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Famous Like Me > Composer > L > Ludacris

Profile of Ludacris on Famous Like Me

 
Name: Ludacris  
   
Also Know As:
   
Date of Birth: 11th September 1977
   
Place of Birth: Champaign, Illinois, USA
   
Profession: Composer
 
 
From Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia

Christopher Bridges (born September 11, 1977 in Champaign, Illinois), once known as Chris Lova Lova and best known as Ludacris, 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.

Biography

Early years

Ludacris began his music career as a radio DJ personality, 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 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 First Time

Ludacris' major-label debut single was "What's Your Fantasy," which was based on an ex-girlfriend Katie Dabies, 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 Networks channels (MTV, MTV2, BET), although it was available online at Launch for some time.

During the 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 "pro".

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 (and often replaced with a sound effect of glass breaking). 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 album lovehatetragedy.

Bill O'Reilly controversy

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. O'Reilly comments on Ludacris had reached former CBS reporter Bernard Goldberg. Goldberg, a conservative writer, wrote a book and was highly critical of Ludacris. He ranked Ludacris in his 100 People Who Are Screwing Up America, in which the rapper is considered the reason why parents have disruptive American youth. The book was widely regarded as hypocritical due to comments Goldberg made while promoting it.

Chicken & Beer

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.

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. "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, 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 by name.

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 Bill 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, 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. And most recently the rapper had used his opportunity to start his own foundation. The Ludacare Foundation started by Ludacris and Chaka Zulu is a 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.

Quoted in Court

Ludacris' lyrics had the dubious honor of being quoted in an Opinion of the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit as an example of the "rap music vernacular":

"The trial transcript quotes Ms. Hayden as saying Murphy called her a snitch bitch "hoe." A 'hoe,' of course, is a tool used for weeding and gardening. We think the court reporter, unfamiliar with rap music, misunderstood Hayden's response. We have taken the liberty of changing 'hoe' to 'ho,' a staple of rap music vernacular as, for example, when Ludacris raps 'You doin' ho activities with ho tendencies.'"

U.S. v. Murphy

Discography

Albums

  • Incognegro (1999) (US #179)
  • Back For The First Time (2000) (US #4) (3x Platinum)
  • Word Of Mouf (2001) (US #3) (3x Platinum)
  • Chicken & Beer (2003) (US #1) (2x Platinum)
  • The Red Light District (2004) (US #1) (Platinum)

Singles

Year Title Chart positions Album
US Hot 100 US R&B/Hip-Hop US Rap UK
2000 "What's Your Fantasy" (feat. Shawnna) #21 #10 #12 #19 Back for the First Time
2001 "Area Codes" (feat. Nate Dogg) #24 #10 #7 #25 Word of Mouf
2001 "Fatty Girl" (with LL Cool J & Keith Murray) #87 #32 #6 - Non-album Single
2001 "Rollout (My Business)" #17 #7 #20 #20 Word of Mouf
2001 "Southern Hospitality" #23 #6 #5 - Back for the First Time
2001 "Welcome to Atlanta" (with Jermaine Dupri) #35 #15 #3 - Non-Album Single
2002 "Move Bitch" (feat. Mystikal) #10 #3 #3 - Word of Mouf
2002 "Saturday (Oooh Oooh)" (feat. Sleepy Brown) #22 #10 #4 #31 Word of Mouf
2003 "Act a Fool" #32 #20 #10 - 2 Fast 2 Furious [Soundtrack]
2003 "Stand Up" #1 (1 week) #1 #1 #14 Chicken -N- Beer
2004 "Splash Waterfalls" #6 #2 #3 - Chicken -N- Beer
2004 "Diamond in the Back" #94 #51 - - Chicken -N- Beer
2004 "Get Back" #13 #9 #5 - The Red Light District
2005 "Number One Spot" #19 #8 #6 #30 The Red Light District
2005 "The Potion" - #65 - - The Red Light District
2005 "Pimpin' All Over the World" (feat. Bobby Valentino) #9 #5 #2 - The Red Light District

Filmography

  • The Wash (2001)
  • 2 Fast 2 Furious (2003)
  • Crash (2005)
  • Hustle & Flow (2005)

This content from Wikipedia is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Ludacris