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Monday, 21 September 2015 00:00

Ludacris & DJ Infamous

Written by Kristie Bertucci Photos: Eric Chang
Ludacris is no stranger to fine rides – after all, he has an ongoing role in The Fast and the Furious movie franchise, so he knows a few things about hot cars and mods. But these days, the hip-hop artist’s car game limited to a handful of rides instead of a massive fleet he used to flaunt. “I’ve evolved and don't want to be as flashy anymore,” the 37-year-old rapper admits. “There was a time when I had 10 cars and then realized that I’m gone on tour half the time so it doesn’t make sense to have them sitting in my damn garage.”

And Luda has had just about every kind of car you could think of - from a green Cadillac with TVs in the steering wheel to even a few Fast and the Furious trucks that he bought from the movies (noting one in particular with the Louis Vuitton pattern on the exterior, which was a favorite). “I’ve had so many different vehicles that I just wanted to condense it down to what I use most. I have the starting five now, sort of like the NBA. And I’m totally cool with just five rides.” But don’t think that Luda’s starting five are just any kind of rides because if it’s one thing Luda likes, it’s luxury vehicles. Taking up space in his garage are a Bentley Continental GT convertible that’s blue and nicknamed “Papa Smurf,” Ferrari 458 Italia, BMW Alpina B7, Range Rover and his Acura Legend, which was his first ride before he became a household name in the rap game.

Currently, he’s switching off between the Range Rover and the BMW as his daily driver, preferring the extra space of the Range to accommodate his family. “I love Range Rovers for their durability. I think most people don’t use Range Rovers for what they are fully capable of. I’m one of those guys who’s a thrill seeker and I really use my Range and its all-terrain ability. I’m not just a traditional ‘get a Range Rover and throw some wheels on it guy,’ but actually use mine the way it’s meant to be used.” Taking a page from Ludacris’ less is more approach in the vehicle department is his good pal DJ Infamous (Calvin Donald), who currently boasts four different rides at the moment: a 2007 Cadillac Escalade, ’72 Chevy Chevelle, 2006 Dodge Charger and a 2014 Nissan Quest. “The Escalade is special because it was my first major purchase after becoming a world renowned DJ back in 2007,” he says. “I like the particular body style from that year and just upgraded it a bit with rims, interior modifications and other things to swag it out.”

His Escalade features a more aggressive stance thanks to a Belltech 2/4 drop kit, while set of 26” Savini Solaro wheels in brushed silver and color-matched face with chrome lip complements the exterior. The windows were tinted with LLumar film and a T-Rex Upper Class mesh grille and side vents makes Infamous’ Escalade unique. Since no DJ can live without some loud beats, Infamous made sure to upgrade the Escalade’s audio so that he could test out new jams while cruising the ATL streets. The crew at PTAP hooked him up with a JL Audio system that boasts a W1v3 with a JK250/1 amp in a custom-built fiberglass box done by Chris Hancock. “The custom sub enclosure has the name of my single “Double Cup,” which was No. 19 on the urban music charges in 2013 and it glows in the dark. The Escalade has a lot of sentimental value for me.”

When Infamous wants to let loose a bit, he’ll take his 2007 Honda 450R out for a spin around his block. But Infamous isn’t about having what everyone else has and had the guys at PTAP swag it out with custom-built adapters, sprockets, suspension, high-performance clutch kit and added some massive 28” DUB Ballers that catch the eye. “I wanted big rims just for the awe factor; you never really see anything like that around,” he says. Despite being new to the car game, Infamous is hoping to learn more about the automotive world from Luda and is looking to add a Lowrider to his arsenal fairly soon. “My dream ride has always been a Lowrider on hydraulics just like how the West Coast guys have them. I know it sounds crazy but, I want one so bad and hope to customize it to fit my swag.”


