* September 11, 1977
United States
Solo Artist
Ludacris (born as Christopher Brian Bridges) knows that rap is essentially a man’s world - and the three-time Grammy winner is doing something about it. On his eighth album, the multi-platinum rapper wanted to level the playing field a bit, so he crafted Battle Of The Sexes, a spirited collection that gives men and women equal billing.

"Battle Of The Sexes is getting a male and a female perspective all on one album," Ludacris says. "If it’s a male artist, you get a male perspective for the most part. If it’s a female artist, you get a female perspective. That’s why I chose Battle Of The Sexes, because in relationships, there are battles that go on every single day. There are only two types of people in this world: males and females. That’s why this album had to come out, because you’re going to hear from both of them on many different issues."

Given his penchant for taking humorous approaches to potentially incendiary topics, Ludacris felt that he needed to address one of the most puzzling double standards between men and women. Enter the feisty "Hey Ho," featuring Lil’ Kim. "Why is it that when men sleep around they’re considered players but when women sleep around they’re considered hoes?" Ludacris says. "It’s just putting that question out there and it’s almost waiting for discussion and debate."

There’s no debate that men typically feel a sense of pride regarding their woman. On the muscular, screw-accented "My Chick Bad," Ludacris boasts about his lady’s physical attributes and her ability to bring the ruckus before passing the mic to Nicki Minaj, who energetically trumpets her own super hero-like badness.

It’s one thing to be bad, and another to be naughty. Ludacris and longtime collaborator Shawnna create an ultra erotic atmosphere on "Feeling Sexy." Played out like an intense episode of phone sex, the rappers tag-team lines to one another describing the sensuality racing through their minds. For Ludacris, it was the thought that counts.

"The anticipation of sex may be close to or better than actually having sex at certain times," he reveals. "You know why? As a man, what it takes to get us to a point is really what gives us the rush that we need to feed our egos. When you actually do it and are done with it, you’re actually wondering what’s next. You look for the rush that got you to the point to want to do it in the first place. The actual act can be good, but what’s in your mind and your ego telling you that you want to do it is much greater at certain times than the actual act itself. That’s a drug. That is what can drive you insane."

Indeed, the chase is often the most exhilarating portion of the conquest. The playful "Gotta Man" features Ludacris and guest Flo-Rida letting the woman they’re targeting know that they could care less if she’s in a relationship, engaged or married. They simply have to have her. Once the woman is his, Ludacris would surely invite her to his "Sex Room" and see "How Low" she could go. The former unites him with R&B crooner Trey Songz for a sex tutorial, while the latter takes a comical approach to watching a girl shaking what her momma gave her.

In fact, "How Low" showcases Ludacris’ dazzling rap skills, as he mixes and matches complex flows and rhyme patterns with remarkable ease over a hyperactive beat. "I have so many different sides of my personality and my artistry and they all came out in that one record," he says. "It was extremely simple for me, which lets me know that that’s me. It’s a fun record."

But Battle Of The Sexes also has a more serious side. The spare, guitar-accented, Swizz Beatz-produced "Tell Me A Secret" with Ne-Yo invites women to release their inhibitions and confide in Ludacris.

Of course, it’s a thin line between love and hate, and "Can’t Live Without You," a smooth duet with Monica, could serve as the soundtrack to that truism. "It’s the craziest thing," he says. "No scientist could ever completely make an understanding of how the human mind works when you want to get rid of a woman but you want to be with her at the same time. There’s no explanation that could ever describe it better than that song can describe it."

Ludacris’ career can best be described as remarkable. He has sold more than 12 million albums domestically thanks to the blockbuster success of such singles as "Stand Up," "Get Back," "Number One Spot" and "Money Maker," all of which had imaginative videos that accented Ludacris’ far-reaching imagination and his willingness to stretch the boundaries of what rap videos should look and feel like. With an unrivaled match of lyrical acumen, wit and imagery, Ludacris has solidified himself as one of music’s premier entertainers. Although he’s best known for his infectious tunes, Ludacris has shown that he’s equally adept at writing powerful songs with serious subject matter, including runaways on "Runaway Love."

This versatility and artistic complexity enabled Ludacris to make a seamless transition to acting. His acclaimed performances in film (Crash, Hustle & Flow) and television (Law & Order: Special Victims Unit) have Hollywood and critics alike buzzing about his increasingly impressive screen resume. The recently launched Conjure cognac joins Ludacris’ Disturbing Tha Peace Records as yet another successful venture of the business mogul. It’s not all strictly business for Ludacris, though. Indeed, his philanthropic efforts rival his entertainment accomplishments. He recently partnered with Crash writer-director Paul Haggis and the Artists for Peace and Justice to help raise more than $4 million for Haitian relief efforts. Ludacris has also raised more than $100,000 for Atlanta flood victims through his The Ludacris Foundation and recently partnered with a local Atlanta automobile dealer to give away 20 cars to people who have been adversely affected by the recession.

Of course, it all starts with music for Ludacris. With his next album, Ludaversal, already in the works, the media mogul has grand plans to expand his brand on an increasingly global basis. But for now, though, Battle Of The Sexes stands as a landmark release that should create lively debate given its groundbreaking nature. "This has not been done before," Ludacris says. "There’s only two types of people in this world and for thousands and thousands of years we have tried to understand one another and we still don’t 100 percent understand each other."

Though Battle Of The Sexes does provide plenty of insight.
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