5 Songs Only True Ludacris Fans Know and Love

Rapper-turned-actor Ludacris will be among the artists performing tonight (December 31) on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve with Ryan Seacrest 2024 in New York’s Times Square. While the ABC telecast will feature a host of big names, it might just be Luda who steals the show.

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Blessed with one of the most bodacious and bombastic voices in rap music, Ludacris rose to fame thanks to clever rhymes, an unabashed style, and a foundation in the Atlanta rap scene that has produced so much talent.

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But while so many of us know a number of Ludacris’ top songs—tracks like “What’s Your Fantasy” and “Move Bitch”—there are other tracks that might not be so tip-of-the-tongue when it comes to fans. Here below, we share a handful of tracks that true fans of the rapper know well.

“Runaway Love”

We’ll kick this list off with one of the more serious and somber songs from the rapper known for his larger-than-life, often humorous tunes. This track, which features iconic singer Mary J. Blige, was released on Ludacris’ 2006 album, Release Therapy. And it’s subject matter is the “cold” world, specifically when it comes to the lives of three girls, ages 9, 10 and 11. Perhaps surprisingly, the track hit No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100, despite its difficult subject matter. For example, on the song’s opening verse, Luda raps,

Now little Lisa’s only nine years old
She’s tryin to figure out why the world is so cold
Why she’s all alone and they never met her family
Momma’s always gone and she never met her daddy
Part of her is missin and nobody’ll listen
Momma’s on drugs gettin high up in the kitchen
Bringin home men at different hours of the night
Startin with some laughs, usually endin in a fight
Sneakin in her room when her momma’s knocked out
Tryin to have his way and little Lisa says ouch
She tries to resist but then all he does is beat her
Tries to tell her mom but her momma don’t believe her

“Number One Spot”

Released on Ludacris’ 2004 album, The Red Light District, this Grammy-nominated song samples the 1962 Quincy Jones track, “Soul Bossa Nova,” which received new life when it was used on the soundtrack of the film Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery in 1997. Ever the smart businessman, Luda capitalized on the popularity of the Mike Myers spy spoof while also partnering with one of the greats in music in Jones. Luda gets back to his clever, humorous roots on this work, rapping,

I’m never goin’ nowhere so don’t try me
My music sticks in fans veins like an IV
Flows poison like Ivy, oh they grimy
Already offers on my 6th album from labels tryin’ to sign me
Respected highly, Hi Mr. O’Reilly
Hope all is well, kiss the plaintiff and the wifey
Drove through the window, the industry super sized me
Now the girls see me and a river’s what they cry me

“Stand Up”

Released on Luda’s 2003 album Chicken-n-Beer, this song hit the No. 1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100. Still, the track has staying power amongst Luda’s biggest fans, and perhaps some new ones, too. Produced by Kanye West, the track earned Luda (born Christopher Bridges) another Grammy nomination. It’s a party track that’s meant to rumble your speakers as much as it is meant to stir your veins and ventricles. On the big and booming offering, Luda raps,

Go on with your big ass, lemme see something
Tell ya little friend he can quit mean mugging
I’m lit and I don’t care what no one thinks
But where the f–k is the waitress at with my drinks?
My people outside and they can’t get in
We gon’ rush the back door and break ’em in
The owner already pissed ’cause we sorta late
But our time and our clothes gotta coordinate

“Act a Fool”

This track from the soundtrack for the 2003 film 2 Fast 2 Furious—which stars Luda—is all about going crazy, if for just a short time. On the song, he lists a number of scenarios that might cause him or many others to fly off the handle. Car breakdown? People talking trash about your hometown? Just get robbed? The answer, at least on this number from Luda, is to respond with a little madness of your own. This song also earned Luda a Grammy nomination, in part for rhymes like,

Ah, you just came home from doin’ a bid
Tell me what you gon’ do? Act a fool
Somebody broke in and cleaned out your crib
Boy what you gon’ do? Act a fool
Just bought a new pair and they scuffed your shoes
Tell me what you gon’ do? Act a fool
Now them cops tryna throw you in them county blues
Boy, what you gon’ do? Act a fool

“Representin”

Featuring Destiny’s Child’s Kelly Rowland, this song was released on Luda’s most recent LP, Ludaversal. While the album came out in 2015, the track itself dropped in 2012. It’s all about being the best (or baddest) version of yourself out there in the world. But at home? With your lover? It’s about holding it down in the bedroom. Luda is not one to shy away from songs that have lustful vibes and this one is no different. Spittin’ with a quick-tongued tone, he raps,

You represent for bad bitches all around the world
The way you put it down in between the sheets
Is like no other girl
You done take it a whole another level of freakiness
When you blow my mind
To the point where all the other women
Kinda feelin’ like you stole their shine

Photo by Jason Koerner/Getty Images

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