With Ludacris’ new album Theater of the Mind [click to read] out in stores now, fans will be welcomed by a few firsts from the southern rapper; a collaboration with T.I., and a production credit from DJ Premier. Speaking with Rhapsody.com [click to read], Luda delved into the topics of working with T.I., chopping it up with Premier, and whether or not he was the “first southern rapper with a Primo beat.”
Despite beginning their respective careers in Atlanta, Ludacris and T.I. had never worked together on an album until this year, which also marks the release of each rapper's sixth album. With the supposed “beef” behind them, the two ATL lyricists got down to what it is all about: the music.
"We see each other in passing all the time," Ludacris explained. "Once we got in the actual work, we were both just two focused individuals. We knocked out ["Wish You Would" and "On Top of the World"] quick. You never know, there might be some more stuff to come. Maybe we can complete the spectrum and just do more work together and have more than one type of song out there. But I feel like the ones we’ve done are solid."
Along with T.I., Ludacris shares the stage on Theater of the Mind with other notable rappers, such as Jay-Z, Nas, and Common. With that said, it’s been the DJ Premier-produced "MVP" [click to listen] that has many Hip Hop heads salivating for more. Luda explained how that collaboration went down, saying, "I was in Toronto, and I had a lot of off-time from shooting the movie Max Payne. Premier came up to Toronto and we knocked that thing smooth out. We came up with three different beats. That was the one I loved the most. I recorded to it and it was history from there. I loved working with DJ Premier."
After describing "MVP" as a song that takes people to a place where they "first fell in love with Hip Hop music," the interviewer had some bad news for Ludacris, stating that it was in fact Devin The Dude who had DJ Premier produce "Doobie Ashtray" on his 2002 release Just Tryin' ta Live. With this news, Luda gave props to the Houston rapper.
"Oh, shit," Ludacris said. "I’m a Devin The Dude fan, too. I have heard 'Doobie Ashtray' and that’s crazy because I love that song. Now that you say that, it makes me realize [it]. But I never knew Premier did it. Well then, dammit, there you have it. I’m the second Southern artist to get a DJ Premier joint."
For more tidbits on Ludacris’ newest album, Theater of the Mind, check out his full Q&A with Rhapsody.com [click here].