Ludacris is really looking forward to a huge 2015. Not only does he star in the latest Fast and the Furious installment, but he also dropped his eighth studio effort after taking a musical hiatus to devote more time to his movie career. “I haven’t dropped a studio album since 2010 and that’s the reason why I released the six-song EP, Burning Bridges, back in December. I wanted the fans to familiarize themselves with me again and let them know how hungry I still am.” The EP was Luda’s precursor to the album, Ludaversal, which will feature the hit single, “Burning Bridges.” And according to Luda, the new album will be filled with a lot of good energy. “It’s like the old Luda mixed with some new hits. As far as the album title, it’s a play off of my name and the world ‘universal,’ ‘cause I’m saying it’s my world as I rap about my personal life and being the Luda everybody loves.”

The Luda everybody loves is also a Hollywood celebrity, with his next gig Furious 7. “Man, the ride has been great for me; it’s been so much fun,” he says. “When we’re on set, it doesn’t even feel like work.” Although 2015 is mainly devoted to his music, Luda will still have his eye out on the prefect part since he’s always looking for various roles in whatever genres that peak his interested him. But at the end of the day, music will always be his first love because, after all, it’s what initially helped him become the successful rapper we all love today. “It’s different being a rapper than an actor. As a rapper, you have a blank canvas to paint whatever you want – from the beats, to the lyrics and more. But as an actor, you’re just doing one aspect of the whole creative process.”

Because the current hip-hop scene has changed since he last dropped an album, Luda knows that fans and music lovers have more options than ever when it comes to music, which is why he’s ready to make a statement with his latest effort. “It only makes me want to go harder,” he admits. “I love competition and definitely love the fact that everyone has up the ante so anyone can become an overnight success. I have to compete not only against established artists, but those that can come out of nowhere and I’m up for the challenge.” Hey Mr. DJ Helping Luda along the way is his tour DJ and friend, DJ Infamous, who has been spinning his tracks since 2011. “We travel worldwide together and he has his own DJ set where I introduce him,” Luda says about Infamous. “He’s a great party DJ and he has established his name as an artist and that’s what I admire most about him. I wanted him to be a part of my team because he was already self-sufficient and had his own movement, which made him stronger as an artist.”

Infamous actually interned at Luda’s label Disturbing Tha Peace while in college then worked at a local ATL radio station, so he’s no stranger to the business. He didn’t become serious about becoming a DJ artist until guys like Jim Jones, DJ Khaled and Young Jeezy pushed him to make his own music and he finally listened and produced his first effort. He later landed a deal with Infamy Entertainment/E1 and his “Double Cup” single helped propel his name to the forefront of hip-hop. As he sets his eyes on a successful music career, DJ Infamous is taking notes from Luda’s book. “I learned a lot from [Luda], especially the business side of things,” he says. “He’s into so many things – music, movies, headphones, restaurants – that he’s teaching me about entrepreneurship. He doesn’t really have to teach me anything, but the fact that he takes the time to teach me really means a lot and says something about our friendship. Our relationship goes beyond just me DJing for him and we’ve become like family. He’s a great example of success and I strive to do the same thing.”

So as Luda gears up to have a hit year, DJ Infamous is hoping to do the same by putting out more singles later this year as well and maybe even drop another album. He’ll also continue to support Luda on stage at various performances and keep reaching for success like his mentor. “I'm doing everything I can to really make it and take my career to the next level, which is why my schedule is always so full and I’m so busy. When I’m not in the studio mixing records, I’m traveling with Luda and performing with him. And then I’m also DJing and hosting private and corporate events so I’m just everywhere. But I’m having so much fun doing it all and I’m just going to continue to do what I love best.”


2007 Cadillac Escalade
Belltech 2/4 drop kit
26" Savini Solaro brushed silver wheels with color-matched face and chrome lip
Tinted windows with LLumar film
T-Rex Upper Class mesh grille and side vents
1- JL Audio W1v3 with a JL Audio JX250/1 amp in a custom built fiberglass box (done by Chris Hancock ig: chrisaball1984)
2007 Honda 450R
Custom-built billet adapters, sprockets, suspension, high-performance clutch kit, Yoshimura exhaust
28" Dub Baller Wheels

Sources: Luda
@Ludacris Twitter/IG
@DJInfamousATL Twitter
Instagram: @ptaprides #ptap #ptaprides
Youtube: ptaprides