Ludacris is officially a “Luda-Cum-Laude.” The 44-year-old rapper born Christopher Bridges was given an honorary bachelor’s degree in music management from Georgia State University on Wednesday (March 4), more than two decades after he dropped out to pursue a music career.
“GSU, I am home right now. I owe Georgia State University a great debt, because you helped me arrive at me ‘why?’” he said in an address to the crowd at the kick-off of GSU’s commencement week. “Our alma mater was founded on the principles to help you find those answers. So with its rich history of excellence and inclusion, it plays an even more important role. And this is very important to me, this school graduating more African-Americans than any other university in America.”
The rapper said that his time on campus sharpened his skills and gave him the confidence to believe that his path was “preordained” and that he was exactly where he was supposed to be, doing what he was supposed to. “Though I left school I was never gone because this institution had become a part of me,” he said during his address. “It was a part of my fabric and DNA. My heart never strayed far from its steps and my commitment to someday return, and finish, was ever-present.”
Luda has been active at GSU for years, joining the Creative Media Industries Institute as an artist-in-residence in 2019, where he shared his experiences in the music business and film industry with students; he’s also partnered with the College of Law for a “Legal Life Of Ludacris” course overview of his career. “Go out and transform the world for the better!” Luda told his fellow graduates.
In another video he showed off his diploma — and flossy “Class of 2022” chain — while rocking his cap and gown and noting that you will forever have to call him “Georgia State University Graduate Chris ‘Ludacris’ Bridges… mama I made it! We did it! Class of 2022. Yes it took a long ass time, but dammit I made it!”
“Today’s honoree began his college journey at Georgia State in the 1990s, before landing a record contract that catapulted him to international fame and stardom,” GSU president M. Brian Blake said. “Today, that dream of a college degree is finally being realized by a media mogul, entrepreneur and philanthropist. Chris came back to campus to reconnect with Georgia State students in 2019 and we are grateful that he has given his time and opened his heart to our students.”
Luda enrolled at GSU in 1996 and studied music management for two years while interning at Atlanta’s Hot 97.5 FM leading up to the 1999 release of his debut album, Incognegro.
Check out Luda’s celebratory posts below.