LUDACRIS, Jan. 27, 2002

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Tim Molloy recently featured Ludacris as part of The Associated Press' weekly interview series, "5 Questions." The 411 Online found it interesting to see how the mainstream media approached one of hip-hop's hottest artists, so we decided to reprint it here for you to read as well.

When you listen to Ludacris' outrageous rhymes, you may admire the rapper’s gift of gab, or remark on his country-sounding delivery. Or you may wonder -- what in the world is going on in his head? In a guest spot on Missy Elliott's "One Minute Man," he dragged out an odd comparison between auto repair and sexual prowess -- and managed to make it witty and funny. In his own hit "Area Codes," he uses the prefix as a map for all the dialing areas where he’s found female companionship, to use a polite term. Even his videos can be freaky and outlandish -- check out the special effects-generated giant head in his latest video for "Rollout (My Business)." Ludacris' unique rapping skills have helped the 24-year-old become one of the world's best-selling artists in just two years. His breakout album was 2000's Back for the First Time, but he has made a name for himself with clever cameos, from "One Minute Man" to the recent "Fatty Girl." His latest disc is the platinum Word of Mouf.

In "Area Codes," you list the area codes where you have, uh, female friends. How did you manage to find that someone special in 318 (Shreveport, La.), but not the vastly larger 602 (Phoenix)?

"They come to me, man. They come to shows, so I couldn't tell you. They come to me all over the place. I don't go pick 'em, I don't go to specific places and area codes and say I want one from this area code. They basically come to a large place and that's how I've shouted them out, basically."

The song's chorus is, "I've got hos/in different area codes." Do women ever say, "I'm glad you put my area code in there, but did you have to call me a ho?"

"Nah, I don't get that... It could be just like a woman calling a man a ho, because women call men hos too. It's not necessarily a bad thing... It means somebody who has casual sex, like, with different people."

Since you've both made music and been a radio DJ, would you change anything about radio or what music gets on the air?

"What I would do is add more radio stations, because now, we're getting a large catalog of hip-hop music and some of the stuff is not really old school, but there's so much new music that it kind of bumps all the music that's maybe two or three years old out of the way. So I think there needs to be more radio stations opened up. I wouldn't change anything, I would expand."

Was releasing your first album independently a better experience than working with a major label?

"I think it's the best thing anybody can do... When you do an independent album you're not only the artist doing the music but you are also the businessperson, you're also acting as the label. Once you learn that aspect of it, you get signed to a company, and the more knowledge you have the better you are."

You've worked on concept-driven songs where there's sort of a gimmick. Do you worry about where your next concept will come from?

"I never worry about anything, man. I just do what makes me feel comfortable. I do what's creative to me and I use my imagination each and every time. I always try to reinvent myself. I don't look toward the past, I always look toward the future."

-- The Associated Press

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