' About You, Plus Your Beef Ain't Legit So Please Stay Off The T.I.P. Of My Dick
T.I wanted to record another verse but was denied his request by Buck's label but was granted his request to have his verse taken off. He was replaced by The Game. Since then thier beef had subsided, but when T.I. lost the Best Rap Album Grammy to Luda he began to take shots at Luda in the media. Most notably his second verse on "You Know What It Is", T.I. stated the following:
Women sweatin when they see me im apparently hot Had the album of the year nigga grammy or not
Luda responded with a remix verse to 50 Cent's "I Get Money". Luda stated :
Lets get one thang clear south's right here still got the Grammy for the album of the year 12 mil sold still flying on Leirs over 30 million dollars over in the past three years
So it looked like the beef was back on but before the 2007 Bet Hip Hop Awards. At a pre party at a club before the award show the next day, Luda was performing his diss verse torwards T.I. on 50 Cent's "I Get Money Remix" and to the shock and suprise of everyone in the crowd, T.I. showed up on stage and they embraced each other and officially deaded the beef right there. In the eyes of many in hip hop, Luda defeated T.I. Recently Ludacris has wished T.I. and his family well during his rough time because of his impending case.
On August 27, 2002, Bill O'Reilly called for all Americans to boycott Pepsi products, due to O'Reilly's opinion that Ludacris' lyrics glamorize a "life of guns, violence, drugs and disrespect of women". On August 28, 2002, O'Reilly reported that Pepsi had fired Luda. O'Reilly later denied his call for a boycott when challenged on his show, claiming that he merely said he wasn't going to drink any Pepsi products.
Furthering the Pepsi controversy, in response to the signing of the Osbourne family, popular hip-hop music mogul Russell Simmons organized a boycott against the company. Simmons demanded an apology from Pepsi to Ludacris and a 5 million dollar donation to one of his charities. Eventually Simmons and Pepsi settled on an agreement to stop the boycott, right before it was to officially begin. While Pepsi did not formally apologize to Ludacris, they did agree to donate millions of dollars over several years to Russell Simmons Hip-Hop Summit Action Network.
- Shout out to Bill O'Reilly, I'ma throw you a curve
- You're mad cause I'm a thief and got a way with words
- ma start my own beverage, it'll calm your nerves
- Pepsi's the new generation? Blow it out...
In another song, "Hoes in My Room", he tells a story about anonymous prostitutes being left in his room, and at the end of the last verse says:
- Then it got to my head and Somethin' remind me
- I know who let 'em in, it was Bill O'Reilly.
Then, in 2004, in "Number 1 Spot"
- ''Respected highly, Hi Mr. O'Reilly.
- 'Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey."
involved O'Reilly telling a Def Jam executive that he will boycott Def Jam if Luda isn't fired. O'Reilly, played by Darrell Hammond, says that although his boycotts have had the opposite effect of his intention, Def Jam's sales will decrease dramatically.
The following day O'Reilly responded on his show with a less than enthusiastic reaction. He soon began criticizing Luda's Grammy win.
In a 2006 interview with GQ magazine, Ludacris criticized Oprah Winfrey about his appearance on her show with the cast of the film Crash. During the interview, the conversation veered from the movie and Winfrey chose to speak on Ludacris' lyrical content, which he felt was unfair as he was visiting her show in the capacity of an actor and not a rapper. Also, Ludacris was upset that some of his responses were later edited from the show's airing. He was later joined by other rappers such as 50 Cent, Ice Cube and Killer Mike who argued that Winfrey has an anti-hip hop bias.
Winfrey responded by saying that she's opposed to rap lyrics that "marginalize women," but enjoys some artists, including Jay-Z and Kanye West, who appeared on her show. She said she spoke with Ludacris backstage after his appearance to explain her position and said she understood that his music was for entertainment purposes, but that some of his listeners might take it literally. Ludacris later said the media had blown his comments out of proportion and said he respects Winfrey and considers her "a great individual". At the 2007 Grammy awards, Ludacris gave a special shout-out to Oprah Winfrey and on "Freedom of Preach" a song on "Release Therapy" he said "Forgive Oprah for editing most my comments out of her show".
