Let the record show that MCs skilled at slinging deft lyrics
with comedic wit dont get the same props as those more focused on drug and gun
tales. Not convinced? Ask Redman or Slick Rick. But one versatile rapper,
Atlantas Chris Ludacris Bridges, is out to stake
his claim at upper echelon rap recognition.
The mission on this one is to be put in the top five MCs on everybody list, says Ludacris
of his sixth album, Theater of The Mind,
with a laugh, though hes surely dead serious. The evidence backing his
aspirations is solid. All of his albums, beginning with 2000s Back For the First Time have been certified
at least platinum, with 2006s Release
Therapy earning Ludacris a Grammy (his third) in
2007 for Best Rap Album.
But in Hip-Hop youre only as good as your last hit, so
before too many folks think hes going Hollywood, Ludacris
is back to assert that the music is his main act. A jury of his peers, and
fans, will likely rule in his favor.
AllHipHop.com: Theater of The Mind, another fall/winter
release like all your other albums, is that on purpose?
Ludacris: I guess thats just how its fallen.
Because usually all the rest of them I would do consecutively each year. Thats
kind of how the timing just fell around those months but you right now that I
think about it, all of them have come around that time.
AllHipHop.com: Now since Release
Ludacris: Yeah, all them damn movies.
[laughs] F**kin four movies
co-starring T-Pain One More Drink Video
The mission on this one is to be put in the top five MCs on everybody list.
AllHipHop.com: You were filming in Toronto [Max Payne] so you even recorded out there too right?
Ludacris: Yeah, thats why Im dropping so many singles
right now, letting everybody know Im still hungry, you
know what I mean? Just because Ive done those movies doesnt mean that
Im not 100% still in music mode. Those
movies were shot pretty much last year and Ive been working on the album this
year. But you know whats more
important is that people understand that this album right here is just proving my
status as an MC in the game and thats what Ima do,
I got everything from the song
with DJ Premier I got a song with Nas and Jay-Z on
there called I Do it For Hip-Hop. I got one with Lil Wayne called Last of a
Dying Breed, man that s**t is ridiculous. Its a complete album man. Im
dropping so many songs on them because I want people to know that this a complete album and its themed out. Nowadays its so
easy for somebody to go get one single or two singles but when I tell you this
is an entire project that people must have. Otherwise they gon
feel like they got a puzzle with missing pieces in it.
AllHipHop.com: Youve always been well rounded, whether its the
comedic raps or the quotables, do you think that
peoples sometimes take that for granted?
Ludacris: I [am] such a visual artist sometimes that its hard for them to,
take me, you know serious cause I play around a lot. But I think finally,
people, I think finally at this day and age people know when Im being funny
and when to take me serious.
Cause the whole last album was
pretty much it wasnt really too much funny s**t on there. Like it was Runaway Love and all this
other stuff. This album is like all the albums put together in one. So you got the comedic Ludacris, you got the serious Ludacris,
you got the story telling, you got the lyrical, all of that. But Im telling you at the end of the
day, its more lyrical than anything.
AllHipHop.com: Word, so you think it was, just going back to Release Therapy for a second,
do you think it was mission accomplished as far as establishing yourself as
more than a comedian?
Ludacris: Hell yeah, absolutely, exactly, mission was accomplished on that.
I wanted to win a Grammy, and I won the Grammy. The mission on this one is to
be put in the top five MCs on everybody list.
AllHipHop.com: Youve always been super
lyrical but at the same time have not been heavy on the murder murder kill kill bars. Do you
think that thats held you back as far as the conversations when it comes to
Top Five in Hip-Hop? Cause when you look at your track record, it obviously
stacks up against anybody.
Ludacris: Honestly I think that it just takes time because Im so versatile
that I dont always do one thing and I think thats more of the reason why its
taken so much time. Because I dont kill or stab or shoot or sell drugs I would
have to say I dont think thats the reason why because I feel like the people
that are real, the real motherf**kers,
the ones that arent swayed by other peoples opinions understand that whats
really gangsta and whats cool. Whats really good is
Im just being myself. And there is nothing more gangsta
than somebody being themselves.
