Ask Ludacris his career plan and the high-energy artist with the soft-spoken demeanor wastes no time in setting you straight. “I’m in the game to change music. I think that’s what every artist should be in it for. I’m here to change the world or as Tupac said, spark the brain that changes the world. Set myself part. Be me.”
One listen to the bumpin’ and bass blasted The Red Light District and it’s pretty apparent that this multi platinum artist has not only set a goal but also nailed it. Of course what else would you expect from this Dirty South ambassador? Since he first exploded in TK Ludacris has emerged not only as a chart topper and hit maker (his Def Jam South cds Back For The First Time, Word of Mouf and Chicken N Beer have sold over 10 million copies) but also an influential label head, in demand cameo king and up and coming actor. A mere 4 short years in the game, Ludacris has proven that he has the tenacity and talent to push hip-hop music, and himself to new heights. O’ Reilly be damned. On The Red Light District Luda is taking no shorts and pulling no punches, lacing us with his buckwildin’ bombast.
The first taste of which is the propulsive “Get Back”. Throwing down a gully gantlet to anyone who dare step in his way or talk behind his back, Luda unleashes a volley of verbiage, delivered with his unmistakably nimble tongued flow. If folks needed any further proof as to Ludacris’s gift, then “Get Back’s call to arms shuts down any and all lingering doubts.
When you title your album after Amsterdam’s infamous open-air sex and drug market people are bound to ask questions about the inspiration. ” I think that with every album you have to give people a piece of you, something that they don’t know about; whether it’s personal or maybe a sound or idea they haven’t heard before. That’s something I set out to do this time. I know that the first thing people think of when they hear Red Light District is Amsterdam but I’m referring to a state of mind. Where there are no limitations to what I can say, or I can do. On this album I talk about everything. I get personal, about my emotions, money situations, my life. I’ve got metaphoric songs, club songs, songs for the women, party songs, songs about my experience traveling: just living my life. I really think this is my best album because it’s what I’ve always wanted to do.”
Chief on the to do list for Ludacris is maintaining his fan base but still having the creative courage to reach out to potential new audiences. To establish a style yet not get stuck in a formulaic rut. From the jump Luda has shown himself to be flexible: able to hold it down with the grimiest of rappers and then seize the spotlight as he did on Usher’s #1 smash “Yeah”.” I think one of the things that keeps me fresh and keeps the public interested in me is my versality. That’s why I’ve worked with so many artists over the years and why they want to work with me because I’m able to bring something different each time. ”
Ludacris’s achievements extend beyond the confines of his own albums. As a pivotal member, both behind the mic and behind the scenes of the posse/label Disturbing Tha Peace, Luda has brought his expertise and enthusiasm to a roster of artists that include Fate, 1-20, Shawnna, Playaz Circle and Tity Boi. Along with his hands on participation in DTP, Ludacris oversees The Ludacris Foundation, a non-profit organization he created 3 years ago. The Ludacris Foundation mission is to help young people achieve their dreams through the encouragement of “Principles of Success.”, and to show young people in America they are the builders of their future. The Foundation reaches those goals by incorporating music and the arts to connect with young people by listening to their views, issues, and challenges. Giving back is something of utmost importance to Ludacris, who back in his days as a popular DJ on Atlanta’s Hot 97, often participated in community service outreach. ” I really enjoy working with people. I am one of those people who love helping people help themselves.”
Along with his commitment to doing for others Ludacris has been making inroads in other arenas. After generating positive reviews for his role in 2 Fast, 2 Furious Ludacris will be coming to a theater near you with roles in two highly anticipated films, Hustle and Flow, produced by John Singleton and Crash, starring Don Cheadle. Acting is something Ludacris takes very seriously; so much so that for his cinematic endeavors Luda is billed under his real name, Chris Bridges.
Actor. Philanthropist. Label executive. Rapper. Star. It seems that everything that Ludacris takes on he conquers and in the process of doing so, brings his unique persona and approach to an even wider fan base. With The Red Light District Ludacris gears up to do battle again: armed with wit, wildness, lyrical dexterity, heart, raunch and a sense of who he is and what he can be. Ask Ludacris his philosophy and he breaks it down. “l always tell people that longevity is the most important thing to me, so with that being said I’ve never looked back. I’m always looking forward. I know that when it comes to hip hop I’m one of the chosen few and I’m very happy with that success but a s far as where I’m going I have no limitations. Even though this is my fourth album I’m just getting started”.