DFX: Ludacris Is "Back For The First Time"

Atlanta rapper Ludacris has gone nationwide with the release of his major-label debut, "Back For The First Time," this week.

Among the lyricist's claims to fame is his vote of confidence from Scarface, CEO of the recently incarnated Def Jam South record label, who signed the rapper on the strength of his independent release, "Incognegro."

"'Ludacris' is something that I made up," the rapper told MTV News of his moniker. "It just kind of describes me. Sometimes I have like a split personality. Sometimes I'm cool, calm, and collected, and other times I'm beyond crazy.

"I'm ridiculous, I'm ludicrous," he continued. "Plus my birth name is Chris, so it kind of incorporates that. That's

where you get it from. Just

wild, acting a monkey all the time, that's what we call it on the ATL." [RealVideo]

"I started doing drops for every radio personality that was on the station. What I mean by drops, they're promos. Like, one-minute raps... and when I did that, it caught a lot of attention. The record companies in Atlanta -- you got the Jermaine Dupris, the Dallas Austins, LaFace Records, all of that -- they started hearing me.

"That played a big big part in me getting put on, 'cause there was a lot of politicking going on, and just meeting a lot of people [and getting] social skills... the radio station just boosted a career in rap, basically." [RealVideo]

"Back For The First Time" comprises "Incognegro" along with three new tracks, and other guests on the LP include UGK, Foxy Brown, Trina, Timbaland, and Da Brat. The album is in stores now.