The 25 Best Ludacris Songs

Ranking all of the legendary Atlanta rapper's hottest tracks. These are the best Ludacris songs!

best ludacris songs

best ludacris songs

best ludacris songs

Though born in Illinois, Ludacris' rap career began and bloomed in Atlanta, where he moved to at the age of 9. Three years later, he joined an amateur rap group, honed his craft, and slowly became one of the most prominent Dirty South artists in the game. 

Luda's hallmark is his lyrical humour, complimented by his blistering, untameable flow. This pairing has given the rapper an unmatched sonic style, an unquestionable intuitive sense for musical genius makes it impossible for him to be viewed as a punchline, or anything less than the one of Atlanta's proudest hometown products. 

With three Grammy wins and nine BET Awards to his name, it's been made clear that Ludacris' distinctly southern sound, parasitic hooks, and comedic wordplay are a deadly combination. Paired more often than not with the incredible production talents of any number of the myriad beat makers Luda has on speed dial—Timbaland, Bangladesh, Lil Jon, to name a few—and just like that, he's racked up another bonafide banger.

From his debut studio album Back for the First Time that dropped in 2000 to features on songs by Lil Jon, Nas, and Trina, to name a few, here are The 25 Best Ludacris Songs.  

Listen to Complex's Ludacris playlists here: YouTube/Spotify/Rdio

25. Ludacris f/ Sandy Coffee "Splash Waterfalls" (2004)

Producer: Icedrake
Album: Chicken-n-Beer

These are not the waterfalls TLC was talking about. These are the ones you want to chase. The lyrics to this song read like a sex therapist's speech to a couple that finally achieved their mutual goal. Perhaps Cris could add such a distinguishment to his already impressive repertoire of rapper, actor, and philanthropist. While "What's Your Fantasy" was all about what was wanted, its unheralded successor was all about what was happening right now. "Splash Waterfalls" fulfilled the fantasy, as it were. Though we may never know what exactly "froggy style" involves (shout out to all the amphibious Ludacris fans though, we see you), this track is about as romantic as we'd ever want Ludacris to be. —Alexander Gleckman

24. Ludacris f/ Snoop Dogg "Hoes In My Room" (2003)

Producer: Mo B. Dick

Album: Chicken-n-Beer

A first world problem, perhaps? One of the more comic moments in both Ludacris' and Snoop Dogg's career also manages to be weirdly resonant. Apparently, even the top dogs have struggles with the opposite sex (except they aren't this over the top for regular folk). It's the little details that make this track: From the Pepe Le Pew smelling female genitalia to the Snoop Dogg's horrified reaction to the circumstance, "Hoes In My Room" is a tale of narcissism drenched in comedy, packaged in a sultry, anti-Bill O'Reilly package which is easy to like...unless you're Bill O'Reilly, of course.—Brian Josephs

23. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz f/ Ludacris, Too Short, Big Kapp and Chyna Whyte "Bia' Bia'" (2001)

Producer: Lil Jon

Album: Put Yo Hood Up

The Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz employed their posse of Too $hort, Big Kapp, Chyna White, and most notably Ludacris on "Bia Bia," a track where the chorus uses the slang 'bia bia' to tell someone that, well, they're acting like a bia-bia-biatch. It's infectious hearing Lil Jon scream it with his raspy voice, but Ludacris' angry, smooth, and relatively slow verse showcased a more serious tenor of his on the haunting, predominantly piano-based beat, which Lil Wayne and Birdman would later sample on "Cali Dro." And as for Cali Dro and Lil Jon's raspy vocals, Ludacris exemplifies the virtues of both in the line: "Yo girl mad cause she told me don't even bring the thang/And then I told her, I said it's cool, get at me/And then my voice got raspy/Cause I was smokin' on some Cali and my eyes were dazed." —Lauren Nostro

22. "Act a Fool" (2003)

21. YoungBloodZ f/ Ludacris, Lil Jon, Jermaine Dupri, and Bone Crusher "Damn (So So Def Remix)" (2003)

20. Ludacris f/ Lil Wayne "Last of A Dying Breed" (2008)

Producer: Wyldfyer

Album: Theater of the Mind

Coming out the same year as Weezy's most successful album, Tha Carer III, this was a high-profile collaboration, and one of the standouts on Theater of the Mind. The two rappers rise over the anthemic, Wyldfyer-produced beat as if their lives are on the line. Luda goes in on everyone, from rappers ("That three of your top five's too scared to f**k with me") to the most powerful of people ("They say O'Reilly don't like him, Oprah won't invite him, the president announced him, no one will announce him"). Meanwhile, Wayne handles the middle-verse in typical scatter-brained fashion, his frenetic delivery making its mark. One of the last songs on the album, Luda delivers on his aggressive declarative to his listeners: "Emcee means move the crowd."Dharmic X

