This Week's Main Pick
Street King: Ludacris
Holding It Down For: ATL
Mixtape Album: Ludacris Presents Conjure: A Hustler's Spirit
Real Spit: The stylistic and lyrical monster Chris Bridges pours his rap magma on tracks like his official Battle of the Sexes blast-off banger "How Low" and Snoop Dogg's instrumental for "I Wanna Rock."
"I did a verse to the beat," Chris said in Los Angeles last week. "I love the beat so much. That's one of the beats that comes on and you feel instant gratification. Somebody put my verse sandwiched in between the Jay and the Snoop verses [on the] G-Mix. It's all good. I just want people to hear it. Whatever it is, y'all just need to listen to it."
While that freestyle didn't make it to the Conjure mixtape, the iconic Southerner has an entire grab bag of flows for you.
"Before the album, after the album, I'm just in a space where I'm inspired," he says. "I'm inspired by beats of course, the ones that are on Battle of the Sexes. But even beyond that, I'm jumping on stuff. It's my exercise. I wanna give all my fans something — [the ones] that have been supporting me for the last 10 years — something for free."
The mixtape's title has a dual meaning.
"It's as simple as this. Spirit has a double meaning," Luda explains. "When you talk about spirits, you talk about liquors, as in Conjure [cognac]. Then my spirit, I have a hustler's spirit. People that listen to the mixtape have a hustler's spirit. It's a lot of people out there getting money. That's basically what this thing is about. Even in the rap game, you have to sell records, we hustle. This is for the hustlers. Simple as that."
Chris' Battle of the Sexes features appearances by Nicki Minaj, Lil' Kim, Eve and others. It hits retailers on March 9.
Joints To Check For
» "O Let's Do It." "Atlanta's been on fire for quite some time," Ludacris said, before delving into why he got on Waka Flocka Flame's beat. "We stay on fire. Right about now, it's a lot of crazy aggressive beats that's coming out of the hometown. That keeps me inspired; aggressive tracks I feel I gotta put a voice too. That's a beat that caught my attention the first time I heard it. I was in the studio with Gucci Mane. It's aggressive. I felt like I wanted to do something on it. I made it happen. What am I talking about [on the track]? It's about lifestyle, about culture, expressing yourself. It's about getting gritty and grimy in the streets. All the hustlers know that. Let's do it."
» "All Da Way Turnt Up." "The whole record is talking about being yourself, turning your music up as loud as hell and not caring what anybody had to say," Cris explains about his takeover of Roscoe Dash's record. "It's about you being too loud. Sometimes you get tickets for disturbing the peace. When you see a cop, you have to turn it down."
» "Pennies." "Something that happened a while ago, but a lot of people didn't get to hear it," Luda says about the original version by the Cool Kids. "I definitely love the underground and all the artists for making names for themselves and making sure they have a following of their own. That's something the Cool Kids have done and continue to do. I still have a passion for hip-hop and I still love it. No matter how many records I've sold, I feel a need to get on underground records."
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