On Monday, Ludacris attended the Magnum-sponsored Live Large Project 2 at the Highline Ballroom in New York City and was both reminded of his young MC days and inspired to keep that hunger going.
"I remember being an aspiring artist and up-and-coming rapper and wishing I had opportunities like the one that Magnum Live Large Project is giving out — $5,000, a trip to Miami, able to perform — all of these different things is good, man," he told MTV News. "It's all about competition. That's what hip-hop is all about anyway."
It's the second time Luda has participated in the hip-hop/freestyle competition, which awards the winner with a cash prize and the chance to perform alongside the rapper at Springfest 2011 in Miami. The top three contestants from four regions around the country - and a fifth chosen via YouTube - will go on to Miami to compete for the grand prize.
Now it'd be easy for Ludacris to focus on his success, and his upcoming album Ludaversal, but the artist believes that those in his position should inspire and support those trying to get in the game.
"It's definitely important for me to give back to MCs coming up," he said."That's part of the reason we do what we do. You can never forget where you come from or how you came up. I'm very excited to be doing this. And don't get it twisted, I'm getting inspired my damn self by watching the up-and-coming rappers and it's making me realize and remember back in the day when I was the same way."