Ludacris is making so much money these days with all his various deals — LPs, movies, signings to his label, radio shows, etc. — it's only fitting that Atlanta's most energetic MC do some celebrating on Wall Street.
Luda rang the opening bell with executives from XM Satellite Radio at NASDAQ headquarters Thursday morning (September 29). He helped commemorate XM's 5-millionth subscriber as well as an agreement he just struck to have his own show on XM.
"I'm just glad it worked out the way it did," Luda said. "I'm always trying to position myself to where I'm broadening my horizons."
For the rapper, hosting a radio show actually brings him back to square one: He used to be a radio personality in Atlanta before cracking into the other side of the game as an artist.
"It feels real good to be back to it," said Luda, who's been fielding offers to return to radio for quite some time. "I was real patient, figuring out exactly what I wanted to do. With XM having over 5 million subscribers, I think it was the perfect opportunity because it's raw and uncut. I'm a raw and uncut type of individual. So I think it's a perfect marriage."
Luda doesn't have a start date for his radio program, but he does have a name: "Disturbing Tha Peace Presents Ludacris' Open Mic." He's promising exclusive freestyles and songs from all regions.
Luda also has another compilation scheduled to drop through his label, Disturbing Tha Peace, in December.
"With DTP, we never want to be limited to what we do," he explained. "This compilation is showing how broad of a company we are. Not only do we have rap artists, but we surprised people by branching out and breaking a R&B artist, which is Bobby [Valentino]. This compilation will be showcasing what's to come and shock people even more [about] what they think we can and can't do. It's coming full throttle."
The comp will feature appearances from the camp's friends like Ghostface, Redman, Trick Daddy and Luke, plus DTP regulars Lil' Fate, Shawnna and I-20. It'll also showcase Luda himself; Bobby Valentino, who debuted on the label this year; and new groups such as Playaz Circle (you'll probably recognize group member Tity Boi as a DTP staple) and North Clique. There'll also be contributions from the female singer Sharifa and the newly acquired Field Mob, the duo that raps with Luda on the compilation's first single, "Georgia."
"I feel they were underdogs for a long time, or just under-appreciated" Luda said about signing the Mob. "They have two great albums, and I feel that they didn't get the respect they deserve.
"To be real with you, I'm trying to give them a stronger outlet," he added. "I think they've tweaked their own music over the years. When people hear this album, they'll understand how they've grown not only lyrically but as far as making great songs [goes]. Everybody is going to be really proud. I think it's gonna be well-deserved. It's a totally new sound."
With the still-untitled compilation in the can, Luda is concentrating on his next solo album, Release Therapy.
"The name is Release Therapy for two reasons," he began to describe. "[For one thing,] I signed a five-album deal with Def Jam, and this is my fifth album. ... You can count on your hand artists that've made it this far. I just feel good about it. It's one of those things that's therapeutic just to know I've made it this far. Depending on whether or not I want to continue going is up to me."
Luda says his other inspiration for titling the album is music itself.
"Music is therapeutic," he said. "When I say Release Therapy, I just mean in what I do and speaking out. It is my release therapy, music, period. Every album I get more and more personal, start talking about issues that people would be surprised about or maybe didn't think I would say. I'm about to release. You can't keep stuff balled in. I never have kept stuff balled in, but I'm getting more and more comfortable talking [about] anything and just what's on my mind. That's what music is all about. Hopefully with me saying all of that sh--, you understand the title."