19. "Hip Hop Quotables" (2003)

Producer: Erick Sermon

Album: Chicken-n-Beer

There comes a time in every rapper's career where he/she needs to just call a quick timeout on the world and take that minute or so to compose a mission statement. "Hip-Hop Quotables" is supposed to be that, but it isn't so much of a statement. It's a series of ramblings and rants that's barely held together by the Erick Sermon beat. That generally doesn't make up for a good song, but somehow, under the care of Ludacris, it just works here. It's not just because of the lyrics, even though a majority of them are fanastic one-liners: "Hi my name's Ludacris/And I'm high as giraffe pussy," "I'm in the strip club smokin', with President Clinton," "They made the mold of the penis enlarger off me/I'll be in another room when I hit from the back." But moreover, the charisma with which Ludacris spits them makes this track easily infectious. Lesser rappers would just get funny looks. —Brian Josephs

18. "Blow It Out" (2003)

Producer: Ron Browz

Album: Chicken-n-Beer

When it was announced in 2002 that Ludacris would be a spokesperson for Pepsi, Bill O'Reilly had a lot of fucks to give. Demanding that Luda be removed from affiliation with the company, O'Reilly claimed that the rapper "disrespects women, encourages drug use and encouraged violence." Pepsi fired Ludacris. But what was an unfortunate circumstance for Ludacris turned into a great lyrical diss for fans in "Blow It Out." Luda is personally addressing O'Reilly when he explains: "Shout out to Bill O'Reilly, I'ma throw you a curve/You mad 'cause I'm a thief and got away with words/I'ma start my own beverage company, it'll calm your nerves/Pepsi's the New Generation—blow it out ya ass." In a weird, cosmic twist of events, the two came face to face almost seven years later at a dinner they were both attending. The odd pair reconciled and even doubled up on a charity event later on. —Alysa Lechner

17. Trina f/ Ludacris "B R Right" (2002)

Producer: Kanye West

Album: Diamond Princess

Kanye West employed The Weathermen's "Where I Wanna Be" sample on his production of "B R Right" on Trina's second album, Diamond Princess featuring Ludacris. Trina and Luda trade off on the explicit chorus of what Trina wants sexually, and Luda assists in the demands. He goes back to a familiar sex scene in the car ("What's Your Fantasy") and describes how he'll pleasure his girl next to the subwoofers. His simple punchlines employ Luda's uncanny ability to play with the sonic qualities of his vocals, like the octaves of his voice, especially on his "Ooh-Ee-Walla-Walla-Bing-Bang" line that mimics the chorus of the 1958 track "Witch Doctor." —Lauren Nostro

16. Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris and Trina "One Minute Man" (2001)

Producer: Timbaland

Album: Miss E...So Addictive

While Missy spends her time on "One Minute Man" yearning for a dude who can stretch the minutes in the bedroom, Luda jumps in to prove he's just that guy. Productions by Timbaland that recall an exotic oriental sound helped push the somewhat lyrically controversial track to its peak on the Billboard charts in the 15 slot. Luda uses a flurry of car metaphors ("Just 'cause I'm an all-nighter, shoot all fire/Ludacris, balance and rotate all tires") to let it be known that he's here to please, and can outlast the bedroom styles of just about any man. Granted, he might've been shown up by Jay-Z's infamous Beyonce-side-eyeing "Fifty grand I get this on one take!" verse on the remix, but still, when all was said and done: We're convinced. —Alysa Lechner

15. Lil Jon & The Eastside Boyz f/ Usher and Ludacris "Lovers and Friends" (2004)

Producer: Lil Jon

Album: Crunk Juice

The second time in 2004 these three joined forces on the same track, "Lovers and Friends" might not have been as popular as "Yeah," (it peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard charts), but it was still a successful single. On this baby-smooth cut, Luda showcases that signature stop-and-star flow to emphasize key phrases. The lyrics, meanwhile, find Luda at his raunchiest, with his ending: "And I'll be setting separate plays, so on all these separate days your legs can go they separate ways." With songs like this, who knew that the reign of Lil Jon and Ludacris at the top of the charts would eventually fade?Dharmic X

14. Missy Elliott f/ Ludacris "Gossip Folks" (2003)

Producer: Timbaland, Missy Elliott

Album: Under Construction

On his verse on Missy Elliott's "Gossip Folks," Ludacris clears up any rumors about how he got his began his career—talk about started from the bottom: No one paid him any mind as a kid, so then he made a tape and moved out of the hood, where now he's always performing and leaving the booth smelling like cologne—Burberry, in fact. Missy's Under Construction comeback was certainly due in most parts to Missy's ingenuinity and Timbaland's driving beats, but Luda's guesting made it much harder for anyone's ears to not recognize tracks like these as the indisputable catchy early-aughts hits that they were. —Lauren Nostro

