Ludacris is a polite kind of fellow. Yes, he’s a rapper who’s aggressive vocal delivery dominates a good party track, but he’s got incredible home training.
The rapper and actor—he’s currently in London filming Fast 6—took a quick break from shooting to talk about his latest production: he teamed up with his 10 year-old daughter, Karma to create www.karmasworld.com, an interactive, educational site filled with games, lesson plans and music. The site was originally launched in December, but the two are re-launching it this month and putting 11 new songs and artwork on it just in time for the new school year.
The Atlanta-based rapper also is preparing to release a new studio album—likely on his 35th birthday next month—but this day, he asked if the focus of the EBONY.com interview could be on his daughter’s project. (But he promised he’d talk new Luda music with us soon.)
Since he was so polite—and used please and thank-you—we obliged.
EBONY: What was the genesis for the website?
Ludacris: The whole thing came about because my daughter followed me into the studio, like even when she was way younger, and as time progressed she continued wanting to seem to pursue something in music. Basically what happened was she kept saying she wanted to do it and I said, ‘Well, if you want to record music you have to talk about what’s going on in your life and that was basically education and school, where it came from.’ And she actually did all 20 songs that are on the website right now. I’m an extremely proud father, especially that she’s an entrepreneur at the age of 10 right now.
EBONY: Guessing it’s in her DNA, this whole music business?
Ludacris: You know, you can’t deny the DNA. I guess that’s what it is, because I definitely didn’t force her into doing this!
EBONY: It’s educational based, but does that mean that she kind of has this hunger to follow dad in his footsteps? And does she have your blessing to do that if so?
Ludacris: We’re just experimenting and making sure that she gets an early start on certain things that she loves and what she’s passionate about. So that’s my goal. But I think we’re helping out kids worldwide and everybody that clicks on the site, because it’s just a new way of learning and I feel… like it’s always revolutionizing education. Honestly, it’s really just about giving back and this is just something that we started on my own and I’m just, again, trying to give kids a new way to learn.
EBONY: Did you have consultants that helped you guys put it together?
Ludacris: I had a creative team, and we just came up with all the subject matter, especially since the anti-bully campaign going on and we just … we wanted to make sure that we were being a voice for kids worldwide and address a lot of issues, and at the same time we have songs on there about hygiene and eating healthy, about the importance of working hard and the importance of telling the truth and not lies. So I think it’ll surprise people, the subject matters that are on here. And that’s basically what we were going for.
EBONY: Does that mean your daughter’s a really sharp student?
Ludacris: Man, she’s a good student, but her listening to her own songs is helping her to improve and I think that’s the greatest example of how this can help every kid in the world.
EBONY: Kind of a different project for a rapper to get into, yes?
Ludacris: Yeah, but there aren’t but so many options of what kids and parents can listen to these days, and I think I have created something that is educational and fun at the same time. I think it’s about really riding to school, driving your kids home from school, whether they have their own iPad, iPhone, you know, iPod, they have an album to listen to and I think parents will feel great about it because they’re listening to catchy songs, but they’re getting educated at the same time. So that’s why I always say it’s revolutionizing education.
EBONY: How does this inspire you as a musician?
Ludacris: My daughter inspires me, first and foremost. So I think that just goes into the fact of her being a young entrepreneur at the age of 10, me seeing her on her game and promote her own site.