BY MELISSA RUGGIERI/AJC Music Scene
HOUSTON – If there is one Atlanta rapper thoroughly intertwined with the Atlanta Falcons, it’s Ludacris.
He’s frequently spotted wearing a team jersey merely out of allegiance, he performed at the last two games at the Georgia Dome and earlier this week, he narrated a goosebump-inducing video for the team called “A City Waits.”
On Friday night, Ludacris and Big Boi are bringing a taste of Atlanta to Houston with a concert at Funplex.
“Once I performed (at the two games), all of a sudden they’re throwing everything at me. I’m the go-to person for all things Falcons,” Luda said with a laugh.
He was standing a few feet from the makeshift set of ESPN’s “First Take” at Lucky’s Pub Friday morning, where he had just finished an interview with the hosting panel of Stephen A. Smith, Max Kellerman and Molly Qerim.
The cluster of fans seated to watch the live production chanted “Lu-da! Lu-da!” at the sight of the rapper in his Falcons jersey. He gave a quick plug for the next installment of “The Fast & The Furious” – “The Fate of the Furious” – and called it “one of the only franchises that seems to get better as it goes on.” (It’s out in April.)
Then talk turned to football and Ludacris laid out all of the reasons he believes the Falcons will win on Sunday.
He reiterated his position after the show.
“I’ve never seen a team work the way I’ve seen this team work this season. When we say brotherhood, we really mean that,” he said. “Everybody is stepping up. We have young players, experienced players. It’s a great cohesiveness with the team right now.”
And what, exactly, might a win mean for the city of Atlanta?
“Oh my gosh. There’s already a morale that we’re in the Super Bowl. When they win,” Luda said, “it’s like a new beginning for our city. That’s how extremely important it’s going to be.”