13. Usher f/ Lil Jon and Ludacris "Yeah!" (2004)

Producer: Lil Jon

Album: Confessions

Yeah: "Yeah" might be one of the most ubiquitous songs ever. It was played by nightclubs and middle school dance parties alike for years, and can still elicit a response in 2013. The song was the number one song on the charts for twelve weeks in a row, staying on Billboard's Hot 100 for forty-five weeks. Yes, this song is more about the infectious beat from Lil Jon (and his trademark ad-libs) and Usher's vocals. But the moment Luda drops in at the end of the song—"Watch out, my outfit's ridiculous, in the club looking so conspicuous?"—everything changes in it, including the song's legacy, which is as much about those other elements as it is his closing bar: "I want a lady in the streets/but a freak in the bed." Sometimes, we just don't know exactly what we want and how to put it until someone phrases it for us. For a large segment of the universe, this was that moment. Dharmic X

12. Nas f/ Jadakiss and Ludacris "Made You Look (Remix)" (2003)

11. "Ho" (2000)

Producer: Bangladesh

Album: Back for the First Time

While "Ho" is sure to get people fired up because the term, and Ludacris' entire chorus seems to degrade women, he came out with a statement shortly after the song blew up saying that he was attempting to desexualize the word by even calling himself, and other men, hos in the song. Whether we believe that or not, Luda's "Ho" chorus was simple, repetitive, and very successful. The track, a Bangladesh production on Luda's debut album Back for the First Time, debuted at No. 4 on the charts and has been certified six times platinum. His play on the word "Ho" is incredible; he includes the word on nearly every line of the track—most notably "It's just a ho-asis/with ugly chicks faces/But hoes don't feel so sad and blue/Cause most of us n***** is hoes too."—Lauren Nostro

10. Ludacris f/ Shawnna "Stand Up" (2003)

Producer: Kanye West, Ludacris

Album: Chicken-n-Beer

The combined production skills of Kanye West and Ludacris creates a beat that bodies to the point where you feel like you just got punched in the gut. Aside from solidifying itself as one of the most recognizable club anthems with its dance tutorial lyrics ("When I move/you move—Just like that"), "Stand Up" got Luda a Grammy nomination for Best Rap Solo Performance, respectively. Despite the record losing out to "Lose Yourself," the image of a midget hanging from Ludacris' necklace won't fade from our minds any time soon. —Alysa Lechner

9. Timbaland f/ Ludacris "Phat Rabbit" (1998)

Producer: Timbaland

Album: Tim's Bio: Life from da Basement

You have to wonder if Hennessy found the inspiration for those Wild Rabbit commercials from this song—"Phat Rabbit" is everything they imply. This track is grimey, slick, and reeks of promiscuity, and that's just because of the beat alone. Timbaland sampled it off Aaliyah's classic "Are You That Somebody," but stripped it of any scent of coyness or innocence.

As a result, you have a young MC who seems to be just living in this Red Light District-like wasteland. And the crazy thing about it is, he seems to be having a good time as he's just cavorting along that bass. It's almost as if Ludacris's sole intent is to peel away what little innocence the listener has left, which is a bit overkill, since this is the same album that featured "What's Your Fantasy?"

Lines like "Yo love is supa-cala-fragalistic/You don't know how bad I missed it" and "Reminisce like Mary/I gotta pop that cherry" are prime examples. "Phat Rabbit" is an album closer that feels like flavored molasses: It's sticky, messy, and probably not good for you, but somehow, you were left wanting more. —Brian Josephs

8. "Diamond in the Back" (2004)

Producer: DJ Paul, Juicy J
Album: Chicken-n-Beer

Don't sleep on Chris's flow-switching abilities, they don't make a good bed. He was able to make a song out of what would otherwise just be a series of calmly presented run-on sentences, essentially the opposite of what people came to expect from the rapper. He addresses the feelings of unfocused ambition and confusion that characterized his adolescence in this rap bildungsroman, from when he was just "a little bitty kid with a whole bunch of gangster wishes."

