Disturbing Tha Peace chief Ludacris has two reasons to celebrate this week with a new album and single atop the charts.
Release Therapy, the rapper’s latest disc, debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 and Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums charts, selling 309,000 copies while the album’s lead single “Money Maker” featuring Pharrell also scored high, as the No. 1 song on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Mainstream Songs and the Rhythmic/Top 40 charts.
The Neptunes-produced track, Ludacris’ fastest growing pop radio single to date, has been selling more than 100,000 ringtones a week and is a top five song at AOL Music.
The album narrowily edged out Janet Jackson’s 20 Y.O., which was expected to top the album chart but instead landed at No. 2, with 296,000 copies sold.
Release Therapy finds Ludacris exploring topics ranging from politics to child abuse on the “therapy” side, while having fun on the “release” portion with songs like “Girls Gone Wild” and “Money Maker.”
“To me, part of being a complex person is a balance of many things. On this record I talk about striving, silliness, sadness, sex, and salvation amongst other things,” Ludacris said. “I’m not knocking anybody’s hustle, but many rappers only talk about one side of their lives. Personally, I’m trying to be a more three-dimensional storyteller, and I hope that comes through on the record.”
The rapper’s double No. 1 occupancy is the latest in a string of accomplishments this year for Ludacris, who hosts his own XM satellite radio show, Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Ludacris’ Open Mic.
The lyricist earned positive reviews for his recent appearance in Law & Order: Special Victims Unit, collected a SAG Award for Best Ensemble, a 2006 Critics Choice Awards for Best Ensemble, and an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Supporter Actor in A Motion Picture for his role in the Oscar-winning film, Crash.
In addition, his Ludacris Foundation has spearheaded charity efforts concerning cerebral palsy while providing food and shelter to victims of Hurricane Katrina.
With musical, charitable, and acting achievements under his belt, Ludacris has proven to be “a vital member of the Island Def Jam family,” according to Def Jam president and CEO Jay-Z.
“Not only is he a phenomenal artist, he is a visionary businessman as CEO of his Disturbing Tha Peace label,” added Jay-Z. “He is one of today’s most talented lyricists
and a very important piece to why we are successful.”
Ludacris will make another small screen appearance Nov. 18 when he hosts and performs on NBC’s Saturday Night Live.