Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges was an internationally successful rapper, actor and business commodity. By the early 2000s, he had sold 17 million records across the world and acted in numerous films, notably the 2004 Oscar-winning motion picture Crash. His business ventures ranged from a celebrity endorsement of Pepsi products to co-managing the record label and management company Disturbing Tha Peace. He also had a charity organization called The Ludacris Foundation, which was set up to "inspire youth through education and memorable experiences." He met with Barack Obama in 2008 during the lead-up to the United States presidential election, though he was later reprimanded by Obama after releasing a mixtape song "Politics As Usual," which endorsed the then-presidential nominee at the graphic expense of his competitors ("McCain don’t belong in any chair unless he’s paralyzed" and "Hillary hated on you, so that bitch is irrelevant" were the oft-cited lines).

Of all his accomplishments, his most noted contributions were to hip-hop. Between his debut in 2000 Back For The First Time and his seventh album, Battle Of The Sexes, in 2010, he maintained a steady presence on popular outlets for hip-hop music and videos by cultivating a witty, yet party-friendly and lascivious personality. Some of his highlights included the following:

1. "Ho," from his 2000 debut, Back For The Finest: "Hey ho, how ya doin'?/ Where you been?/ Probably doin' ho stuff, cuz there you ho again."

2. "Area Codes," from his 2002 album, Word Of Mouf: "I've got hos/ In different area codes."

3. "Rollout (My Business)," also from Word Of Mouf: The spastic Jeremy Rall-directed video made the image of a bobble-headed Ludacris synonymous with the then-up-and-coming artist.

4. "Stand Up," from his 2003 album, Chicken-N-Beer: "How you ain't gon' fuck/ Bitch, I'm me/ I'm the cotdamned reason you in V.I.P."

5. "Pimpin' All Over The World," from his 2005 album, The Red Light District: "I used to think that it was way too cold/ Until I went to Canada and saw some beautiful hos."

6. "Money Maker," from his 2006 album, Release Therapy: "I keep my mind on my money/ Money on my mind/ But youse a hell of a distraction when you shake your behind."

7. "Get Back," also from Release Therapy: The Spike Jonze-directed video followed a Popeye-armed Ludacris cartoonishly knocking aside any unwelcome attention.

8. "Nasty Girl" from his 2008 album, Theater Of The Mind: "A lady in the street, but a freak in the bed."

9. "My Chick Bad" from his 2010 album, Battle Of The Sexes: "Now your girl might be sick but my girl sicker/ She rides that dick and she handles her liquor."

Though comedian Chris Rock cited a line from one of Bridges' characteristic hits, "Move Bitch," as an example of the difficulty in defending contemporary rap on an "intellectual level," Bridges was a certifiable icon of the late 20th and early 21st centuries and helped popularize his native South as a hip-hop region of interest. ~Dan Nishimoto

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