Rappers play Assembly Hall

By Kristen Sackley

Flanked by the AXE Clix tour bus, a number of opening acts and even an NBA superstar, Ludacris rolled into Assembly Hall Friday night, ready to take the stage for the second time.

The concert got started with Young Joc and Sacramento Kings Forward Ron Artest, who is beginning his own musical career. The crowd grew larger and larger as the opening acts finished, getting closer and closer to Ludacris. By the time he took the stage at just before 10 p.m., about half of the C tier was filled.

Decked out in all black, a gold chain around his neck, sunglasses and an orange Illinois t-shirt in his back pocket, Ludacris stepped onto the stage amid massive amounts of cheering.

Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges opened with “Number One Spot” off his most recent album “Red Light District,” and followed up with fan favorites like “Act A Fool,” “Southern Hospitality” and “Area Codes.”

He also performed songs that he was featured in, such as Usher’s “Yeah” and “Lovers and Friends” in addition to Ciara’s “Oh.”

Even though Ludacris’ new album “Release Therapy,” will be in stores on Tuesday, he played mostly older songs.

In an interview before the show, Ludacris had a lot to say about his new album and how different “Release Therapy” is from previous albums.

“You can expect a more personal side on this album,” he said. “I never really touched on my personal side . My thoughts on so many things, about family, about relationships. It’s about releasing and getting a lot of stuff off my chest.”

Ludacris said he worked with many artists on this new album including Mary J. Blige, R. Kelly and Young Jeezy and that he played around with different sounds on this one.

“There’s trying different genres of music, there’s a rock n’ roll element in one of the songs, there’s like some pop rave type feel to another one, there’s some jazz.”

One of the highlights of the show for Illini basketball fans was when Ludacris brought Dee Brown, Luther Head and Deron Williams, all former Illini and current professional basketball players, up on stage with him, while performing “Move Bitch” and “Get Back.”