By: David PeisnerMove over, Vin Diesel–a hot-rodding sequel to The Fast andthe Furious puts Ludacris in the driver’s seat
Now Ludacris is a playa in the Shakespearean sense, too. The foul-moufed hip-hopper, who gets his first starring role in this month’s street-racing crashfest 2 Fast 2 Furious, has been a dedicated cineast since he saw the original House Party–so much so that he asked to be credited in 2F2F under his real name, Chris Bridges. “Of course, they told me no,” he says with a laugh. “Not this time.” From his M.C. Hammer-esque estate in College Park, Georgia, he discussed his long-term career plans–assuming, of course, that they meet with Bill O’Reilly’s approval.
You were given extensive stunt-driving instruction before filming started. Did you ever crash your car?
[Stares incredulously] Nah, nah. It was all open field. It was like a runway, and there was nothing to run into except the goddamn cones. I was excited as hell to do it. And with those fat-ass tires that the Corvette has, you can’t go wrong.
Did it make you a better driver in real life?
It definitely did. I’ve only been in, like, two accidents my whole life. One of them was because I hydroplaned, and the other one I bumped into the back of somebody because I wasn’t paying attention. So I don’t brag about a lot of things, but I’ll definitely tell you I’m a pretty damn good driver.
Have you always been as skilled with your rhymes?
I started playing around when I was about eight years old. Then, when I was nine, I thought I had a song, and I needed something to rhyme with “girlfriend.” So I said, “I’m cool, I’m bad, I might be ten / But I can’t survive without my girlfriend.”
Is there a story behind the title to your next album, Chicken ‘N Beer?
You are what you eat, man. Whether it’s broiled, baked, fried, I find myself eating chicken–if I eat three meals a day, I would say at least two of those are chicken. And I drink a lot of alcoholic beverages, so that’s why it’s called Chicken ‘N Beer.
Since the controversy surrounding your endorsement deal with Pepsi, have you felt the need to clean up your act?
No way–there’s no line I won’t cross. I feel real comfortable with anything I say out of my mouth, man. When you get angry, you curse. So I might say the word bitch, or I might say the word ho. If people really listened to the first song I had out, called “Ho,” then they would understand that I wasn’t trying to degrade women. What I was doing was desexualizing the word. I call myself a ho in the damn song. So if it can go for men and it can go for women, then what is anyone upset about?
Have you tried explaining that to Bill O’Reilly?
I was surprised, because I didn’t understand how all of a sudden this man just started attacking me. The man’s a hypocrite, and to me, he’s a racist. And it showed once he started sticking up for people like the Osbournes, because who is he to say Ludacris is worse than the Osbournes? I’m not here to mess up anyone else’s money, but for Bill O’Reilly and Pepsi to say it’s okay for the Osbournes to have a deal but it’s not okay for me–that makes no sense whatsoever.
Would you ever go on his show to settle the score?
No, because that’s his ground. I’ve seen other people go on his show, and he just cuts them off. That’s his domain. I’d like for him to come to my domain. Come to College Park, Bill. It’ll be great! [Laughs]