Wed. Sep 27th, 2023

Picture: L. Cohen/WireImage

Atlanta has been an epicenter for hip-hop for greater than 20 years now, and Ludacris’ greatest tracks are an enormous cause why. He was one of many important rappers of the Soiled South motion when the area started to take over the trade within the early 2000s.

Chris Bridges was born in Champagne, Illinois, however moved to ATL as a baby. He received his begin as a DJ, but rapidly transitioned to rapping, and launched his indie debut Incognegro in 1999. He would quickly develop into the primary artist to signal to Def Jam South – the Scarface-founded southern offshoot of the legendary rap label. Ludacris’ wacky humorousness, sex-crazed lyrics, multifaceted flows, and booming voice made him a singular hitmaker.

Whereas he’s in all probability extra identified these days for his appearances within the blockbuster Quick and Livid movie franchise, that was solely attainable due to his musical resume: Ludacris has dozens of gold and platinum plaques, Billboard chart appearances, and three Grammys to his identify. He additionally based Disturbing Tha Peace, a label that helped construct the careers of platinum-selling R&B singer Bobby Valentino and the Atlanta rap duo Playaz Circle (AKA the group the place the rapper 2 Chainz received his begin).

Hearken to the most effective Ludacris songs right here.

The Hits

(“Transfer Bitch,” “Cash Maker,” “My Chick Unhealthy”)

Ludacris landed his first high ten single within the Scorching 100 with “Transfer Bitch,” the raucous, tutorial 2002 single from his sophomore album Phrase of Mouf. His profession skyrocketed from there, with what looks like a numerous quantity of hits. The enjoyable, dance-ready “Cash Maker” with Pharrell, from his 2008 album Launch Remedy, went primary on the Billboard Scorching 100 and earned him a Grammy for Greatest Rap Music. “My Chick Unhealthy,” from his 2010 album Battle of the Sexes, noticed Luda teaming with Nicki Minaj for a thumping ode to fly, completed girls; the tune peaked at quantity 11 on the Billboard Scorching 100, two on the Scorching R&B/Hip-Hop Songs and Rap Songs charts, and earned a 2011 Grammy nomination for Greatest Rap Efficiency by a Duo or Group.

Luda’s profession is so prolific that he even has platinum hits that will not slot in a 20 greatest record: DJ Khaled’s “All I Do Is Win,” “Child” with Justin Bieber, and “Tonight (Greatest You Ever Had)” with John Legend aren’t important Luda canon. What number of different rappers have so many platinum-certified songs that really feel insignificant in comparison with the remainder of their careers?

The Anthems

(“Welcome To Atlanta,” “P-Poppin,” “Rollout (My Enterprise)”)

Together with the smash hits, Ludacris has additionally made anthems for particular locales and conditions. He featured on his hometown’s definitive rap anthem with “Welcome To Atlanta,” which prominently shouted out metropolis hallmarks and had a music video with appearances by ATL legends like Dominique Wilkins, Evander Holyfield, Da Brat, Monica, T.I., Monica, Usher, and lots of extra.

Talking of Atlanta, the A is the worldwide mecca for strip golf equipment – and “P-Poppin” additional solidifies his southern royalty, with rhymes and a catchy hook that bathe love (and {dollars}) for the agility that girls show on stage. Considered one of Luda’s most underrated anthems, nevertheless, is “Rollout (My Enterprise),” a tune that lashes out at paparazzi and followers for prying into his personal life. It’s a intelligent rap the place the particular is common: We might not all be celebrities like him, however all of us can relate to folks sticking their noses into our enterprise.

The 2004 Championship Run

(“Yeah!,” “Lovers And Pals,” “Oh”)

Ludacris put his stamp on a few of the greatest songs of the 2000s, however the yr 2004 was maybe his greatest. He spent the earlier 4 years constructing his identify with three solo albums on Def Jam South, and 2004 noticed him cashing in. Usher’s pitch-perfect vocals, Lil Jon’s synthy manufacturing and throaty chorus, and Luda’s woman-friendly rhymes have been a membership match made in heaven for “Yeah!,” the only from Usher’s traditional 2004 album Confessions that was later topped as Billboard’s second greatest tune of the last decade.

The trio reunited later that yr for the seductive gradual jam “Lovers And Pals,” which landed at no. 3 on the Billboard Scorching 100. And don’t neglect “Oh,” the only from Ciara’s debut album Goodies that peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Scorching 100, earned a platinum plaque, and had a video that featured probably the most memorable pictures of the 2000s: Ciara dancing on high of a automotive as Luda rhymed within the foreground. After lending his companies to so many different artists that yr, Luda ended 2004 with the discharge of his fifth album Purple Gentle District, which might finally go double platinum itself.

The Intros

(“Southern Fried Intro,” “Coming 2 America,” “Warning (Intro)”)

You realize a Ludacris tune from the second it comes on: He begins every of his data with a memorable mixture of the laughs, vitality, and lyricism that his followers love him for. “Southern Fried Intro’ is likely to be his greatest, opening his fourth studio album Rooster-N-Beer with high-speed, tongue-twisting flows over manufacturing that’s anchored by heavy guitar riffs.

“Coming 2 America” jumpstarts Phrase of Mouf with an homage to Eddie Murphy’s traditional movie, portray Luda as royalty with punchline-heavy verses over regal horns by Bangladesh. And when he made Launch Remedy, his Grammy-winning album that took on severe content material as a substitute of his regular lighthearted banter, he used “Warning (Intro)” to set the tone: “Right here’s a short lived repair in your everlasting flaws / This album lets you launch, trigger life irkin’ us all.”

Cult Classics

(“Phat Rabbit,” “What’s Your Fantasy,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Ho,” “Quantity One Spot,” “Space Codes,” “The Potion,” “Made You Look (Remix)”)

Ludacris was throughout radio, golf equipment, and TV together with his greatest singles, however he constructed a basis with album cuts, remixes, and smaller-scale singles. Many listeners heard Ludacris for the primary time on “Phat Rabbit” – a lewd report with rattling, truck-ready manufacturing from Timbaland, that appeared on the latter’s 1998 compilation Tim’s Bio: Life From Da Bassment earlier than being reused for Luda’s Def Jam debut Again for the First Time.

Ludacris proved himself a reputation to observe with “What’s Your Fantasy,” which wittily imagines sexcapades on the Georgia Dome soccer area, film theatres, the roof of a constructing, and on stage at a present. First Time discovered Luda teaming up with The Neptunes for the bow-throwing single “Southern Hospitality” and the hilarious “Ho,” which has him utilizing the tune title in just about each bar and singing “you’s a ho” in an operatic baritone for the refrain.

He’d proceed to convey warmth on his future albums. “Space Codes” has Luda and Nate Dogg sharing lighthearted boasts about their assortment of ladies world wide. “Quantity One Spot,” which drew inspiration from the comedy flick Austin Powers, was nominated for Greatest Rap Solo Efficiency. “The Potion” is essentially identified as a result of Jay-Z turned it down in a studio session with Timbaland within the documentary Fade to Black, however Luda makes gentle work of Timbaland’s trunk-rattling safari experience of a beat. Increase bap heads would even be stunned by his look on the “Made You Look (Remix),” the place Luda outshines Nas and Jadakiss with uncharacteristic gun-toting bars as sturdy as his contemporaries.

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