"Money Maker" is the first single from Ludacris's fifth album Release Therapy. The song was released to the radio on July 17, 2006. The song is Ludacris' take on the 1961 Elmore James blues song Shake Your Moneymaker. It was produced by The Neptunes and features Pharrell. The song was written by Chris Bridges (Ludacris), and Pharrell Williams. The video was released on August 17, 2006. The video premiered on MTV's Making the Video. The single reached number 1 on various charts. It has peaked at number 1 on the Billboard Hot 100, the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and number 1 on Hot Rap Tracks in the United States. It also became the number 1 single on radio in the United States on October 19, 2006[specify]. The music video managed to enter BET's 106 & Park and peak at number 1, where it remained for several days. The single has strong airplay on BET and MTV. It also has airplay on Canada's Muchmusic. The single has a major promotional status and huge airplay on radio around the U.S., North America and other countries around the globe. The song was performed on the 2006 MTV Video Music Awards. This is Ludacris's third #1 hit single.
American R&B singer, Amerie, recorded an answer back (remix) to the single. The song was included on her first Mixtape, Because I Love It Volume 1 (the mixtape that was released to accompany her third studio Because I Love It). The song however did not appear on the final album. "Because I Love It" was released to international markets only.
"Money Maker" was obviously intended as a summer smash, as it more than satisfies the requirements: lame yet memorable pick-up lines (“I’m a bedroom gangsta”), disorganized, rambunctious production, and an accompanying big-budget video. Overall, it's a major setback in Ludacris’ campaign to claim the southern rap throne.
Atlanta really did need another strip-club anthem. So Ludacris and Pharrell deliver "Money Maker", roasting a Nellyesque sing-rap over steamy tropical percussion, a relentless knock that re-imagines "Can I Get a..." played with pots and pans. Fleshed out with deep, one-two bass punches and organs that trickle before bursting, it sounds faintly sinister. The hook boasts a lowering blend of Eros and economics: Luda's soliciting followed by Skateboard's stage-whispered counsel to "Shake your moneymaker / Like somebody 'bout to pay ya."
The video was directed by Melina (who directed R&B singer Shareefa's "Need a Boss") and was released on August 17, 2006, premiering on various music channels including BET, MTV, and MuchMusic.
The video to "Money Maker" consists of Ludacris rapping with girls dancing around him against a basically-colored background of orange, green and black. He has a counting machine that counts how many times he gets a girl to shake her rear end (called "money maker") for him. Pharrell appears during the chorus with girls and stacks of money. There is also a Chrysler ME Four-Twelve and large speakers in the background that vibrate throughout the video, which are no more than salad bowls, according to Ludacris in MTV's "Making the Video". Cameo appearances are made by Allen Iverson, Shareefa, Bobby Valentino, & Lil Fate. The video is notable for Ludacris' first appearance on camera with a fade haircut, as he had cut his trademark cornrows in order to signify a new image for himself.