Ludacris -- whose real name is Christopher Bridges -- began rapping at the age of 9.
Luda developed his craft in Atlanta from a young age until hitting a hot streak in the early 2000s. His music encapsulated the biggest trends of hip hop at the time: the rising ubiquity of the Dirty South sound, infectious ready-for-radio hooks, and the unbridled joy of hard but not too self-serious party anthems.
Before he became a Fast and the Furious star and host of the oh-so-necessary Fear Factor reboot, Ludacris was already a huge star with some of the most memorable hits of the early aughts. These are Ludacris' biggest songs.
"Rollout (My Business)"
Off his 2001 album “Word of Mouf,” the Timbaland-produced “Rollout (My Business)” earned Luda a Grammy nomination for Best Male Rap Solo Performance. The mid-tempo banger will leave you wondering, “What in the world is in that BAG?” The video for the flex anthem features Ludacris more bigheaded than ever.
"Welcome to Atlanta" feat. Jermaine Durpi
It’s hard to think of two better artists to rep Atlanta in 2001 than Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri. On this handy little tourism guide, Luda and JD “ride on them things” through their city. They followed up with a more coastal remix featuring Snoop Dogg, Diddy and St. Lunatics member Murphy Lee.
“Area Codes” feat. Nate Dogg
This song had special resonance during a time when people actually had to memorize phone numbers. Featuring late legend Nate Dogg, who provides a smooth and catchy hook, Ludacris boasts of the ladies he’s got all over the country, from his hometown of Atlanta to palmy Miami all the way to Wisconsin. The video features Ludacris boasting his area codes in front of a plane surrounded by ladies at Ludacris International Airport.
“What’s Your Fantasy” feat. Shawnna
The ultimate anthem for selfless lovers. This song is all about Luda trying to figure out what his girl’s bedroom fantasy is, while offering up plenty of suggestions of his own. This airwave-dominating hit went platinum twice over, and appeared on two of his albums as well as the soundtrack for the Redman and Method Man stoner classic “How High.”
“Move B-tch” feat. I-20 and Mystikal
Close your eyes. The year is 2001 and you’re in a big body Escalade on huge rims, driving around with the windows down and wearing a tight white tank and baggy denim shorts. “Move B-tch,” this crunk cut from “Word of Mouf,” is probably what you’re bumping. This gem is from an era of rap when being angry and liking to dance were not only cool in rap, but when they frequently coexisted. Featuring Mystikal so you know this one is turnt.
Nope, this one isn’t called “Throw Dem ‘Bows.” But you’ll definitely be tempted to do that move on the dance floor when this song comes on. One of Ludacris’s major breakthroughs to the mainstream, “Southern Hospitality” got right what a lot of early-aughts rap songs did: killer, undeniable production from The Neptunes, complete with zzzzrrrrrrrrr futuristic spaceship sounds.