Now if I was
trying to pose like somebody I wasnt, that would be reason enough to count me
out on a lot of different issues.
But as long as Im doing me, I think people will respect that at the end
of the day.
AllHipHop.com: Back on U Got a Problem from Back For the First Time you said you were the number one contender,
now youre trying to get Top Five recognition; lets say that does happen,
Ludacris: Only time will tell man, I have a song with DJ Premier on the
album called MVP man I just want to be known as the most valuable player. And
thats basically the summation of all. So if I set out to do something
different every album and I accomplish it, then thats kinda
like in a sense most valuable player. People would want me on they mothaf**kin team is all Im sayin.
AllHipHop.com: How did you hook up with DJ Premier, did you reach
out to him?
Ludacris: I did man. Im the first southern rapper to actually get a Premo beat. Like hes had other rappers on some of his beats but they werent on
a southern artists album. I love making history man so when I tell you, you
hear this record its definitely goin down.
I have DNA of a lot
of old school rappers in my music. Thats why I Im the summation of all. Because its one thing to try and sound
like somebody else but its another thing to have inspiration from so many
different people and then have your own unique sound.
AllHipHop.com: You got Chicago roots and obviously the Atlanta
roots, from each of those, what do you take from them?
Ludacris: No matter where I lived I was always a fan of every region of
Hip-Hop. Everything from the B.I.G.s to Snoop Dogg, Kurupt, the Death Row
movement, to the MC Breezes, to the Scarfaces and
Uncle Lukes. I always was just kinda
a lover of everything. I have DNA
of a lot of old school rappers in my music. Thats why I Im the summation of all. Because its one thing to try and sound
like somebody else but its another thing to have inspiration from so many
different people and then have your own unique soundand I think thats
what I do.
AllHipHop.com: So whos on the DTP roster right now?
Ludacris: You got Playaz Circle, Willy Northpole, Shareefa, um, who else
is on the roster, still got I-20 hes on Koch, you know he has that song out. SmallWorld, thats pretty much like the forefront artists
right now. Lil Fates still down.
I-20 f/ Ludacris
I Really Like Her Video
AllHipHop.com: Those names have basically been with you since jump,
thats no small feat.
Ludacris: You know we like
family. They go on the road with me, they still working on projects like I said
20, you know hes been on Capitol before, that didnt work out, now hes on
Koch. We always gonna try
and find an outlet to be able to do what we love to do.
AllHipHop.com: Whats good with this album with Shawnna?
Ludacris: Absolutely Battle of the
Sexes, starting to work on that now, yes sir. Its been so many people I
mean Jay-Z and Foxy attempted, they were talking about doing an album before. Who
else was saying? Like, male and female.
AllHiipHop.com: Maybe Lil Kim and somebody.
Ludacris: Right Lil Kim and B.I.G. was talking about doing it before and it
never happened. I gotta do
it, I gotta do it for Hip-Hop man for real. [Laughs]
AllHipHop.com: Whats up with the crib man? Well, the pool house
Ludacris: The pool house is gone, yeah, it was an electrical fire. But at least that s**t happened
in September, when no one was thinking about going swimming. I aint thinking about going swimming for the next six
months, which gives us time to rebuild [and] come back bigger, better, and
stronger. So its all good, everything happens for a
reason. Im just glad it didnt
f**k with my house. Id be f**ked up right now if it woulda
burned my house down.
AllHipHop.com: It was kind of ironic since you had that Big Ass House
Ludacris: Yeah, the pool house was pretty big too. People could live in the
pool house if they wanted to. I dont know if I could say how much its worth but, its definitely pretty serious. [Laughs]
AllHipHop.com: Ok, now youve always, I know you said youve always
been particular about choosing your beats. So how does it usually go down? Do
people send you tracks or are you constantly soliciting beats?
Ludacris: They send me tracks. This particular album,
half the album is produced by DJs. Just because I know Djs have
their pulse on the streets and I want to show my appreciation to the DJs. So
with that being said, like everybody from DJ Toomp,
DJ Don Cannon, Clinton Sparks, DJ Premier, They gonna
prove to the world how hard they are when it comes to this production.
