ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Grammy award-winning rapper, actor, entertainer and philanthropist Ludacris has had a groundbreaking and profitable profession. He has damaged numerous boundaries, destroyed stereotypes and kicked down doorways for not solely Atlanta rap music, however southern rap music as nicely.
Ludacris, whose actual identify is Christopher Brian Bridges, first rose to prominence as a radio DJ, previously generally known as Chris “Luva Luva” at Hot 97.5 in Atlanta within the mid-Nineties.
The one factor that hasn’t modified within the eyes of CBS46 News Station Manager Micheal Smith is his drive and dedication.
“I first met Chris in early 1996 once I began working for 97.5. He was an intern on the time,” mentioned Smith. “My first impression of him was “hungry.” I used to work weekends and overnights on the radio station. The first intro I did on the radio, I requested if he wished to do it and he mentioned ‘sure.’ It was on what was referred to as carts and eight tracks. I believe the inhabitants of individuals basically will take heed to rap music lyrics and make an assumption concerning the particular person based mostly on the lyrics. It was all the time humorous to look at individuals do this about him as a result of he’s school educated. Real cool dude, very nice man. He’s actually sensible and was by no means overbearing.”
In June, Walk of Famer and Chair of the Selection Panel Ellen Okay, introduced Ludacris was an honoree to obtain a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2023.
“He was on the entrance finish of the subsequent wave of southern rap music within the late Nineties,” mentioned Smith. “We had our personal music scene that wasn’t actually revered at one level. We had Raheem, Kilo Ali, Hitman Sammy Sam, Red Money. Then there was the Jermaine Dupri and Goodie Mobb wave. Atlanta music nonetheless hadn’t damaged till Jermaine broke by means of. When Outkast minimize by means of, it kicked the door open for not simply Atlanta Hip Hop, however southern Hip Hop as nicely. It was a game-changer. Chris got here after that and pushed by means of when that door was kicked down. The Timbaland collaboration file [Phat Rabbit released in 1998] he did actually skyrocketed,” mentioned Smith.
Smith remembers an occasion the place Ludacris reached out to play certainly one of his first singles one the radio.
“There was a time I had left Hot 97.5 and went to a radio station in Tallahassee. Chris had reached out about this new single and requested me to interrupt it for him on the radio. And he despatched me the only which was the primary file on his first main label debut album, titled “What’s Your Fantasy.” Then I saved getting blown up about getting this scorching file time and again. I took it to the previous radio program director and he was like, “this file is just not scorching.” He thought the one purpose I wished to play it was as a result of it was my buddy’s file. I saved saying, “it’s my buddy’s file, and it’s also scorching. Two weeks later, I requested if he had extra copies and he mentioned he was signing his file cope with Def Jam and we needed to undergo the label to get it.”
He signed to Def Jam Records in 1999 to pursue his rap profession, making the tough resolution to drop out of Georgia State University the place he was finding out Music Management. He was the primary rapper signed to the brand new label imprint Def Jam South.
In October 2000, he launched his extremely anticipated debut album, “Back For the First Time,” which went on to go triple-platinum. He has launched eight albums and has offered greater than 20 million data within the United States alone. He is extensively thought to be probably the greatest rappers of all time and probably the most outstanding Atlanta rapper of the final 22 years.
“Chris has had a really sturdy and constant profession,” mentioned Smith. “Some of the stuff that producers [Shondrae and Bangladesh] have been doing within the 1990′s have been pushing the boundaries. Lyrically, he stands up in opposition to a number of the best.”
The doorways that he’s opened are limitless, in line with well-liked Hot 107.9 radio persona DJ Incognito. “To watch him take it from a radio persona to be a film star is a extremely large deal. The lyrics are underrated. At the time when the south had one thing to say, he actually flew the flag for us at the moment. He welcomed the world to the lyricism and creativity of the south. OutKast, Busta Rhymes and Missy Elliot have been all the time inventive with their movies. Ludacris had that torch and took it a step additional and it occurred so quick. He’s so various and has so many various abilities.”
In 2019, Ludacris partnered with Georgia State University to supply a regulation class titled, “The Legal Life of Ludacris.” GSU officers mentioned on the time that the course crammed up in a matter of minutes.” In May, he obtained his honorary bachelor’s diploma from Georgia State University, even serving because the speaker on the faculty’s graduation ceremony.
“There are so many different jobs in a music enterprise which you could aspire to and need to so. Chris going again to school and ending his diploma exhibits those that training is vital,” Smith continued. I believe if he talks extra concerning the enterprise aspect of it and the way he and his supervisor Chaka [Zulu] constructed that enterprise, it’s going to encourage individuals to need to do extra than simply be on stage.”
Born in Champagne, Illinois to Wayne and Roberta Bridges on Sept. 11, 1977, the rapper and actor has gained a number of awards together with 4 Grammys. He was additionally acknowledged by the Screen Actors Guild for roles within the 2004 movie “Crash” and 2005 movie “Hustle and Flow” alongside Terrence Howard.
According to the Santa Monica Mirror, he’s increasing his restaurant Chicken and Beer within the Los Angeles International Airport.
”I keep in mind when he opened up his first restaurant referred to as Straits on Juniper Street,” mentioned DJ Incognito. To have the ability to open your personal restaurant named after your first No. 1 album [Chicken N Beer] contained in the world’s busiest airport [Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson], let’s simply take a pause and take into consideration that. Genius.“
Recently, he starred within the thriller movie titled End of the Road alongside fellow hip hop icon Queen Latifa. On Sept. 22, Netflix may even launch season 4 of his hit animated present referred to as, Karma’s World.
Ludacris has introduced on his social media pages that he’s engaged on a holiday-themed film that’s presently in manufacturing in Atlanta. He can also be engaged on the tenth installment of the Fast and the Furious franchise. He has starred or performed a supporting position in six of the movies thus far. The movies have collectively grossed greater than $1 billion.
”Rappers revered him, the general public revered him and he discovered his lane and rode his lane all the way in which to Hollywood,” mentioned Smith.
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