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Rapper Ludacris teams up with daughter for new Netflix children's series they initially dreamt up 14 years ago

9Honey logo 9Honey 22/10/2021 Christine Estera

Chris "Ludacris" Bridges is known for his starring role in the Fast & Furious films and his rhymes on the mic. But behind the reels and the rap, the actor and musician was preparing to venture where he hadn't before.

For the last 14 years, Bridges and his eldest daughter, Karma, had been laying the groundwork for a children's animated series — and last week, their ideas came to life when Karma's World premiered on Netflix. 

"I've been working hard on it for that long," the 44-year-old tells 9Honey Parenting via Zoom. "It just took that amount of time to get everything right, to get the music right, to get the animation right, to get the story right and to get the right partner, so I've learned patience over these last 14 years. 

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Ludacris has been working on his animation for the last 14 years. © Getty Ludacris has been working on his animation for the last 14 years.

"It wasn't my goal for it to take 14 long years for this to happen. But in retrospect, I realised it couldn't have happened at a better time in terms of introducing it to the world."

Named after his eldest daughter, Karma, the vibrant animation centres around a 10-year-old girl in middle school who expresses herself through music and aspires to be a rapper. Bridges executive produces the show and voices Karma's father, Conrad Grant. And of course, he wrote all the original hip-hop music on the show.

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"I felt like Ludacris has put out so much adult music that I owed it to the world to balance that out and try to give them some music and ones that my daughters can listen to as well, so they don't always have to listen to the clean version of Daddy's songs," the dad-of-four laughs. 

"I've been involved in every single process, overseeing things. But when it comes to the music, I'm more hands-on. But every process from the writing to the animation, I am definitely overseeing and giving my input." 

Also helping with the creative direction is Bridges' eldest daughter, Karma. The series is based on the now-20-year-old's experiences growing up as a Black child in the community and it is these real-life experiences that frame the animation. Just like her character in the series, Karma wanted to be a rapper like her dad from the age of six. So ever since then, father and daughter had been conceptualising ideas for the show. 

"It's a dream come true," he says of collaborating with Karma on the show. "The whole goal in life is to pass on businesses in generations but to be able to work with your kids in a capacity that you're both growing, it's the dream."

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"She used to barge into my studio while I was recording music and say, 'Daddy, I wanna rap.' And she was six years old and I had to kick her out," he recalls. "It was so funny because in music you have to talk about what goes on in your life, and that's where the idea for Karma's World was birth. We started making songs together and we started thinking about the things she's going through as a young girl. And now young girls all around the world can relate and feel more self-confident by understanding they are not alone."

The series prides itself on presenting relevant stories and situations that little girls around the world can relate to. Bridges made a conscious decision to feature all races and cultures in the series to create a sense of belonging for viewers.  

Ludacris with daughter Karma Bridges in 2014. © Getty Ludacris with daughter Karma Bridges in 2014.

"It's so important to have diversity and inclusivity. One of the reasons why I think the Fast & Furious franchise was so, so successful is because of that," he says. "Because representation matters. And identifying with certain characters and just celebrating each other's differences and similarities and celebrating different cultures… This is a show that's going to empower people and also teach them about some of the great things from around the world."

"It's extremely important to me to tell relevant stories and tell real stories," he adds. "So to draw from Karma's real-life experiences, there's no better way to write the story because someone is going to relate to it." 

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 Ludacris (right) with Fast & Furious co-stars Tyrese Gibson (left) and Vin Diesel (centre). © Getty Ludacris (right) with Fast & Furious co-stars Tyrese Gibson (left) and Vin Diesel (centre).

Bridges says the main reason he wanted to do a children's series was to make his daughters proud. The proud #GirlDad has two daughters — Cadence, six, and Chance, 11 weeks — with wife Eudoxie. He also has Karma and Cai, seven, from previous relationships. 

"The best thing about being a girl dad is knowing they are going to take care of me when I get older," he says. "Because when you have boys they're kind of like, 'That'll be alright.' But when you have girls, they're going to take care of you. 

"They like to spend time with dad," he warmly adds. "I like to have fun — I'm a big kid at heart. I go to the playground with them, we like to laugh and giggle and have fun. That's definitely one of my things — they look at me as a fun dad. They'd probably call me silly. I'm always joking with them, I'm always messing with them, always playing games, so I'm a silly dad."

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Ludacris and wife Eudoxie attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards in 2016. © Getty Ludacris and wife Eudoxie attend the 2016 Billboard Music Awards in 2016.

The series certainly acts like a love letter to his children, who he hopes to inspire. And Bridges also hopes to inspire viewers from around the world.

"I wish viewers take away from the show that you're never too young to change the world," he says. "That's what I want them to know. And what goes around, comes around. When you put good into the world, it comes back.

"The response [to the series] has been overwhelming and when you think globally like this, it just excites me even more because my goal is to reach and empower and enrich many children and parents around the world." 

Karma's World is now streaming on Netflix. 

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