When you're Ludacris, there's no telling who's path you will come across — Vince Vaughn, Oprah Winfrey, Jay-Z, even O.J. Simpson. Earlier this year, he met somebody that has him thinking more about doing his part to save the world.
"It's funny, because when I was out for the Grammys in L.A., I ran into Al Gore," 'Cris said Tuesday (July 3). "I was trippin' because Al Gore was at the party. I was sitting there talking to him, and he wanted me to get involved in some of the stuff he was doing."
As everyone knows, Gore has been a major activist in raising awareness about the effects of global warming. Their talk at the awards show led to Ludacris becoming part of Saturday's worldwide Live Earth concerts (see "Kanye, Fall Out Boy, Kelly Clarkson Lead Live Earth's U.S. Lineup"). For the U.S. show at New Jersey's Giants Stadium, Luda will perform on the same bill as Bon Jovi, Kanye West, Kelly Clarkson, Akon and more. Live Earth includes shows across seven continents, and Snoop Dogg, the Beastie Boys, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and a plethora of other artists will perform in arenas across the globe.
"I'm a fan of the people on the bill, I can't lie," Luda said about the U.S. show. He said he's not going to leave after he performs; he wants to stay and enjoy the rest of the concert — especially the Police. "I don't remember me ever being around when they were doing concerts. You got a good mixture of people on the show."
So what's the game plan for Luda's 20-minute set? He wants to give the people a mixture of his catalog. "I just want to do all my hits," he said. "I'm blessed to have a lot of those, 'cause the point is to have people tuned in and keep their attention and focus on what's really going on. I'll be doing a variety of the hits."
More importantly, Luda said he's been learning about the cause during the past few months and could not miss the chance to get involved. "I definitely wanted to know about the global-warming crisis and the dangers happening to our planet," he said. "You know me: I'm all about saving lives. ... I couldn't refuse to be a part of something this big. I'm learning more as I go along. If the cause is to save lives and save the planet, then I'm down.
"It's all about trying, as long as you're conscious about it," he added. "You can begin to learn what you can do. I'm trying to figure out how I can get solar panels and things like that. They're even saying purchasing music online ... is a way to help. Or turning your computers off at night. It's a lot of things you can do. I'm sitting here taking it all in."
The Atlanta native pointed out that the Live Earth Web site has info on how everyone can do their part.
And "everyone" is the key word when it comes to Luda's next project, the Disturbing Tha Peace compilation album Strength in Numbers, due August 28. "We always tend to add more artists to the roster and try to expand the label," he said of his imprint. "Last time was the first time we had Bobby Valentino and Shareefa [on a comp album]. Now we have more [new people], especially with the addition of Chingy."
Last week, MTV News told you that Chingy and 'Cris had mended fences over their very public rift (see "Ludacris And Chingy Reunited At Powerhouse 2007 Concert"). Years ago, Chingy accused Luda and company of mismanaging his career, among other things (see "Ludacris Declares That 'All Respect Is Lost' For Chingy" and "Chingy Fires Back At Nelly And Luda, Drops New Dis Track"). Luda and his manager were fuming and said the accusations were not true.
"At the end of the day, we all get angry about certain stuff," said 'Cris, who's also working on his next solo LP, Theater of the Mind. "You can never say never. You always have to have forgiveness in your heart. He came to us like a man, he apologized for things he did. In the climate of hip-hop now, you gotta let old stuff be old stuff. I forgave him in my heart. It was a move to make, and we said, 'Let this man back.' All the executives at DTP, we all agreed."
Last week, during festivities surrounding the BET Awards in L.A., Luda and the rest of the DTP execs were at a luncheon thrown by Warner Music President Kevin Liles when a fight broke out between Luda's manager, Chaka Zulu, and T.I. (see "T.I., Ludacris' Manager Get Into Scuffle At Industry Event"). T.I. apologized during the awards show (see "T.I. Regrets Scuffle With Ludacris' Manager; Says LP Is 'Best Hip-Hop Has To Offer' "), and on Monday, the King of the South explained the situation further on New York hip-hop station Hot 97.
"Representatives from both parties have spoken," T.I. told jock Angie Martinez, explaining that the situation has been resolved. "If I say it's cool, it's cool. I apologized because of the setting [in which the altercation took place]. It was inappropriate. I felt I had disturbed a positive event with something negative. Everybody was there to celebrate success, and here Tip goes acting up. The thing I'm beginning to notice is that actions are more difficult than conversation. I can't let other people dictate my reactions."
Although 'Cris said he would like Chaka himself to tell the world his side of the confrontation, Luda did say his friend is doing well.
"Chaka's fine," 'Cris said. "I'm not gonna speak for him, but as far as how he's doing physically, he's fine. Nobody was hurt. I heard people say we're trying to downplay it. Honestly, it wasn't a situation like how people are trying to make it out to be."
Stay tuned to MTV News — on TV and online — for all-day updates from Live Earth on Saturday. We'd also like to hear from music fans across the globe. Submit your pictures, video and reports from the concerts to our new live-music blog, You R Here.