Whoever said hip hop was an inner-city phenomenon was probably an inner-city crack addict. Rent a movie like Down South Hustlers and you’ll see nothing but country rappers driving Impalas down dirt roads, pumping slow 808 beats and keeping it real in shiny purple suits. They rock UGK not Nas, get high off Nyquil not Cristal, and sell tapes out of trunks not major labels. Unless, of course, that major is going to make them rich. Atlanta’s Ludacris was a rural ghetto celebrity until Def Jam made him an offer he couldn’t refuse. Now he’s baller blockin’ in every state with a sound that still stays true to where it’s from. Take his hit “Southern Hospitality” for example, a vivid and humorous lyrical masterpiece that serves as the perfect Dirty South tour guide.
VICE: That song “Southern Hospitality” has everyone wondering what Atlanta is all about. What can I expect if I head down there?
Ludacris: When you come to the South, you can just expect to see, like I said in the song, gold teeth. You can see that the clothes we wear when it’s cold outside is long johns thermal underwear up under t-shirts and shit like that, it’s real ghetto. We also sometimes wear shorts and you’ll see the long johns thermal underwear coming out of the shorts. But the South is also where big pimpin’ comes from so you’ll see people wearing pimped-out shit like church-looking clothes, people with gators on, people with cowboy boots, Prada shoes, all kinds of real flossed-up stuff. People like being fly. That’s where the weaves come in to play. You can see a lot of crazy-ass hair styles in the South. I mean, it’s niggas with Jerhi curls still, women with hairdos I couldn’t even explain, looking like bread baskets and shit. Like you might see the hair standing straight up on their head and it’s like ten inches, straight up, with little curls and shit like that. Kinda like Marge from “The Simpsons” but with a whole other twist to it.
The ladies are fine in the South.
Well, I won’t be like “girls in the South are better than girls in New York” but as far as the home cooking is concerned, you know, women are a lot healthier and shit. And when I say healthy I’m just saying, you know, as far as thighs and thickness is concerned. We got some chunky mutherfuckers in the South, basically. And that’s because of soul food, you know, catfish and grits, hot sauce, sweet potato pie or just gravy and chicken.
How about beef? It can get pretty rowdy-rowdy, right?
Yeah, then it’s southern brutality. You know, niggas is still carrying guns and shit. Mutherfuckers is always keeping shit in the trunk. I know that in Georgia, it’s a law that you can have a gun, like I got a couple of guns: a shotgun, I got a .45. It’s like, you can have your gun either in your glove compartment, you can have that shit sitting on your passenger side seat, or you can have that shit right between the passenger seat and the driver’s seat... and that’s perfectly fine. All you have to do is if a cop stops you, they can run it and as long as your name pops up like you bought it from a pawn shop or something then you’re cool. So that’s some cool shit.
How about the rides? I heard it’s not really about Beamers and Benzos.
Nah, people really like old-ass cars and fixing up old cars. Like old Cadillacs, Fleetwoods, El Dorados, Sunbirds and shit. They lace them with gold spokes, white leather interiors. And candy paint, like I said that in the song as far as cars are concerned. It’s like bowling balls: you know how you’ll go bowling and you’ll see balls with a sparkly blue color on it? That’s what we call candy paint, people put that kind of color on their car.
Catch Ludacris on tour with OutKast, and of course, peep Back For The First Time, out on Def Jam South.