Ludacris may very well be one of the greatest feature artists in Hip Hop. Although his solo catalog is great, the Atlanta rapper has always shown consistency in his admirable guest spots, which is why he’s appeared on tracks from Bun B, Missy Elliott, T-Pain, Jamie Foxx, Justin Bieber and many others.
His experience as an actor almost translates to his features as well; he takes on whatever role is required of him for that particular song. Whether it’s offering sex raps that’ll leave you blushing or a verse about the power of Atlanta, Ludacris has shown on multiple occasions that he can make a guest verse his own, while also bodying the track as a whole.
These are the 15 best Ludacris guest verses.
1. “Same Damn Time (Remix)” – Future
As much as this remix is a baton-passing moment between Future and Ludacris, it’s also a testament to how consistent the latter is as an artist. Ludacris sounds so comfortable over one of the most important trap beats of the 2010s. Nothing about it is awkward; he effortlessly slows and speeds up his flow throughout his verse, sounding just as energetic as he did when he first arrived on the rap scene. Veteran rappers are often out of their element when they’re on modern beats, but it’s clear that Ludacris doesn’t have this problem.
2. “One Minute Man” – Missy Elliott
Ludacris offers a fittingly horny verse on “One Minute Man,” comparing his sexual expertise to that of a skilled maintenance man. It’s just the right amount of raunchy, with the rapper bragging about how he can satisfy women in ways other men can’t. Overall, the verse succeeds in what it was meant to do: Match Missy Elliott’s carnal energy.
3. “B R Right” – Trina
The way Ludacris rhymes “mwah” with “Lacroix” or drops one of the funniest pair of lines toward the end of his verse — “How you loving my Southern slang? / Ooh, eee, walla-walla-bing-bang” — is true poetry. These instances alone make his guest feature on one of Trina’s greatest songs worthy of a spot on this list. Also, you can’t talk about his verse without giving praise to his contributions on the hook for which he ad-libs an enthusiastic response to Trina’s unabashed horniness.
4. “Why Don’t We Fall in Love (Remix)” – Amerie
If you’re gonna make a guest appearance on an already perfect song like “Why Don’t We Fall in Love,” you’ve got to come correct. Fortunately, Ludacris does and offers not one but two verses on the remix. Although both are great, it’s that first one that sets everything off. The rapper opens the track with a smooth delivery that fits nicely over Rich Harrison’s production. Some of Ludacris’ best guest moments are on R&B tracks, and “Why Don’t We Fall in Love” is one of many examples of that.
5. “Gossip Folks” – Missy Elliott
What makes Ludacris’ “Gossip Folks” verse notable is that it’s a departure from the horny raps he tends to offer on his features. Instead, we get an abridged telling of his rise as a rap star, from slanging CDs in his neighborhood to becoming a worldwide phenomenon. As always, there are great one-liners peppered throughout — “Stepped out the swamp in 10 1/2 gators” deserves to be on a list of the best Southern rap one-liners of all time — resulting in a verse that makes the Missy Elliott classic that much better.
6. “Lovers and Friends” – Lil Jon and the East Side Boyz
From beginning to end, Ludacris’ verse is quotable. It’s one of those rare instances in which you’ll find yourself reciting every line because of how memorable it is as a whole. It’s practically flawless. Ludacris playfully rushes through a collection of words or elongates some of them. Also, rhyming “comfortable” with “Rudy Huxtable” is genius.
7. “Chopped N Skrewed” – T-Pain
It’s the repetition throughout this verse that makes it so good. In line with the tradition of chopped and screwed music in which a word, phrase or even entire lines are run back multiple times, Ludacris repeats himself both for effect and emphasis. It’s a subtle but nice touch that adds to the charm of his feature, and he ends on a line that shows how meticulous he can be in his delivery. Seriously, try rapping, “So instead of being put into submission and subdued” the way he does. It’s not easy.
8. “Oh” – Ciara
Like “Chopped N Skrewed,” a part of what makes this verse so good is Ludacris’ repetition of certain words. When he raps, “In a different color whip, whip, whip / Picture perfect, you might wanna take a flick, flick, flick, flick, flick,” it just adds to the personality that we’ve come to expect from his bars. But he also uses the verse to boast about his success, rapping shortly after, “Wanna go platinum? I’m who you should get, get, get, get, get.” It shows creativity and fun, which makes Ludacris’ contribution fit so well on one of Ciara’s most beloved songs.
9. “Welcome to Atlanta” – Jermaine Dupri
Ludacris is rapping like he has something to prove here. It’s not just how well-executed his flow is or the way he plays with pockets throughout, but this verse also has some of the best lines he’s ever recorded. Rhyming “beams” with “antihistamines,” and making subtle reference to the Hulk toward the end, Ludacris wants to make sure you respect his rapping abilities as he welcomes you to Atlanta.
10. “Gettin’ Some (Remix)” – Shawnna
Those opening four lines of Ludacris’ verse are masterful in how they’re executed. Instead of back-to-back lines that rhyme the last words, he doesn’t resolve the rhyme until the third line, connecting “morning” with “zoning” and “smoking.” It builds up tension as the rapper playfully messes with our expectations before ending that first chunk of his verse with an incredible bar: “And I’m choking on that fruity while this lil’ cutie’s choking on me!” Ludacris could’ve ended there and it still would’ve been great.
11. “Atlanta, GA” – Shawty Lo
Ludacris championing Atlanta rap is something he should do more in his features. It’s a victorious guest verse for anyone who ever doubted Atlanta’s potential as a Hip Hop epicenter. Ludacris proudly declares, “They sayin’ Hip Hop dead, I say we kept it alive.” In its brevity, the rapper’s feature is assertive, prideful and a declaration of how great rap from A-Town is and continues to be.
12. “Shot Off” – 8Ball and MJG
Ludacris delivers for his Southern Hip Hop heroes. Referring to 8Ball and MJG as his favorite rappers on the guest verse, Luda proceeds to boast in a way that only he can as he raps, “Quickly wrote my 16 down and spit it, by the end of the verse you’ll say, ‘Once again, Ludacris s**t it.’” Then, he wraps it all up with his unmistakable fast flow, reminding listeners how he can spit well no matter the speed.
13. “Trill Recognize Trill” – Bun B
You can tell that Ludacris has so much respect for Bun B based on how good this verse is. There’s no way to describe it except powerful, with Luda’s boasts getting better and better with each line. It’s a triumphant feature where the Hip Hop vet basks in his greatness and proves he can stand alongside other big names of Southern rap, too.
14. “Scatter Brain” – Conway the Machine
Whoever came up with the idea to have Conway the Machine, JID and Ludacris on the same song, thank you. “Scatter Brain” already stands out on paper because of who is on the track, and although it may seem like an unlikely combination, it works extremely well. Ludacris offers one of his best features in recent history, starting with a triplet flow that smoothly transforms into the hurried delivery he’s become known for. But what cements this verse as one of his best is the way he ends it: “I always knew you was a b**ch, so I just read your obituary, n**ga.” It’s disrespectful in the best possible way and is a line that truly speaks to how good Ludacris can be with his wordplay.
15. “Unpredictable” – Jamie Foxx
Even when his guest verse is brief, Ludacris still knows how to deliver. The song’s slow and sensual production is perfect for his rapid-fire delivery. It’s as if he’s trying to see how many words he can cram into a particular section, quickly offering up lines like, “Some say that sex is overrated, but they just ain’t doin’ it right,” before slowing his rhymes down. It’s a feature that leaves as fast as it arrives, making you wish that Ludacris offered a little bit more on this hit song by Jamie Foxx.