In July 2006, a track entitled "War with God" would see Luda return after some time off in movies. In the track, Luda goes on the offensive against an unknown rapper who has sold drugs, and makes repeated references to shooting guns in his songs, isn't as rich as he is and likes to give himself titles - all characteristics relating to (or countless other less popular rappers) the new coming rappers Yung Joc and Young Dro. Ludacris recently stated that the song was deeper than just an offense, and the song is more about him than anyone else - it's showing that he isn't just the 'cartoon entertainer' type rapper that he has always been portrayed as. When asked about who specific rhymes were aimed at he said "The guilty will speak". The track was confirmed as a selection from his album Release Therapy. Luda also has a new song out called "Down in the Dirty."
It is believed that he's referencing the song "The Mobb" by Lil' Wayne. He also mentions Tha Carter III (which he later became a featured guest on) and the label disputes that he and other former Cash Money Records artists had involving royalty money. He goes on to say that his resume isn't limited to mixtapes. "War with God" uses a beat written by Don Cheegro and Dirty Harry, up and coming producers under the guidance of Dre and VIdal who are music industry vets. He states his relationship with Chingy in his song "Tell It Like it Is".
- ''What's worse than havin' no money is havin' it and losin' it
- ''What's worse than havin' some money is grabbin' and abusin' it
- ''We never took no money from Chingy, thought I was cool wit him
- ''I wish his ass well, but I don't want nothin' to do with him
In SOHH.com's pre-VMA Interview, Luda responded to an interview question, "Man we heard, 'War With God' and when we heard it, (they said that you said) it was about you". Luda replied, "Man, somebody misquoted me talking about...they misquoted me saying it was about me. What I was telling them was that I devote a lot of information about myself, and I think they're taking that in. I'm not battling myself on the record, that's ridiculous. What happens is you got a lot of people taking subliminal shots, but nobody ever says my name. I'm not for sure, so that record is like my way of taking subliminal shots right back. Don't get it misquoted, don't get it messed up. That's basically what it is man. It's like, you know, like I said I do devote a lot of information about myself on there. I started to wreck it up by saying I'm the best, and there's nothing you could do about it. (They say) I've never done this I've never done that, so you know when you look into it, it's a lot more records where it comes from on the album, September 26, Release Therapy, where it's the most personal album I've done. It's nothing but honesty so you can criticize it all you want to but at the end of the day you got to respect it cause I'm coming straight from the heart. [I'm] just telling the truth, [and] that's all you gotta know."
In April 2008, he will launch his latest business venture, Straits Atlanta, bringing Singaporean cuisine to the artist’s hometown. The restaurant is the fourth of its kind: Ludacris’ partner in the venture, Chef Chris Yeo, owns three other restaurants in the Straits brand in San Francisco, San Jose and Burlingame, California. Straits Atlanta will further incorporate Georgian ingredients into the menu. The upscale $2.7 million dollar restaurant will open in Midtown Atlanta, in a building purchased by Ludacris nearly one year ago. Ludacris has also invested almost $1,000,000 dollars into renovating the building. Two more restaurants are in the works.
- 2000: Incognegro
- 2000: Back for the First Time
- 2001: Word of Mouf
- 2003: Chicken-n-Beer
- 2004: The Red Light District
- 2006: Release Therapy
- 2008: Theater Of The Mind
- 2001: The Wash
- 2003: 2 Fast 2 Furious
- 2003: Def Jam Vendetta
- 2003: Lil' Pimp
- 2004: Eve (TV series) (Cab Driver)
- 2004: Def Jam: Fight for NY (video game)
- 2005: Crash
- 2005: Hustle & Flow
- 2006: Def Jam: Icon (video game)
- 2006: The Heart of the Game (Narrator)
- 2006: Law and Order: SVU (Darius Parker)
- 2007: American Hustle (Himself)
- 2007: Law and Order: SVU (Darius Parker)
- 2007: The Simpsons (Ludacrest and self)
- 2007: Fred Claus
- 2007: NBA Ballers Phenom (Video Game)
- 2008: The Boondocks (TV series)
- 2008: RocknRolla
- 2008: Max Payne
- 2009: Game
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