NEW YORK — Listening to Ludacris and Sum 41 playing together, you would never know that this was their first time meeting. Sounding more like a tight, rap-infused punk band than newfound friends, Luda and the Canadian quartet met for the first time Thursday to rehearse a rock version of the rapper’s “Get Back” for this weekend’s “Saturday Night Live.”
“The collaboration came about because we’re all a part of the same company, and a lot of people don’t know that — Island Def Jam,” Ludacris explained (see “Ludacris And Sum 41 — With Or Without Giant Foam Hands — To Team Up On ’SNL’ “ ). “And ever since they put my bobble head in their video … I was a fan of theirs before, and we just wanted to get together. I had a rock and roll version of ’Get Back’ and I was like, ’Who better to do it than Sum 41?’
“I actually have my own rock and roll band and they were kind of just playing with the idea of it, and I told them to go ahead and do it,” he said of the song’s alternate version. “We performed with them at the [Spike] Video Game Awards and some other things. I’ve always wanted to work with Sum 41 also, so I took this opportunity and just went on ahead and did it. It sounds great — first time meeting, first time hearing it. It’s just trying to take music to new heights, and that’s what it should be all about.”
While Luda has dabbled in rock before, Sum 41 said they’ve only worked with one other MC.
“DMX was in our video once,” said Sum 41 drummer Steve Jocz. “But we weren’t allowed to look at him.”
“I think this is the most collaborating that we’ve done with a hip-hop artist,” added Sum 41 frontman Deryck Whibley.
Despite their unfamiliarity, the quintet worked well together as they thrashed through the song twice with relative ease. The collabo has even gotten them talking about possible future projects together.
In the meantime, Luda will continue to promote his current album, The Red Light District. In addition to “Get Back,” the rapper will also perform the Austin Powers-inspired “Number One Spot” (see “Luda Vs. Austin Powers? Cris Gets Villainous In Next Clip” ) on “SNL,” which will be hosted by “Sideways” star Paul Giamatti. The rapper is also planning a video for the new single with directors the Fat Cats.
As for Sum 41, the guys are scheduled to return to the road where they will wrap up dates in their homeland of Canada and Japan before launching a U.S. outing this spring.