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Back for the First Time

Ludacris

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Album Review

When Def Jam signed Ludacris in 2000, the Atlanta rapper had already released a regionally successful independent album (Incognegro) with a hot single ("What's Your Fantasy"). So rather than send Ludacris back into the studio to record a follow-up album, Def Jam chose to repackage Incognegro as Back for the First Time (the title a play on the re-released nature of the music) and append some new material. The decision proved wise. Incognegro had been a strong album debut, produced largely by talented newcomer Shondrae, along with Organized Noize (who produce "Game Got Switched") and Jermaine Dupri ("Get Off Me"), and featuring a roster of hungry underground rappers (I-20, Fat Wilson, Shawnna, Pastor Troy, 4-Ize). Plus, "What's Your Fantasy" was already a proven hit, if perhaps too explicit for mainstream radio play. The real difference between Incognegro and Back for the First Time, however, is the newly recorded material — four songs, each a standout: the Neptunes-produced club-banger "Southern Hospitality," the previously released Timbaland-produced "Phat Rabbit," the rowdy U.G.K.-featuring "Stick 'Em Up," and the provocative Trina and Foxy Brown remix of "What's Your Fantasy." The most significant of these additions is "Southern Hospitality," a feel-good party song that — sequenced late in the album, at track 14 — comes as a pleasant relief after the proceeding up-from-the-underground hardcore tone of Incognegro/Back for the First Time.

Biography

Born: 11 September 1977 in Champaign, IL

Genre: Hip-Hop/Rap

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

When the Dirty South movement broke nationwide at the turn of the century, Ludacris rode it to immediate widespread popularity, becoming arguably the most commercially successful Southern rapper of the time. In 2000 the Atlanta-based rapper signed to Def Jam's newly established Southern rap subsidiary, Def Jam South, and became the label's flagship Dirty South artist. Def Jam repackaged his underground album Incognegro (2000) as Back for the First Time (2000) and issued "What's Your Fantasy?" as...
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Back for the First Time, Ludacris
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