“My chick bad, My chick hood, My chick do stuff that your chick wish she could” — Ludacris “My Chick Bad”
I can’t even lie – the beat on this song is hot. When I first heard it, I added it to the workout playlist on my Blackberry at once. I can even tolerate Nikki Minaj’s 16 bars of fame on the track, because I love the dubbed out voiceover at the end. But after watching a bunch of ripe teen girls on my block popping their pubescent hips out to the beat, I had to think, what’s really good with Christopher Brian Bridges?
For those of you looking at that name, going “huh?”- that’s Luda. He says he picked ‘Ludacris’ as his stage name because as he says, “”I have kind of a spirit personality – part of me is calm, cool and collected, while the other side is just beyond crazy.”
The crazy part, well, that’s what you see on stage and in the videos. The cool and collected part- that’s the restaurant-owning, art collecting man that probably wouldn’t wife one of Ms. Minaj’s “Barbies” with a 10-foot pole.
I remember back in the day when the VIBE “Art Edition” came out, turning to the contents page and seeing Luda’s wide-open mouth and fro merged into the familiar lines of Edvard Munch’s “The Scream.” In the interview, he talked about his love of the arts and aspiration to own a restaurant in Downtown Atlanta. Now, several years later Ludacris is the proud owner of the Straits Atlanta.
While he has worked to bring his dreams into existence, Ludacris has become one of hip-hop’s most vocal philanthropists working to help youth in the community where he grew up. The Annual Benefit Dinner for The Ludacris Foundation shows his reach and is always studded with stars from the world of Hollywood and Washington D.C.
And while he may have the video honeys dancing in the background- Luda’s baby’s mother Christine White is nothing to play with. The Atlanta lawyer declined joining Toya and Tiny as they shopped around their show because, as the blogs reported, “she got her own.”
This is not to say that Luda’s baby’s mother is the standard that we as young women should be holding ourselves up to, but it is time that we do see past the stage names and catchy hooks. I am as guilty as anyone — I’ll admit my workout mix includes some “ignant-pulsating” music that, old as I am, I wouldn’t want my grandma to catch me listening too. But I worry that we don’t realize what we are internalizing.
In and of herself, the girl Luda is describing is a just “a bad chick.” At first glance, maybe that’s not so bad. She’s a chick with major swag, like the girls dancing in the video, got body for days. She doesn’t play games- will come out “swinging like Tiger Woods’ wife” for her man. You know her- she’s the one the boys flock to, the one “the whole crew wanna bone.” Bad girls must have some value because Natalie, Flo and the rest of the trainwreck crew have managed to boost Oxygen ratings and achieved B-list stardom, all for being the “baddest.” But while this “bad” girl is the in girl now, she is not the one Luda goes home to.
Being the baddest, the hottest, the flyest is a title no girl hold on to for too long. It may be hard to see now, but things fade, drop and droop. And if Vivica Fox’s cougar struggles are any proof- you can’t lift keep everything perky forever (exceptions to this rule: Halle Berry and Sade). I really have to shake my head when I hear girls say things like, “”Her face is aiight” or “She always stays looking off” or “Her ass ain’t even like that” in our attempt to describe our fellow women of color. Not only is it representative of the cattiness we harbor, it signals the insecurities we hold inside ourselves. Somewhere in every woman is a desire to become a woman in full, the manifestation of all the potential and purpose we feel down in our souls.
So what is stopping you from being that woman? The allure of being the baddest girl out now? Maybe the best lesson we can take from Luda is to be more like Chris Bridges- a well rounded individual. From my market analysis, the stock for shot guzzling, jealous girls who can drop it low is dropping as those girls flood the market. Strive to be a woman of depth and substance. Cultivate your passions. Find and do what you love. Don’t wait to be completed- be you and be whole.
The “bad girls” may get the double take, but they never hold a man’s attention for as long as they’d like him to. Fellas may act like Luda out on stage, but when the spotlight fades, the Chris Bridges of the world know that real women are an investment worth making. Live, learn, be complex and be interesting. Choose to be everyday who you are at your best- and tap into your crunk alter egos sparingly.