It’s been nearly 15 year since Atlanta wordsmith Ludacris released his independent debut album Incognegro and while the rapper’s currently in the process of crafting his next studio album, Ludaversal, he took some time to speak with MySpace Music about his celebrated debut.
According to Luda, he believes the completion of Incognegro was a sign from a higher power that he was to share his music “with the entire world.”
“Recording my very first album was like a dream come true,” the rapper revealed. “When I did this complete Incognegro album, I knew that I had matured and this was the time that the Man Upstairs wanted me to share my music with the entire world.”
Although Incognegro served as Ludacris’ independent debut, shortly after its release the rapper signed to Def Jam and released his major label debut, Back For The First Time. The album consisted of a number of tracks included on Incognegro on top of a few new songs including The Neptunes-produced “Southern Hospitality.”
“The other records were all dope––but radio wasn’t going to embrace it,” said Chaka Zulu, Ludacris’ manager. “We recorded the Neptunes track two days before we had to turn the album back in. We went to Virginia to see Pharrell. He played us a couple of beats and we asked for something you could shake to, something fast. Pharrell played us a beat I loved, Chris didn’t. He played us a bunch of other stuff but then went back to the beat. Chris went out to the car then came back with the first eight bars. We sat in the studio and wrote the hook [for ‘Southern Hospitality’] all night, but Pharrell had to leave. The guy that usually mixes their records wasn’t available so we had to rush and get it mixed and put it on the album. The song on the album is actually different from the single because we remixed it with the right dude. It was crazy.”
According to Ludacris, “What’s Your Fantasy,” the Shawnna-assisted single that’s featured on both Incognegro and Back For The First Time, was a record that was close to being replaced as lead single.
“I put out ‘Fantasy’ and ‘Game Got Switched’ produced by Organized Noize on the B-side. I remember having a lot of conversations about which song everyone thought would work better, so I wasn’t 100 percent sure, but I put my money on ‘What’s Your Fantasy’ after putting my faith out there. But it was close to being ‘Game Got Switched,’” Luda revealed.