HOLLYWOOD — Ludacris is having such a big year, even he can't believe it. The MC has sold more than 2 million copies of his latest album, The Red Light District, since it dropped in December, and has starred in two films.
"I don't understand how I've done all this stuff in 2005," the 27-year-old rapper told MTV News on the red carpet for his just-released second feature film, "Hustle & Flow." "I've done more this year than most people do in their lives, and I'm feeling good."
Earlier this year, he garnered praise for his role as a carjacker in the drama "Crash," which explored the complexities of racial tolerance in Los Angeles (see "Ludacris' 'Crash' Inspired By Director's Carjacking, 9/11"). In "Hustle," produced by John Singleton ("Boyz N the Hood," "2 Fast 2 Furious"), Luda steps into the role of Skinny Black, a famed rapper from Memphis, Tennessee, who has fallen prey to the Hollywood lifestyle. His "Crash" co-star Terrence Howard stars in the flick, out now.
Luda says anyone with the ambition to dream should be able to relate to the film's gritty storyline. "Everybody has a hustle," the rapper said. "I don't care who you are; you have a hustle in your life no matter what you do. Whether it's your job or if it's a side-hustle, it's all about doing something to get what you have to get in life."
The latest single from District, "Pimpin' All Over the World," stands at #12 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart and features Disturbing Tha Peace (DTP) protégé Bobby Valentino (see "Launching Bobby Valentino's Career Is All In A Day's Work For Ludacris").
"Right now, it's one of the biggest songs in the country, so I'm feeling good about that," Luda said. "And Red Light District is so big that we just might have to release another single."
While the fourth single off District has yet to be officially announced, Luda revealed, "[It might be] 'Child of the Night,' but you're the first person to hear that."
With his profile at an all-time high, the rapper-turned-thespian is carefully selecting his next big screen role. "There are a lot of scripts I'm readin', so I'm just trying to be real strategic, you know what I'm sayin'? I wanna take it to the next level now, trying to start my own films," Luda said.
"You know, we still got the music going, but it's all about balancing everything out the right way."