Years before his less subtle political songs came into being, he referred to his choice of profession as a rebellious act in itself, that he was poking back at the established order by choosing a line of work that felt, to him, like retirement. Far from a bingo-playing senior citizen, though, once he made it as a rapper, he reached far beyond just a diamond in the back, financially at least. Ironically, the name of the sample is "Be Thankful for What You Got," by William DeVaughn. —Alexander Gleckman

7. "Rollout (My Business)" (2001)

Producer: Timbaland
Album: Word of Mouf

"Rollout (My Business)" was nominated in 2002 for a Grammy Award for Best Male Rap Solo Performance, and for good reason: It's a song that presents a rare case for a record subscribing to all of the traditions of classic flexing, yet, without being totally obnoxious. Luda's exaggerated lyrics, both literally and audibly ("What in the world is in that case, what you got in that case?/Get up out my face, you couldn't relate, wait to take place at a similar pace"), let listeners know he's in on the joke, ultimately giving him a hall pass to big up himself for the entire track. —Alysa Lechner

6. Jermaine Dupri and Ludacris "Welcome to Atlanta" (2001)

Producer: Jermaine Dupri

Album: Word of Mouf

Here's the only tour of Atlanta that you need-Ludacris and Jermaine Dupri lyrically directing a tour bus through their hometown on this 2002 chart-topping hit off Word of Mouf. Luda takes the first verse where he employs lines like "Did you forget your fuckin' manners/I'm Bruce with Banners," a play on how he can become like the Hulk if you piss him off enough. Or "I'm big paper like pancakes/stackin' 'em up/In fact I'm slapping' em up/Cadillac'n the truck" where his voice is just as creative as his lyrics.

Dupri follows suit on the second verse with the most legendary "I'm the M.B.P./Most Ballin-ist Player" line on the track. While the team effort is noted, Ludacris kills his verse and shows love to his hometown most notably on this track. The two followed up on a "Coast 2 Coast" remix featuring Murphy Lee, Snoop Dogg, and Diddy, which went in the books as one of the proudest hometown anthems in hip-hop, spanning Atlanta to New York to St. Louis and Long Beach, California. —Lauren Nostro

5. "Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!)" (2002)

Producer: Organized Noise

Album: Word of Mouf

Watching Ludacris in the video for "Saturday (Oooh! Ooooh!)" video may be one of his most entertaining performances to date, but how could it not be? The weekend anthem boasts about Luda's weed stash, and guarantee "Sticky, icky, icky" will be on loop in your mind after listening to the chart-topping hit just once. Luda's use of rhetorical questions here—"How you gonna act like I don't get loud?"—reinforced the lovability of his wild lifestyle of weed, women, and wildin. —Lauren Nostro

4. Ludacris f/ Nate Dogg "Area Codes" (2001)

3. Ludacris f/ Shawnna "What's Your Fantasy" (2000)

Producer: Bangladesh

Album: Back for the First Time

On the Bangladesh produced banger, Ludacris narrates exactly what he wants to do to his girl in bed-plain and simple. But don't worry, he's not just in it for himself, he wants to know exactly what her fantasy is. Luda provides an answer to any question of where to have sex—here's the entire list of places, in the event you're interested, and yes, there are many. It was a a two-time platinum hit that was placed on not one but two of Luda's albums, Back for the First Time and his first independent Incognegro, as well as the How High soundtrack. It was a sing-along story of Luda's sexual fantasies just to make every girl, in all of his area codes, informed. Shouts to the Dirty Bird. —Lauren Nostro



2. Ludacris f/ I-20 and Mystikal "Move Bitch" (2002)

Producer: KLC

Album: Word of Mouf

Only Ludacris—with help from Mystikal—could make such a lyrically violent song a sonic twerk anthem. With its Southern, crunk sound—the whistle-driven beat—and simple, steady beat, it comes as no surprise that this was Ludacris' first top ten hit on the Billboard Hot 100. Even more, "Move Bitch's" easy chorus could be read literally as "Move bitch, get out the way" because you're about the get smacked up the side of your head, or as "Move bitch, get out the way" because we're about to dance the roof off this place. Whatever the case, it remains one of the most recognizable choruses in hip hop. —Alysa Lechner

1. "Southern Hospitality" (2000)

Producer: The Neptunes

Album: Back for the First Time

Often incorrectly called "Throw Dem 'Bows," because of the dance emphasized in the video and the use of the phrase throughout the song's hoo, but the reality is that Luda only uses the phrase "Southern Hospitality" once throughout the song, in his last verse: Pretty unconventional for a single. But that's Luda, and the fact also is that the title was appropriate, as he employed a danceable yet gritty Neptunes banger to paint a picture of what it means to live in the ATL. The song is also notable for its structure; Luda takes one phrase that he employs for a couplet of four bars. For example: "20-inch wide, 20-inch high, ho don't you like my 20-inch ride? 20-inch thighs make 20-inch eyes, hoping for American 20-inch pies." It was a trademark of Luda's entry into the rap world, an explosive rhetorical effect that goes beyond repetitive and into the realm of eye-opening genius.Dharmic X

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