Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

'Move bitch, get out the way.' Millennials are taking over the Iowa State Fair

 As a recording artist, Ludacris has sold more than 15 million albums domestically, including singles such as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker” and “My Chick Bad.”
Iowa State Fair Press Photo
As a recording artist, Ludacris has sold more than 15 million albums domestically, including blockbuster singles such as “Stand Up,” “Get Back,” “Southern Hospitality,” “Number One Spot,” “Money Maker” and “My Chick Bad.”

Move bitch, get out the way: the Iowa State Fair grandstand lineup is here to kick you right in the nostalgia. Now, the grandstand booking at the Iowa State Fair tells us a bit about who the fair is trying to speak to. It was surreal to read that Ludacris is on the bill.

If life is a dish, growing up an American Millennial had a unique spice and flavor. Politically, a healthy dash of economic comfort and lack of international conflict during the Clinton years left a massive void for angst and aggression. Simmered in American nightlife and raging libido, pre-9/11 the culture was the perfect temperature for Atlanta rapper Ludacris to thrive. Per the success of his first major label release in 2000 ("Southern Hospitality" and "What’s Your Fantasy"), the two biggest pillars of his brand were driven by sweaty, graphic hyper sexuality and getting drunk in the club with the boys and wildin’ out. Today, his brand is driven almost exclusively by Fast & Furious movies.

This multi-platinum Grammy award winner has worked with icons from Missy Elliott to Justin Bieber. His diction and immaculate flow made the homies stand up and pay attention. He brought us into the fantastical world of Atlanta when we felt stuck in places that couldn’t appreciate our Blackness.

Here are five favorite Ludacris songs that will make you throw dem bows:

“Area Codes”

This smooth lady-killer jam was included on the Rush Hour 2 soundtrack, foreshadowing Ludacris’ eventual foray into Hollywood. The song features the silky baritone of the legendary Nate Dogg to sweeten the hook.

Full disclosure, this was the first Ludacris song I learned every word to. I would secretly play this track on repeat, whispering every lyric, fulfilling the uncomfortably stereotypical Millennial teenaged boy’s pimping fantasy. Seriously. We wanted to be Bishop Don Juan so very badly. I even went to a school dance in a red crushed velvet suit with a leopard trim coat, to much congratulations from my teachers.

I’m so sorry, mom.

"Money Maker"

Okay, so… these are my confessions: Like far too many Millennial men, I used to be a DJ. The less we speak of it now the better. No matter the dive, I would always play this tasty Pharrell Williams collaboration to get my nights grooving, asses shaking and money getting thrown around all willy-nilly with much success and great consistency. "Money Maker" has the signature “Neptunes sound” that defined much of 2000’s pop music. The song is the ideal backdrop for Ludacris to tell the club exactly what’s gonna happen tonight, like some sort of booty prophecy evangelist, perfect to set a party mood.



This song isn’t technically one of Luda’s, but it carved out such a substantial piece of pop culture that it feels wrong not to touch on it.

Lil Jon leaked this record to radio stations because he believed in it in a way that label executives didn’t, being an early example of a shifting music industry where artists could feel in more control of their work, contracts be damned. His gamble paid off, making this song (and really the whole album) one of Usher’s most successful projects in his career, spending 12 weeks at #1 and being the biggest single of that entire year.

And how can you accurately capture the ATL club scene without one of its pillars?

This was one of my favorite go-to songs for a night of drunken karaoke. The memory that will always stick with me is how everyone would know all of Ludacris’ rhymes and never miss a beat, no matter the bar. I mean, damn, folks still call the man “Ursher” because of Luda.

And let’s be honest, if they drop this crunk-ass beat… the crowd is gonna go wild.

"Move Bitch"

This record left such an impression on me that I’m pretty sure I casually yelled this song in a Walmart last Thursday, trying to buy some cantaloupe. Girl Talk somehow made it slap even harder by remixing it with "War Pigs" by Black Sabbath. If you haven’t heard that version, go here.

With this song, Luda blessed us with the right words when we feel we have nowhere else to turn, and for that, we remain thankful. My friends and I still chant this anthem whenever we’re slightly inconvenienced.

"Stand Up"

Throwing elbows, removing bitches that block your way, or simply standing up, Ludacris always had some sort of guidance on how to behave in the club, and his first #1 song delivered on this premise to the highest degree. Many may not recognize that this record was also produced by Kanye West, bringing his soulful instincts to the Atlanta nightclub sound. For me, this was a meeting of two of my favorite creatives in hip-hop AND featured the sultry voice of Shawnna, who also kicked off his early work in "What’s Your Fantasy."

Bigger than the record, the music video hits maximum ridiculousness befitting of Ludacris’ ludicrous star power with wheel chair choreography, a full grown silver man hanging from Luda’s necklace, Nike Air Force Ones large enough to be a baby stroller, Ludacris’ head superimposed on a crip-walking baby, and an Afro big enough to touch heaven.


I still can’t believe that Ludacris is playing the Iowa State Fair, and more than that, I can’t believe I actually want to go. Well played. I’m ready to sing along with every cut and I have a sneaking suspicion that I’ll see so many Lovers & Friends in the audience.

Chris “Ludacris” Bridges is playing the Iowa State Fair Grandstand with Sean Kingston on August 18 at 8 p.m. Find tickets here. There will be fireworks immediately following the concert.