In a tranquil Los Angeles afternoon, Ludacris finds a rare moment of peace and relaxation at his dining room table, captivated by the breathtaking view from his Hollywood Hills home. Amidst a flurry of recent engagements, the rapper and actor has been constantly occupied, leaving little time for such serene moments. Touring as the opening act for Janet Jackson, their exhilarating sold-out shows at Madison Square Garden stand out as a highlight. Alongside his performances, Ludacris has been immersed in a whirlwind of press events and television appearances to promote the release of “Fast X,” which has just made its debut in theaters across the United States and North America.
Nevertheless, in this present moment, Ludacris redirects his attention towards what aids him in unwinding and achieving a restful night’s sleep after his demanding schedule. During a Zoom interview, he turns the camera towards his infinity swimming pool, providing a tranquil backdrop of Los Angeles, and reveals that it is these elements that contribute to his ability to decompress at the end of the day.
Ludacris went on to express his belief in the therapeutic practice of “earthing” or grounding, highlighting the significance of allowing his skin and body to make contact with the earth or water. He described the profound impact it has on balancing the negative and positive ions within his system. Ludacris emphasized how rare it is for individuals in today’s fast-paced world to simply sit on the grass or spend leisure time in parks to find relaxation.
“I live by it,” Ludacris passionately declared. He explained that he experiences a profound sense of equilibrium when he is near or immersed in water, or when he basks in the warm embrace of sunlight. This connection to nature plays a vital role in his well-being.
While Ludacris is currently in Los Angeles for business purposes, this particular visit feels different from his usual work trips. In the interview, he took a moment to discuss his upcoming star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, which is scheduled for Thursday. Reflecting on the significance of this milestone, Ludacris expressed his appreciation for the unique experience it represents to him. The honor of receiving a star on the renowned Walk of Fame holds great personal meaning and serves as a testament to his accomplishments in the entertainment industry.
During Ludacris’ star ceremony on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, he took a moment to reflect and express his gratitude for the journey that led him to this point. As he looked out at the breathtaking surroundings, including his luxurious surroundings, Ludacris paused his relentless work ethic to fully embrace the significance of the moment.
The guest list at the ceremony was a testament to Ludacris’ enduring impact and tireless dedication. Accompanying him were some of his hip-hop influences, such as LL Cool J and Queen Latifah, who shared in his celebration. The front row was filled with his “Fast & Furious” family, including Vin Diesel, Tyrese, Michelle Rodriguez, and Jordana Brewster, who have been an integral part of his professional journey. Close by were his beloved family members, including his mother Roberta Shields, his wife Eudoxie Mbouguiengue, and his four daughters, who added to the joyous atmosphere. Ludacris was pleasantly surprised when his eldest daughter, Karma Bridges, made an unexpected appearance despite initially planning to speak at her school, Spelman College. Her heartfelt speech moved Ludacris to tears, prompting him to playfully mention his sunglasses as a cover for his emotions.
The star ceremony was filled with poignant and joyful moments, underscoring Ludacris’ deep appreciation for the unwavering support and love he has received from his family and colleagues throughout his career. It was a touching tribute to his remarkable journey and the mark he has left on the entertainment industry.
During his speech, Ludacris expressed his gratitude to numerous individuals who played pivotal roles in his career, paying special tribute to the late actor Paul Walker and the late director John Singleton, who had a significant impact on his life and career. Ludacris acknowledged their contributions and the profound influence they had on him, particularly through his involvement in the “Fast & Furious” franchise.
Towards the end of his list, Ludacris turned his attention to two people who have been by his side since the beginning: his longtime managers, Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon. He credited them as being instrumental in his journey, noting that they had been with him from Day 1. Ludacris and the Zulu brothers co-founded their independent music label, Disturbing Tha Peace Records, in 1998, which released his initial albums.
In a heartfelt moment, Ludacris became emotional as he realized the impact of his father’s passing and recognized that, aside from his mother, Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon had played an integral role in his upbringing and development as a person. With tears in his eyes, Ludacris expressed his deep appreciation for their guidance and support, acknowledging that they had helped shape him into the person he is today.
This touching moment highlighted the profound bond and gratitude Ludacris holds for those who have been a part of his journey, both professionally and personally.
During the event, Ludacris took the opportunity to express his heartfelt gratitude towards several individuals who have been instrumental in his life and career. He made special mention of the late Paul Walker and John Singleton, recognizing their significant influence and the impact they had on his journey. Ludacris also gave special recognition to his longtime managers, Chaka Zulu and Jeff Dixon, who have been by his side since the very beginning of his career. He spoke about the profound role they played in shaping his success and guiding him, likening them to father figures in his life.
The audience at the event responded with overwhelming support, rising to their feet in a standing ovation and offering words of encouragement. Prior to Ludacris’ speech, fellow artists LL Cool J and Vin Diesel also took the stage, with LL Cool J serving as a significant inspiration for Ludacris’ musical aspirations, and Vin Diesel sharing a close bond with him as part of the “Fast & Furious” family. The event was filled with heartfelt moments and a strong sense of camaraderie among those who have played pivotal roles in Ludacris’ life and career.
Amidst the enthusiastic crowd, fans eagerly gathered behind a metal barrier, cheering and even reciting some of Ludacris’ iconic lyrics. As the star ceremony reached its conclusion, the officials unveiled Ludacris’ coral-pink terrazzo star, featuring his name in brass. The sight of his name immortalized on the Hollywood Walk of Fame was met with great excitement and applause.