AllHipHop.com: Would you ever work with Bangladesh (Shondrae) again?
Ludacris: Yeah, yeah, yeah, we was actually talking today would definitely
work with Bangladesh. Im extremely happy for his success man, I told him that
too. Im loving to see him grow both of us and still being able to work with
each other. But Im loving it man,
it touches my heart, Im grateful that he continues to do what he does.
AllHipHop.com: What made you decide to go with Theater of The Mind to give it that film theme, what was the
Ludacris: To do something different like no one else is doing. I didnt
want to come with your regular everyday ordinary album. I feel like people are
waiting, they want something new, they
need something new. Especially in a time like this where people are
stressed out and they need forms of entertainment thats gon
help them relieve a lot stress.
And I think that this is what it is man, its not something you listen
to, its something you have to experience so its almost like giving them more
than just an album. Its a whole theatrical experience man.
AllHipHop.com: Now you got T.I. on there
Ludacris: Wish You Would.
AllHipHop.com: Right, when we interviewed him, you were his best
competition. That said, how serious was it and how did it get to the point that
now yall are working together?
Ludacris: It was only serious
at one point in time just because, you know Hip-Hop was built off of going back
and forth with each other. So we were just sending, lyrical words and
subliminal words at each other and that was the only thing man. As long as
neither one of us talked about killing or shooting each other, or talked about
somebodys kids, I was cool. So it wasnt really never a beef cause we would
see each other in passing all the time.
Atlantas a small circle we knew all the same people. If somebody had to
be found theyd have been found like [snaps fingers] that, on either side. We
just waited for the right for the right moment to maximize off what the
potential of you know using it to our advantage and thats what we did.
AllHipHop.com. It also speaks to you
respective crews too cause often times its the crew that really sets things
Ludacris: Right absolutely, we both feed so many damn people, that its
usually the crews that get more involved than we do, yeah.
AllHipHop.com: Is there a possibility of a T.I. and Ludacris album?
Ludacris: We had kind of traded words about it but never really got too
serious into the conversation but you never know, anything is
possible. Its just about timing and everything and I think a lot of its political cause were signed to two different record
companies. But you never know. The possibilities are limitless.
f/ Floyd Mayweather Undisputed Video
AllHipHop.com: If the life and times of Ludacris
were to be filmed who would you want to portray you?
Ludacris: If I had to get somebody younger than me like I really think that
dude Evan Ross is a really good actor man. I think maybe he could pull it off. And Ill play the older me. [Laughs]
sure you get tons of scripts but what percentage do you take serious? Youve
been picky compared to other MCs turned actors who seem to get in any movie
Ludacris: Ill probably turn
down a good 70% of scripts I get. The movies that I did pass on came out and, I
shall remain nameless, but they came out and it was a good thing that I wasnt
in them basically. [laughs]
AllHipHop.com: As far as the song Politics,
your take on it?
Ludacris: My take is that, I just want everybody to go out and vote right
now. I know were getting really
close to this election and you know there are entities
that will try and use what they can use or bring something back up. So with
that being said I just want everybody to get out and vote and concentrate on
that. And I dont want to distract
either one of the candidates from what they have to do to becoming the next
president very soon, so thats my take on it. [Laughs] After November 4th
we could have whatever.
Ludacris issued AllHipHop
this exclusive statement.]
AllHipHop.com: Whats good
with all these ventures and with the acting and rapping, how do you keep track
of it all?
Ludacris: Straits Restaurant in Atlanta, WeMix.com (people are getting
their music on there and they can get discovered, all different kinds of music
too), MyGhetto.com, which is like a MySpace for the hood. The
movies, television, philanthropy [The Ludacris
Foundation], being a father, to my daughter Karma. Thats pretty much
all thats going on right now.
Its hard but I know that
if it wasnt for the music I wouldnt have all these
other ventures. So I make sure I
focus and I make sure I put my priorities where they supposed to be. And you know this music game started
all of this s**t so who would I be to turn my back it on it now?
co-starring Chris Brown & S.G. I Know What The Girls Like Video