Monday, April 17, 2017

Ludapendence Day!

Ludacris charts a path towards independence.

Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges released his newest single Vitamin D with guest vocals from Ty Dolla Sign. You may notice something different besides the CGI abs.

Ludacris officially departs from Def Jam Recordings. His label DTP Records has signed to the DistoKid to distribute his album release. The ninth album hasn't been titled.

The rapper signed to the label in 1998 after his sleeper debut album Incognegro became a hit down in Atlanta. He left his deejay gig for the rap game.

Ludacris was inspired by Rap-a-Lot's legend Brad "Scarface" Jordan.

Def Jam created a sub label dubbed Def Jam South. It featured Ludacris and then members of the DTP.

2 Chainz (formerly Tity Boi), Shawnna, Chingy, and Bobby V were the main acts besides Luda. They had released albums on the DTP label.

Ludacris repackaged the Incognegro album. He dubbed it Back for the First Time and it went three times platinum. The hit singles What's Your Fantasy and Southern Hospitality made him a household name. He then released his follow up Word of Mouf. It became a Grammy nominated success. It earned praise from hip-hop heads and the scorn of Bill O'Reilly.

O'Reilly became Ludacris' number one enemy during the 2000s. The two traded jabs at one another. Even now, O'Reilly is facing a major sex scandal and Ludacris quietly chuckled to his closest friends. He basically said "karma's a bitch."

Chicken 'N Beer responded to O'Reilly and Pepsi. Ludacris was fired out the cannon from Pepsi after O'Reilly called for a boycott of the soda giant. Russell Simmons came to Luda's defense and forced Pepsi to compensate him by donations to the entertainer's charities.
Ludacris is roundly mocked for his fake abs in the Vitamin D video.
Then came The Red Light District. This was the final album when Ludacris had his braids. Soon after he cut his braids and then dropped Release Therapy.

He would have a fallout with Chingy and he would address the matter on Release Therapy. He would end his feud with O'Reilly for a brief moment.  But around the release of Theater of the Mind, O'Reilly ignites it again. The conservative agitator goes after Ludacris for rapping a freestyle on a mixtape addressing his support for Barack Obama to be president. It slammed Hillary Clinton and John McCain. Obama would distance himself from the entertainer after Fox News devoted coverage to its white extremist base.

Ludacris addressed Obama in the album and told the fans he's a father and businessman on Theater of the Mind. He did well on this album. Soon Ludacris was working on releasing his collaborative album with Shawnna. The album Battle of Sexes was going to be a taste of Chicago mixed with Atlanta. In the final workings, Shawnna and Ludacris had a major fallout. Ludacris stripped the Shawnna verses and repackaged the album as a solo and it had features from Nicki Minaj, Lil' Kim, Eve, Trina, Ester Dean and Monica on some of the verses.
Ludacris makes an appearance on Conan.
For five years, Ludacris was idle on album releases. He took time to focus on his movie and television career. He became a big figure in the Fast and Furious movie series. He made appearances on The Simpsons, Law & Order SUV, Being Mary Jane and Empire. He was in Crash, Hustle & Flow, Max Payne and Show Dogs. He made vocal credits in some video games. He also got married to his longtime girlfriend Eudoxie Mbouguingue in 2014.

He releases two mixtapes 1.21 Gigawatts: Back for the First Time and #IDGAF to get his base ready for Ludaversal. It took five years and Ludacris released the album.

Ludaversal was a disappointment.

Def Jam didn't invest in the album and it quietly faded from the radar.

Ludacris along with YG, Nas, Jeezy, Frank Ocean and Rick Ross were frustrated with Def Jam's leadership and the way it handles business.

Rozay would end his ties with Def Jam and soon release his latest album on Epic Records. Jeezy signed to Roc Nation and sign his CTE label to Atlantic. YG signed his Pushaz Ink 400 label to Interscope. Nas is working on his semi retirement album. Frank Ocean released two albums last year to praise from both fans and critics. He said that the albums were a marking of independence.

I guess the long delays and a changing music demographic forced Ludacris to chart a path back to his original roots. He leaves Def Jam after nearly 20 years.

Def Jam still has ties to 2 Chainz. The rapper left DTP in 2012 and signed a label deal with Def Jam. He went on to release three albums on the label and is working on his fourth album.

Well wishes to Ludacris on his next path. As a father, business mogul, actor and rapper, Ludacris entertained millions and won worldwide praise for his rapid fire and creative rhyming.

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