In a moment of pure joy, Ludacris couldn’t contain his enthusiasm. He celebrated by dancing on top of his star, unleashing his exuberant movements. With stomping feet, twirling spins, and arms outstretched as if ready to take flight, he expressed his exhilaration and gratitude for the milestone achievement.
It was noteworthy that Ludacris’ star featured a brass motion picture symbol instead of the traditional music symbol. This deliberate choice reflected the immense success of the “Fast and Furious” franchise, particularly the recent installment “Fast X.” The film’s dominance and impact were evident throughout the ceremony, solidifying its significance as a milestone in Ludacris’ career.
Ludacris believes that the ongoing success of the “Fast and Furious” franchise comes from its ability to constantly evolve and reinvent itself, even if it means delivering more extravagant car chases and action sequences. As technology has advanced, the franchise has pushed boundaries and raised the stakes in each film, and Ludacris’s character, Tej, has also grown and changed.
Tej started as a skilled car mechanic deeply involved in the underground racing scene in “2 Fast 2 Furious” (2003). Throughout subsequent films, Tej has transformed into a master engineer, equipping cars with advanced weaponry, and a skilled hacker working alongside Ramsey, played by Nathalie Emmanuel. The latest film, “Fast X,” is seen as the start of the franchise’s final chapter, with two more films planned to conclude the series.
For Ludacris, such an end would allow more time for his first love, music.
“After going through all the excitement of the ‘Fast’ franchise and receiving my Hollywood Walk of Fame star, I will finally have some time to dedicate to creating more music,” Ludacris expressed. He assured his fans that once he finds the time, he will begin working on his 11th studio album, marking his return to music since the release of “Ludaversal” in 2015.
Ludacris emphasized that the gap between albums was necessary for him to reconnect with his songwriting abilities. He explained that after producing nine or ten albums, taking a break was essential because art reflects life, and one must live life to its fullest to create the best art. Ludacris emphasized the importance of authenticity in his music, stating that it cannot be manufactured but must come from genuine experiences.
Ludacris recently collaborated on the Afrobeats track “Cinderella Girl” by Nigerian rapper Blaqbonez. His verse in the song reflects the womanizing aspect of his previous Ludacris persona and seamlessly complements the dark and sensual beat.
Ludacris shared that he has been exposed to Afrobeats music for the past decade due to his wife, who is a fan and plays it regularly at home. He expressed his admiration for the genre and its artists, highlighting that they are fans of his music just as he is a fan of theirs.
Since obtaining dual citizenship in Gabon in 2020 (his wife’s home country), Ludacris has been spending time in Africa, including visits to Ghana and Nigeria. During his trips, he has collaborated with local artists. It is worth mentioning that he had previously traveled to Africa while touring his various albums.
Despite Ludacris’ evolving musical tastes and ventures into different genres, he still finds a strong connection with his earlier music while on tour with Janet Jackson. He shared that fans at each tour stop continue to demand more music, but it’s his hits from the 2000s that resonate the most with them.
The experience of hearing the crowd sing his songs word for word is an indescribable feeling for Ludacris. He expressed that there is no better feeling in the world than seeing people recite his lyrics back to him as if they were the ones who wrote them. The process of creating something from nothing, releasing it into the world, and then witnessing the audience’s response is something he never tires of. It is a testament to the lasting impact his music has had on people’s lives.
Ludacris acknowledges the timeless appeal of his classic hits such as “Act a Fool,” “Area Codes,” “Money Maker,” “How Low,” “Move B—,” and “My Chick Bad.” These songs have become ingrained in hip-hop culture and have become part of the soundtrack for a generation. They continue to receive airplay on radio stations, play at clubs, and accumulate millions of streams.
Ludacris recognizes that the ongoing popularity of his music is a testament to its success. He views it as the world’s way of affirming that he has created hits. Despite being immersed in the day-to-day demands of touring, Ludacris strives to maintain a broader perspective and remind himself of the impact his music has had. Moments like his induction into the Hollywood Walk of Fame serve as important reminders of the lasting legacy he has built in the music industry.
Ludacris acknowledges that receiving his Hollywood Walk of Fame star is a significant moment for him to pause and appreciate, something he admits he doesn’t often do because of his competitive nature and constant focus on what’s next. Despite his temporary visits to Los Angeles, he has developed a connection to the city and considers it more than just a tourist destination. He frequently travels to L.A., with four to five visits each year, and even owns a mansion in the Hollywood Hills that he purchased in 2014. He has his favorite spots in the city, such as Koi on La Cienega Boulevard for food and the Lobby at the Hollywood Roosevelt hotel for drinks. When it comes to the freeways, he finds the 405 to be his least favorite due to his frequent trips to and from Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).
After the star ceremony, Ludacris wasted no time and headed straight to catch a flight back to the East Coast. He had a performance scheduled in Allentown, Pennsylvania, that same night. This show was just the beginning of a busy schedule for him. He had three consecutive nights of performances lined up, including a doubleheader in Boston where he would perform at both an arena and a nightclub. Following a three-day break, he was then set to fly to Toronto to continue his series of shows. Ludacris’s brief pause to cherish the moment at the Hollywood Walk of Fame was followed by his return to work, fully immersed in his ongoing performances and commitments.