Ludacris may not have a foolproof key to reaching icon status, but he certainly knows how career longevity and following his instincts have aided him in becoming a multihyphenate talent whose creativity knows no bounds.
The rapper is the latest star to join Keke Palmer for an episode of her “Baby, This Is Keke Palmer” podcast. During the nearly hour-long chat, the actress asked the global superstar about his ability to leave his mark on Hip Hop while simultaneously expanding into film and television. His takeaway was simple: “You cannot be afraid to evolve and to change with [the] times… You can’t be afraid to step out of your comfort zone if you want to explore other areas of entertainment.”
As he delved deeper into how he has maneuvered being pigeonholed by his lyrical prowess, the self-proclaimed risk taker stated, “What has worked for me is always being very cautious, but something where I feel like, okay, I’ma step out on this… I always just say to hell with it. Just go that extra step and do it anyway.” The audacity to see himself outside of music has been lucrative.
From becoming a key star in the Fast & Furious franchise, launching his Chicken + Beer restaurants, venturing into family programming with the development of the Netflix cartoon “Karma’s World” and more, his reach as an icon has hardly been stifled by his beginnings as a chart-topping artist whose linguistic gymnastics remain unmatched.
“I love doing things that are completely outside of the box of what people are expecting me to do,” added Ludacris while reflecting on his pivot from music into acting. He said the animated series, which wrapped up its fourth season last year, is the perfect example of leaning into the curve and finding his footing in something that connects with him on a deeper level.
He began, “If I have four daughters, and I see my life going in a direction of loving — obviously I’ve always loved to be a father — but investing even more into them, then I want to be the change I want to see in the world… Regardless of whoever thinks Ludacris is this hardcore rapper or got criticized for talking about certain things, this is also me, so I’ma step out of what anyone says.” The three-time Grammy Award winner added, “I can only do things that are dear to my heart, and I put my all into certain things, and at the time, it may be completely outside of the realm of whatever someone is championing me for.”
In March, Ludacris marked a major career milestone when he received his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. He was given his flowers by fellow superstars LL Cool J, Queen Latifah, Vin Diesel and Tyrese. As for new music, he noted that fans can expect to hear from him some time in the new year.