Many people feel that occasional collaborators Jay-Z and Ludacris work in different lyrical lanes, although the former believes that is incorrect.
Furthermore, the Illinois-born and Atlanta-bred rap icon recently appeared on Stephen Jackson and Matt Barnes’ All The Smoke podcasts. Eventually, they got to the issue of Luda’s outrageous and legendary music videos, a definite sliver of his illustrious, influential, and chart-topping career. The 45-year-old remembers Hov telling him that many overlooked his talent as an MC because of his emphasis on graphics. Nonetheless, he stated that he would not have it any other way.
“It was big,” Ludacris said of his MV endeavors back in the day, which translated into a successful acting career later on. “But there was a downside to it because even JAY-Z was one of the ones that said, you know, he don’t think I get the lyrical credit that I deserve because of the visuals. People ask me, ‘Why don’t you think get the credit?’ Because I played too goddamn much, that’s what I do! And I wouldn’t have it any other way. That’s why my name is Ludacris, because it’s beyond crazy, it’s wild, it’s ridiculous. I like post-effects and augmenting reality, big-ass shoes with big-ass chains, and bobble heads and all that. So I get it, I can’t be mad at it. I just have to show the multi-faceted aspects of myself and I actually love that.
Ludacris’ Full Interview On All The Smoke
“I want to say like half a mil, something like that,” Ludacris responded to a question about his biggest music video budget. “Maybe it inched up to that $600,000. But you hear about when Diddy and Ma$e did the $1 million videos, it was a couple of those. I think Wu-Tang, that ‘Triumph’ video, Steve Rifkind said he did a million. I never made it to the million category, I never wanted to do that, but I did about half of that.”
Of course, this is far from the first time where the New York legend gave credit where it was due- although last time, it was to the newer generation. Jay-Z praised Vince Staples’ latest album Ramona Park Broke My Heart for its storytelling and creativity. From one of hip-hop’s all-time greats, recognition from his pen means a lot. Then again, how did we ever come to doubt Velvet Jones’ dominance on the mic in the first place?