Christopher Bridges, better known as Ludacris, is an American rapper and actor. He was born on September 11, 1977 in Champaign. Began rapping at an early age, Bridges joined a Chicago, Illionis-based crew at the age of 12 before he moved to Atlanta, a place where he would go on to make a name for himself as one of the most prominent Dirty South rappers in this era, and rapping his way through high school.
Bridges firstly began his music career as a radio DJ personality, Chris Lova Lova, on the Hot 97 urban radio station in Atlanta, Georgia, and made his mark rapping over promos on the night show. He later made his recorded debut on "Phat Rabbit", a track from Timbaland's 1998 album "Tim's Bio: Life from the Bassment." Saving enough money to fund the recording of an album, Bridges adopted the name Ludacris and released "Incognegro" on his own Disturbing Tha Peace Entertainment label.
Supported by the success single "What's Your Fantasy," the album went on to sell over 50,000 copies with most of them were sold out of the trunk of Ludacris' car. The success, indeed, attracked many major labels to sign him, but the rapper went for Def Jam Records' new South imprint, under whom he recorded several new tracks with leading producers Organized Noise, Jermaine Dupri and Timbaland for a remixed version of "Incognegro." Renamed his first album "Back For The First Time," it spawned another hit single "Southern Hospitality" (2001) which became an even bigger urban radio and video hit, achieving heavy MTV2 airplay and moderate MTV airplay.
Following "Incognegro" two hit singles was its third single "Ho" that became a controversy and was banned on many radio stations due to its lyrics. Because of the same reason, this single video, too, was not played by MTV, MTV2, or even BET, although it was available online at Launch for some time. After the dispute, during the summer of 2001, Ludacris along with singer Nate Dogg released a single off of the "Rush Hour 2" soundtrack called "Area Codes." Nearly the same with "Ho," this song also became a dispute because a continuation of the lyrical themes was started with "Ho." As a solution, 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."
Never mind about the controversies, Ludacris went on released his 3rd album "Word Of Mouf" at the end of 2001. The album's lead single, "Rollout (My Business)", was produced by Timbaland and gave Ludacris his first taste at a minor mainstream crossover with the song itself was enormous on urban radio. The album's next two singles "Saturday (Oooh, Oooh)" and "Move Bitch," similarly, were performed during 2002, and so all the three songs' videos enjoyed MTV, BET, and MTV2 support. Apart from such achievement, the single "Move Bitch" had been referred to as simply "Move" by radio DJ's and the word "bitch" was just muted out wherever it occurred. Furthermore, the title of the video also appeared as just "Move" when played on American video stations.
Amid the controversy, the video had been nominated for a 2003 VMA and was performed live by Ludacris at the awards' pre-show. In succession to the achievement, the rapper also toured with Papa Roach in 2002 after the release of their sophomore album "lovehatetragedy." Those attainments eventually brought positive impacts to Ludacris and his music, in which "Move Bitch" had been used in a Pepsi commercial with the singer also appeared drinking the soda. Apart, Pepsi was critized by Bill O'Reilly for performing the singer in their ads, since he believed it was wrong for an international corporation like Pepsi to target the American teen audience by glamorizing Ludacris, a "gangsta rapper" who had admitted having been in gangs and whose lyrics contained profanity violence, and overt sexuality.
That's why O'Reilly urged his viewers to complain to and boycott Pepsi for its affiliation with Ludacris, such brave action that reluctantly made Pepsi gave in to O'Reilly and dropped Ludacris. Nevertheless, the decision created further controversies brought by Russell Simmons, who pointed out Pepsi's hypocrisy and what he considered even to be racism. In this case Simmons argued that Pepsi could not legitimately fire Ludacris for being a presumed violent and profane role model while also employing the Osbournes, who also known for being violent, vulgar, and profane. Meant with his dissent, Simmons himself, along with Ludacris, then called for a black Pepsi boycott, which at the end resulted in the Pepsi settlement with Simmons by agreeing to help fund black causes, even though the Osbournes were permitted to keep their advertising contracts with the corporation. Though more or less affected by the difficult situation, Ludacris was grateful that he got to keep the money Pepsi had paid him for the ads.
During the spring of 2003, after a brief hiatus, Ludacris returned to the music scene 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 4th album "Chicken & Beer" called "P-Poppin'". Fortuitously, neither of his new singles of the album was as well-received, by either the urban or pop audiences, as his previous songs had been, and both music videos that received only limited airplay had made the album fell quickly. To compensate his failure, in the fall of 2003, Ludacris outed his next single "Stand Up," which appeared on both "Chicken & Beer" as well as the soundtrack for the teen hip-hop/dance movie "Honey." To continue, "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 next single of "Chicken & Beer" album titled "Splash Waterfalls" was released in early 2004. While wasn't a pop hit, this single had become 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." Ludacris later on 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." This song actually meant as a scathing response to Ludacris' critics, namely Bill O'Reilly, who is mentioned by name.
In the year of 2004, Ludacris released his 5th album "The Red Light District." Offered an entirely different from the usual antics of the previous albums, Ludacris had obviously taken a more mature approach to his album. So he went on filming and recording 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. Its follow-up single "The Number One Spot" was then produced by Hot 97 personality DJ Green Lantern and used the Quincy Jones sample of "Soul Bossa Nova." After all, Ludacris also filmed the video in which he poked fun at Bill O'Reilly's problems with Andrea Mackris. Production credits came also from veteran producer Timbaland, Lil' Jon, The Medicine Men and legendary rapper Doug E. Fresh. Featured on the video include rappers; Nas, DMX, Trick Daddy, and Disturbing Tha Peace newcomers Bobby Valentino (of Mista fame) and Dolla Boy and Small Wonder. Thanks to all helped Ludacris worked on this video that it debuted at number one on the Billboard charts.
From this point on the rapper had used his opportunity to start his own foundation "The Ludacris Foundation" which involved in its management Chaka Zulu. It is an organization that helps young middle school and high students motivate themselves in creative arts. Beyond his rapping, Ludacris has fathered a daughter named Karma, whose mother is never known due to the high-profile life of Ludacris. To add, he also participated at The Superbowl and is the spokesman for the Boost Mobile Phone ad-campaign.
Genre: hip hop
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