Ludacris is a star in many areas. After releasing a run of classic albums, Ludacris took over the silver screen, most recently appearing in F9: The Fast Saga. Luda is back on camera, but this time, not in a movie or music video, instead, a commercial, appearing with Gunna in a new spot for Jif Peanut Butter.
In the new campaign, Ludacris shows that his flows and creativity are endless. As a part of the initiative, Luda dropped a new single, “Butter.Atl,” that you hear the southern legend flowing through a mouth of peanut butter. The new single is paired with a video created in tandem with his go-to director Dave Meyers.
In conversation with The Source, Ludacris reveals what this campaign closely aligns with who he is, continuing to be an artist of innovation and more.
You are working with Jif for this campaign. What let you know this was a good partner to align with?
Ludacris: I was telling somebody, man nowadays in my life, after being in the music industry for decades, I only like to align myself with things that are a part of my everyday lifestyle. I’ve been doing the one thing since I was a kid, and I’m sure you can relate cause we all have that one food that we can eat every day and never get tired of that. And for me, it’s always been peanut butter, like Jif, peanut butter. And now I work out a lot, and it’s like you have to have your healthy fats. When I make my protein shakes numerous times of day, they have peanut butter. So when Jif approached me about this campaign, I was like, yeah, cause it’s something that I do already. And then when we got the visuals and started talking about the creative with Dave Meyers, who I’ve worked with on the “Stand Up” video, and I was all in. So this is a part of my whole Ludacris being, and everything was so seamless and so fun to do.
I want to hop back into what you were saying with Dave Meyers in a second, but I noticed something about you from just following your entire career. You always hold on to things that went into making you. One of the examples that I always remember and love is is the car that you keep with you from when you were coming up, and you swapped the engine out, and it was just like a piece of you. What do these pieces mean to you?
Ludacris: Bro. I’m such a big kid. Look at this man [showing a Jif chain]. Check this out. You talk about what sticks with you and being a big kid. This thing has a knife on the back, right? Open it. And it’s peanut butter on the inside. But yeah, to answer your question, man, I’m just a big kid. I love having fun. I love dope visuals. I love creativity. I never want to stop being creative, obviously. And you know, having certain staples, that’s really what life is all about. Some things come and go, and some things are here to stay. And the things that are meaningful in your life are usually those things that are here to stay in a that’s what makes life worth living.
You mentioning being a big kid is valuable because it can help you connect with the next generation of artists. For the most part, many of them are still the kids; rather, it’d be in spirit or actual age. For this campaign, you worked with Gunna. What is it like for you to be able to not only be welcomed by that generation but to have still the youthful energy to connect with them and don’t feel like the old man?
Ludacris: Man, that’s a great question, by the way, man. It’s so seamless for me. I love reinventing myself and always experiment with creativity and new flows. And that’s what this whole Jif campaign is about. It’s just always the longer you’ve been in the industry, the more you have to do something new to spark interest and continue to spark creativity. So I love the fact that I’m inspired by the younger generation of artists, and I’m inspired by myself and inspired by so much that you continue to evolve. And that’s what it’s about.
Is there a younger artist right now that you haven’t got a chance to tap in with it or has your interest?
Ludacris: Man. I love J Cole. I think that’s probably my favorite. I’ve been in the studio with him because – I was there when he was here at Treehouse, and they were recording the compilation album for his label. We got a chance to chop it up, and I love the energy. When you get to sit down with somebody, have a conversation and see where their heart and their head is at. So one day would love to collaborate with him.
Hopping back into the creation of the video for this campaign. You mentioned being able to link with Dave Myers. So, of course, I’m sure that gave you a level of comfort there because it’s basically getting back into the gym and shooting shots with a teammate. You always have a heavy dose of creativity in things you do, specifically videos. How much of that input were you able to use here?
Ludacris: Oh man. I was able to bring, uh, so much of the vision. That’s the thing about collaboration, especially with Dave Myers; he’s always the king of special effects. So he did my “Stand Up” video, a couple of other videos, like “One Minute Man” with Missy. Whenever you have those special visual effects and bring things of your imagination to life, it’s always going to be very visually stimulating. And that’s why I feel like this commercial is going to be watched over and over again.
It definitely had all these comedic moments. It was actually a moment in there that loosely reminded me of Pootie Tang, you know, where he could get excitement from fans just surrounding him or being silent. You were talking about being able to continue to adapt to new flows. In this one, it’s the peanut butter mouth flow. How are you able to adjust and switch across the different flows and continue to reinvent?
Ludacris: Well, the good thing about me, man, and I had to realize this about myself, I pride myself on being one of the MCs that there’s like no flow that I can not master or do. And if you look back on my catalog, you’ll realize that I think I’m the master of flows, man. Nobody’s ever given me that moniker. But if you really think about it, like rapping fast, rapid, slow, melodically, obviously staying on subject, talking about random stuff, there is nothing that I feel like I can’t do. So it’s always a challenge for me. And there will be challenges coming with peanut butter and people to have fun. So I think all it is, is going along with having a great imagination and having fun.
Your career knows no bounds, man, like music, music, everything, peanut butter commercials. What else do you see for yourself that we haven’t seen yet?
Ludacris: Something that’s going to be even bigger than Ludacris has ever been globally. And that’s the legacy of my daughter’s animation called Karma’s World that comes out on Netflix. This fall, look out for that. Cause it’s about a girl who raps and does music, and she’s trying to change the world with her music. And I guarantee you. It’s going to be bigger than Ludacris.
You are the master of girl dads out here. Congrats on your new daughter. What has fatherhood taught you about yourself, and how do you prepare your time during busy seasons like this one?
Ludacris: Man, the great thing is I’ve been able to spend more time with my daughters, and it’s just taught me a lot about schools, what they do teach and what they don’t teach. Because as parents, now that we’ve been more hands-on with our children, especially during virtual schooling, you take even more of an interest in what exactly it is that they’re learning and what they’re not learning. So you got to take on the extracurricular activities that they would have usually done in school on your own. And so I think that’s the biggest thing for me is just being even more involved in their development and what it is I feel like they should be aware of in this world that a traditional school might not be teaching.
What’s your favorite peanut butter snack from your childhood, and what goes into your peanut butter shake?
Ludacris: A peanut butter snack from childhood; it’s just peanut butter and crackers, like Ritz crackers and putting peanut butter on them. And what goes in my shake, a little bit of everything these days. The ultimate shake where you get everything you need starts with a chocolate protein powder of some sort. Then you put in spinach, flax seeds, almond milk or whole milk, whatever type of milk you use, maybe one egg. Then, of course, peanut butter and, I’d say, a little sprinkle of cinnamon.