Ludacris Brushes Off White Supremacists, Impresses Bud Bigwigs

Having recently wrapped 'Crash,' rapper to play DJ in upcoming 'Radio.'

Fans of Ludacris may have cringed last week following reports that the

National Alliance, a white-supremacist group in Casper,

Wyoming, was passing out flyers and lobbying to ban the city's

Disturbing Tha Peace tour date. Luda, however, says he's getting too

much love in other area codes to devote energy to the ignorant.

"Yeah, I heard about it. Ain't nothing new," Cris answered unflappably.

"[Stuff] like this has happened on tour before. All we do is make sure

we're prepared for anything that's going to happen, do our show and get

the hell on. Ain't nothing new to us. We've had opposition in a lot of

places over the past four years, so this ain't no surprise."

Undaunted, Cris and company continue to roll. Their shows have been

selling out, and audiences, albeit smaller than in the past, have been

crunk. 

"I decided to go that route because you can become more personal

sometimes in smaller venues than in bigger ones," Cris said about

shying away from arenas during this round of touring. "You can't

necessarily hit all the same places in the United States."

Even on the road, Cris still keeps up with all his Disturbing Tha Peace

CEO duties, such as making sure Chingy has everything he needs to rock

a 45-minute solo set (see "Ludacris Lines Up DTP Tour With Chingy,

I-20, Shawnna").

"The reason he can do 45 minutes is because we put him on the right

side project and make sure he has those records people know," Cris

remarked. "He gets out there and does his freestyle and tries to

balance the show with surprises. Plus, we have our own artists, like

I-20, who has songs with him. Before you know it, it's been 40 minutes'

worth of show.

"I've been doing it for so long, I just want people to bring energy and

balance," Cris said of what he wanted to pull out of his crew, which

also includes Shawnna, Tity Boi and Lil' Fate. "You don't want a dull

moment. You try to hit them as much as you can. If you have a certain

amount of songs, you might do one or two verses and then switch up. You

never really want to tire the crowd out. So I just try to give him

little tips or pointers. He knows what he's doing, so far. He was born

for this. He don't need us to tell him much."

Luda, on the other hand, has been gladly taking direction. He just

wrapped up his role in the movie "Crash," which contains more

celebrities than a P. Diddy afterparty.

"Yeah, 'Crash' is coming up with Larenz Tate, Don Cheadle, Sandra

Bullock and Brendan Fraser," he said. "That's coming out at the end of

this year. Me and Larenz, we're carjackers, and the movie is about race

discrimination in Los Angeles. Sort of like how 'Do the Right Thing'

was about blacks and Latinos and white people clashing in New York."

Ludacris has more films on the way. He and his partners, brothers Chaka

Zulu and Jeff Dixon, are looking into producing a slew of movies. One

of them, "Radio," is ready to ramp up this spring.

"I'm not going to be full directing 'cause that's a big leap," said

Chaka Zulu last week, "but I'm definitely looking over the director's

shoulders." Chaka has previously directed Cris videos. "I'm definitely

going to be part of the technical aspect, knowing what type of shots we

wanna get. Its good to be a ghost sometimes."

Despite a plot concerning Ludacris as a disc jockey, "Radio" is not a

biopic or based on Ludacris' real-life original career as a DJ.

"It's really not Luda's life story," Chaka said. "It's just gonna be

reflective. The only thing the same is the radio station. Little

elements will be reminiscent of Ludacris' radio life, but it's not his

life story. Radio is a very big part of everything that goes on with

music, especially hip-hop. So we gonna expose that and everything that

goes on with being a disc jockey. We wanna surround him with

up-and-coming mid-level cats. We're also gonna pull in some people from

the hip-hop world we think have camera magnetism."

Anheuser-Busch is also betting on Cris' allure. Luda just signed on as

a Budweiser spokesperson on the strength of his Chicken-N-Beer

LP.

"He got a nice big check," Chaka chuckled. "They already know who he

is. Pepsi knew who he was, too. They just buckled to a little bit of

pressure from Bill O'Reilly. It is what it is. We protect ourselves

when we do our deals. If people wanna pull out on us, we got our

clauses, our payouts. It's all in Ludacris' power to promote and

influence not only urban culture but suburban culture, too. He's one of

the more valuable spokesmen for any product. It's just a matter of, if

you gonna ride with him, you have to be loyal to him and his fanbase."