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Ludacris: Beef With Oprah
Blown Out of Proportion

 Posted: Wednesday, June 7, 2006 01:32am EDT
Larenz Tate and Ludacris (right)
in Lions Gate Films' Crash - 2005

Hip hop star, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges is urging fans not to boycott Oprah's talk show just because he disagrees with her stance on rap music.

Ludacris criticized Winfrey in a GQ article after he felt Winfrey publically lectured and criticized him on Hip Hop matters while he was on her show to promote the Oscar winning movie 'Crash'.

In the GQ article Ludacris states:

"Of course, it's her show, but we were doing a show on racial discrimination, and she gave me a hard time as a rapper when I came on there as an actor."

Since his remarks, two other hip hop heavyweights -- 50 Cent and Ice Cube -- expressed strong criticism of Winfrey:

"Oprah's audience is my audience's parents," 50 Cent said. "So, I could care less about Oprah or her show," "I'm actually better off having friction with her."

And Ice Cube, from this months issue of FHM Magazine:

"I've been involved in three projects pitched to her, but I've never been asked to participate."

"For 'Barbershop' she had Cedric the Entertainer and Eve on, but I wasn't invited," says the 36-year-old rapper, referring to his 2002 movie. "Maybe she's got a problem with hip-hop."

Cube added: "She's had damn rapists, child molesters and lying authors on her show. And if I'm not a rags-to-riches story for her, who is?"

Oprah suprisingly addressed the issue on a May 11th broadcast of Ed Lover's Power 105.1 radio show:

"I listen to some hip-hop ... I got a little 'Fitty' [50 Cent] on my iPod and I love [Fitty's] 'In Da Club,' I love it...Jay-Z, I love Kanye [West] -- Jay is one of my friends," added Winfrey, who was promoting her ABC special, Oprah Winfrey's Legends Ball

"I'm opposed to some of the music that offends my sensibilities, that's when you're degrading women, marginalizing women, but the beat I love," Winfrey said.

"Years and years ago Quincy Jones and I had this conversation about the evolution of hip-hop and what it really means to our culture.

"Hip-hop is like jazz and gospel music," Winfrey said. "It evolved from people out of a form of protest, out of a form of expression. You can't deny that, nor would I try ..."

"Ludacris was on my show, and I had this conversation with him after the 'Crash' show and I said, 'You are so smart, you're really one of the brilliant guys ... a lot of people listen to your music who aren't as smart as you are.

'So they take that stuff literally, when you are writing it for entertainment purposes - so I think there has to be a responsibility for it , just like I have to take responsibility for what I do and say on my stage every day.'"

Meanwhile Ludacris says that the media has blown the whole Hip Hop versus Oprah thing all out of proportion:

"Oprah is a great individual. Everything she has accomplished for herself, we all look up to that." "I disagree on one issue but that doesn't mean you don't like them or still have love for them."

"We're on a show about not judging people and I automatically got judged. She got on there and said she didn't agree with my lyrics and I will respect her opinion or not. I defended myself on the air and when the show aired my defensive comments were taken out. All I want from her is to respect my opinion also."

"By Oprah not having rappers on the show that says to me that we are the scum of the earth. Maybe she feels that rappers degrade women."

Ludacris went on to say that he would welcome an opportunity to discuss rap music on Winfrey's show: "She might try to have a show with just rappers on there to make a point. I'd do it if it was a live show because who's to say they wouldn't do the same thing again, where my comments get stripped."

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