Ludacris talks charity ‘Ludaday Weekend,’ new music and Chicken-n-Beer

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Ludacris is gearing up for his big charity weekend. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC
Ludacris is gearing up for his big charity weekend. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

Ludacris is gearing up for his big charity weekend. Photo: Melissa Ruggieri/AJC

One thing about Ludacris – the man has friends and he’s willing to share them.

For the past decade, Atlanta’s Ludacris has wrangled some of his top name pals to participate in “Ludaday Weekend,” held throughout the Labor Day weekend.

This year, the 11th sponsored by his Ludacris Foundation, will include sports and entertainment events featuring Rick Ross, Marshawn Lynch, Dwight Howard, Terrence J, Michael B. Jordan, John Wall, Lance Goss and many others.

Earlier this week, a laid-back Ludacris, sporting sparkling Air Jordans, a striped designer T-shirt and shades, took a few minutes to chat about the upcoming weekend. And no doubt, the people involved every year aren’t just there for a photo op.

“I build relationships with individuals I gravitate toward.  I can say that obviously it’s not a secret that there are a lot of fake people in the industry, in my opinion. So the ones that I invite down, they’re considered true friends from all aspects of the entertainment world,” Ludacris said. “Somehow, some way we connected and have a natural bond of friendship. These are all my real friends and they all love coming together for a cause.”

On Friday, Luda and his pals will play in a celebrity golf tournament at Hampton’s Crystal Lake Country Club, followed that evening with a charity bowling match at Bowlmor Bowling Alley in Atlanta.

Saturday afternoon, the rapper/actor/philanthropist and his friends will host the Ludaday Block Party at Morehouse College.

On Sunday, Team Ludacris will take on Team MMG in a celebrity basketball game at Morehouse’s Forbes Arena, while Sunday evening, Ludacris and Atlanta Hawks star Kent Bazemore take over Topgolf at its Midtown location.

No wonder he jokes that his favorite part of the weekend is Monday – when the intricately organized event is finished.

Ludacris will demonstrate his mini-golf skills this weekend at Topgolf. Photo: Rob Kremer

Ludacris will demonstrate his mini-golf skills this weekend at Topgolf. Photo: Rob Kremer

Through his Ludaday Weekend, which raises money for his foundation, Ludacris wants to inject some optimism into his community.

“I feel like there’s a lot of negativity, and if  can be one of the people who has a lot to do with adding more positivity to drown out all of the negativity, that’s what I’m here to do,” he said.

Having three children of his own has helped Ludacris relate even more to the youngsters who attend the charity weekend – including a private “empowerment” brunch with some on Sunday.

“I show my kids every day that you give to those less fortunate. It’s all about dedicating your time and your energy,” he said.

Speaking of energy, Ludacris somehow has plenty of it, though when asked when he finds time to sleep, he smiles and says, “That’s why I’ve got these sunglasses on.”

But the ever-busy performer already has an upcoming calendar stocked with work.

He could “neither confirm nor deny” that he will play a Branch Davidian in the upcoming limited TV series, “Waco,” a role that The Hollywood Reporter tagged him for earlier this week.

But now that he’s wrapped “Fast 8,” he’s planning to start work on new music shortly after his marathon weekend. And as for that long-discussed Chicken-N-Beer restaurant in Concourse D of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International airport, Ludacris said the build-out finally just started and that it will open, “definitely in 2017.”

Ludacris talks about the mission of Ludaday Weekend:




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