Ludacris and Gunna Talk Atlanta Hip-Hop in New Interview
By Kiani Belgrave
Two generations of Atlanta hip-hop, Ludacris and Gunna, sat down with Rolling Stone to talk about growing up in Atlanta, giving back to their community, and their recent hilarious commercial for Jif.
Rolling Stone released the discussion between the Atlanta titans on Thursday (November 11), as Ludacris and Gunna bridged the gap between two eras of rap music. Luda and Gunna both attended Banneker High School in College Park at some point before their careers took off.
“I would love to hear about this man’s background,” Luda says to Gunna. “I know at some point we both went to Banneker High School. He has said he went only for a short stint because something happened.”
“ They kicked me out. I really wasn’t no bad student,” Gunna continued. "I really was just kind of active,” he explained. “Active, just like, “Ay, don’t play with him.” I’m like, “Well, you try me, I’m-a make a fool out of you.” I was a player. Always cool. Always knew how to dress. I always liked girls.”
When the topic of the cities legacy came up, both Gunna and Ludacris appreciated Atlanta’s versatility.
“It’s enormous how many diamonds we got that come out of Atlanta. I don’t care what side it’s from; we trending on every side. We do it as a whole for Atlanta, though. It’s all different, trendy ways of how players kick it,” Gunna said.
“And a testament to that: I love how when you look outside of Atlanta, and you see what other cities say about our city, everybody — New York people, L.A. people — they’re always like, ‘I love how Atlanta artists just all work together,’” Luda agreed. “Work together on businesses, inspire each other, people just getting on records."
Gunna showed appreciation for Ludacris, remembering when Luda would give back to his school growing up in Atlanta.
“I already knew he was a Southside legend,” Gunna said. “He came in letting you know where he came from. I stand on that — never forgetting. That’s why I do a [charitable] giveback every year for my side. When I was in school, I remember him coming back to the Southside.”
Before his professional rap career, Luda was known as Chris Lova Lova at Atlanta’s Hot 97.5 radio station as a DJ and host. Luda was still working at the station when he released his breakout single “What’s Your Fantasy” in 2000.
“When I put out ‘What’s Your Fantasy,’ I was still working [at Hot 97.5],” explained Luda. “I was on a radio station at night. This was that point, that fork in the road where it’s time to go one way or go the other. If it wasn’t for Greg Street, I probably wouldn’t even be sitting here. At the time, he was my competitor. So it was me at 6 to 10 at night on one station, and he’s 6 to 10 on the other station. Somebody texted me and said, ‘Greg Street is playing your record.’ Do you know how crazy that is? As a disc jockey, as an on-air personality, you not supposed to do that.”
“That’s a hell of a story,” Gunna responded.
Check out the full interview below for more stories like these, and keep it locked to Rock The Bells for more hip-hop news.