Ludacris: The Actor’s Studio

Let the record show that MCs skilled at slinging deft lyrics

with comedic wit don’t get the same props as those more focused on drug and gun

tales. Not convinced? Ask Redman or Slick Rick. But one versatile rapper,

Atlanta’s 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 MC’s on everybody list,” says Ludacris

of his sixth album, Theater of The Mind,

with a laugh, though he’s surely dead serious. The evidence backing his

aspirations is solid. All of his albums, beginning with 2000’s Back For the First Time have been certified

at least platinum, with 2006’s Release

Therapy earning Ludacris a Grammy (his third) in

2007 for Best Rap Album.

 

But in Hip-Hop you’re only as good as your last hit, so

before too many folks think he’s 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 that’s just how it’s fallen.

Because usually all the rest of them I would do consecutively each year. That’s

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

Therapy…

 

Ludacris: Yeah, all them damn movies. 

[laughs] F**kin’ four movies

man.

 

Ludacris

co-starring T-Pain “One More Drink” Video

“The mission on this one is to be put in the top five MC’s on everybody list.”

 

AllHipHop.com: You were filming in Toronto [Max Payne] so you even recorded out there too right?

 

Ludacris: Yeah, that’s why I’m dropping so many singles

right now, letting everybody know I’m still hungry, you

know what I mean? Just because I’ve done those movies doesn’t mean that

I’m not 100% still in music mode.  Those

movies were shot pretty much last year and I’ve been working on the album this

year.  But you know what’s more

important is that people understand that this album right here is just proving my

status as an MC in the game and that’s what I’ma do,

trust.

 

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.  It’s a complete album man. I’m

dropping so many songs on them because I want people to know that this a complete album and it’s themed out. Nowadays it’s 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.

 

I Do It For Hip Hop (ft. Nas & Jay-Z) – Ludacris

 

AllHipHop.com: You’ve always been well rounded, whether it’s 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 it’s 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 I’m being funny

and when to take me serious.

Cause the whole last album was

pretty much…it wasn’t 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 I’m telling you at the end of the

day, it’s 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 MC’s on everybody list.

[Laughs]

 

AllHipHop.com: You’ve always been super

lyrical but at the same time have not been heavy on the murder murder kill kill bars. Do you

think that that’s 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 I’m so versatile

that I don’t always do one thing and I think that’s more of the reason why it’s

taken so much time. Because I don’t kill or stab or shoot or sell drugs I would

have to say I don’t think that’s the reason why because I feel like the people

that are real, the real motherf**kers,

the ones that aren’t swayed by other people’s opinions understand that what’s

really gangsta and what’s cool. What’s really good is

I’m just being myself. And there is nothing more gangsta

than somebody being themselves. 

 

Now if I was

trying to pose like somebody I wasn’t, that would be reason enough to count me

out on a lot of different issues. 

But as long as I’m doing me, I think people will respect that at the end

of the day.

 

U Got A Problem – Ludacris

 

AllHipHop.com: Back on “U Got a Problem” from Back For the First Time you said you were the number one contender,

now you’re trying to get Top Five recognition; let’s say that does happen,

what’s next?

 

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

that’s basically the summation of all. So if I set out to do something

different every album and I accomplish it, then that’s kinda

like in a sense most valuable player. People would want me on they mothaf**kin’ team is all I’m sayin’.

 

 

 

AllHipHop.com: How did you hook up with DJ Premier, did you reach

out to him?

 

Ludacris: I did man. I’m the first southern rapper to actually get a Premo beat. Like he’s had other rappers on some of his beats but they weren’t on

a southern artist’s album. I love making history man so when I tell you, you

hear this record it’s definitely goin’ down.

 

“I have DNA of a lot

of old school rappers in my music. That’s why I I’m the summation of all. Because it’s one thing to try and sound

like somebody else but it’s 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 Luke’s. I always was just kinda

a lover of everything.  I have DNA

of a lot of old school rappers in my music. That’s why I I’m  the summation of all.  Because it’s one thing to try and sound

like somebody else but it’s another thing to have inspiration from so many

different people and then have your own unique sound—and I think that’s

what I do.

 

AllHipHop.com: So who’s 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 he’s on Koch, you know he has that song out. SmallWorld, that’s pretty much like the forefront artists

right now. Lil Fate’s still down.

 

I-20 f/ Ludacris

“I Really Like Her” Video

 

 

 

AllHipHop.com: Those names have basically been with you since jump,

that’s 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 he’s been on Capitol before, that didn’t work out, now he’s on

Koch. We always gonna try

and find an outlet to be able to do what we love to do.

 

AllHipHop.com: What’s good with this album with Shawnna?

 

Ludacris: Absolutely Battle of the

Sexes, starting to work on that now, yes sir. It’s 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: What’s 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 ain’t thinking about going swimming for the next six

months, which gives us time to rebuild [and] come back bigger, better, and

stronger. So it’s all good, everything happens for a

reason.  I’m just glad it didn’t

f**k with my house. I’d 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”

mixtape cut.

 

Ludacris: Yeah, the pool house was pretty big too. People could live in the

pool house if they wanted to. I don’t know if I could say how much its worth but, it’s definitely pretty serious. [Laughs]

 

AllHipHop.com: Ok, now you’ve always, I know you said you’ve 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 DJ’s.  Just because I know Dj’s have

their pulse on the streets and I want to show my appreciation to the DJ’s. 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. I’m extremely happy for his success man, I told him that

too. I’m loving to see him grow… both of us…and still being able to work with

each other.  But I’m loving it man,

it touches my heart, I’m 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

inspiration?

 

Ludacris: To do something different like no one else is doing. I didn’t

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 that’s go’n

help them relieve a lot stress.  

And I think that this is what it is man, it’s not something you listen

to, it’s something you have to experience so it’s almost like giving them more

than just an album. It’s a whole theatrical experience man.

 

Wish You Would ft. T.I. – Ludacris

 

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 ya’ll 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

somebody’s kids, I was cool. So it wasn’t really never a beef cause we would

see each other in passing all the time. 

Atlanta’s a small circle we knew all the same people. If somebody had to

be found they’d 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 that’s what we did.

AllHipHop.com. It also speaks to you

respective crews too cause often times it’s the crew that really sets things

off.

Ludacris: Right absolutely, we both feed so many damn people, that it’s

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. It’s just about timing and everything and I think a lot of it’s political cause we’re signed to two different record

companies. But you never know. The possibilities are limitless.

 

Ludacris

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 I’ll play the older me. [Laughs]

 

AllHipHop.com:  I’m

sure you get tons of scripts but what percentage do you take serious? You’ve

been picky compared to other MCs turned actors who seem to get in any movie

they can.

 

Ludacris:  I’ll 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 wasn’t

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 we’re 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 don’t want to distract

either one of the candidates from what they have to do to becoming the next

president very soon, so that’s my take on it. [Laughs] After November 4th

we could have whatever.

[Since this interview Barack Obama handled his business,

Ludacris issued AllHipHop

this exclusive statement.]

AllHipHop.com: What’s 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. That’s pretty much

all that’s going on right now.

 

It’s hard but I know that

if it wasn’t for the music I wouldn’t 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?

 

Ludacris

co-starring Chris Brown & S.G. “I Know What The Girls Like” Video

 

 

 

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