This afternoon, the National Press Club got a visit from Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges, who stopped by one of the group's regular luncheons to plug the fundraising dinner for his Ludacris Foundation, advocate for leadership and service and perform "Get Back." (Just kidding on that last part.)
Though most people probably consider him the rapper behind "What's Your Fantasy" and "Money Maker" first and an actor from films like "Hustle & Flow" and "Crash" second, Luda was right at home behind the NPC podium. With his mother Roberta Shields by his side (she's the president of the Ludacris Foundation), the rapper joked about the possibilities of running for office (he's not interested in challenging Barack Obama in 2012) and plugged his work on "Law & Order." "'Gamer' is in theaters, too," he joked.
Once he got down to business, he spoke candidly about his involvement in philanthropy and defended the work of the hip-hop community for the betterment of communities across the country. He mentioned that his organization helped provide $100,000 to people who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina and ended up in his hometown of Atlanta. He also talked about how his music has crossed over into his philanthropic life, specifically citing the song "Runaway Love" (from his 2006 album Release Therapy), a tune about kids who escape their negative home life that lead to a partnership with the National Runaway Switchboard. "Any song I put out, I want to make it a movement, not just a single!" he said of "Runaway Love."
At the end, he took questions from the audience about his other charity work, violence in hip-hop ("Hip-hop doesn't cause violence — ignorance causes violence, and that's what I'm trying to combat," he said), his relationship status (he's taken, ladies) and his many nicknames. The best one that came out of the afternoon at the NPC? "I have many different nicknames, and LudaFEMA is one of them," he joked.