Ludacris sat down with Men's Health as part of their series of profiles that reflect on key moments in the intersection of hip-hop and Black men’s health over the last 50 years.
The 45-year-old legendary rapper and actor and father of four shared that losing his own father at only 52 helped to shape what it means to be healthy.
"By the way, he was the most loving person on earth, the best person in this world. But people can look at the issues they're dealing with and they can choose to learn from people's mistakes and learn from people's successes," he says of his father—who died from complications due to alcoholism.
He added, "The most important man in my life showed me that you have to take care of yourself in a very roundabout way.”
Ludacris shared that he credits his almost daily practice of 52 Blocks (a New York City street-fighting style) and martial arts for his "emotionally stable" mental state and the fact that he doesn't look much different than he did when he dropped his first single more than 20 years ago.
“Listen, I love to age, because I feel like aging is a privilege. The reason I’m so happy where I’m at is because I don’t have any resentments or any regrets. I have lived my life to the fullest."
The rap star, who just came off a tour opening up for Janet Jackson, says he still gives his all on stage when he performs. "If you pay to come see me, I’m giving you everything I got,” he says. “I am noticing [my] age, but I’m up for the challenge. I’m a warrior.”
He also notes that while hip-hop was known as a youthful genre its legends can and will likely perform for decades to come. "I think people are going to be able to do it well into their 60s and 70s; if their content is speaking towards what’s going on in their life and the music is good, there will always be an audience for it.”
As for him, he declared, “I want to live for as long as I possibly can. Not only for myself but for my children and my future children’s children—and to perform at the highest level that I possibly can for those fans that know my songs, word for word, for decades to come.”