December 2, 2005

Disturbingly Peaceful

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The first single from the upcoming Disturbing Tha Peace compilation album, “Georgia,” opens with the familiar strains of a Ray Charles classic. Featuring the vocal contributions of Jamie Foxx in lieu of Charles himself, the song soon expands to encompass bold violin strings, which give way to a more powerful beat and the distinctive, familiar voice of a certain Georgia-based artist that you are sure to recognize. Featuring additional contribution from Field Mob, the newest members of Disturbing Tha Piece Records, this is “Georgia” as interpreted by none other than Atlanta sensation Chris “Ludacris” Bridges.

“I think a lot of years have been the year of the ‘dirty south’ and I think it’s only going to get better,” predicts Bridges.

The Disturbing Tha Peace compilation album, Ludacris Presents – Disturbing Tha Peace is a follow up to the 2001 release, Golden Grain. Featuring artists from Disturbing Tha Peace Records, another Ludacris-fueled project, the label’s newest release is a collaboration among Disturbing Tha Peace veterans like Shawnna, Bobby Valentino and, of course, Ludacris as well as notable guest stars the likes of Ghostface, Redman and Icarus.

Said Bridges, of the label, “It’s really creative when you get to work with all the different artists and we’re not just limited to rappers. We have Bobby [Valentino] and we have Shareefa and it’s really fun that you can collaborate and come together especially as a company and as friends and as family.”

The raw spirit of teamwork resonated throughout the inception, described by Bridges as a combination of putting multiple artists in one room and playing many different beats to see if any of the beats sparked an artist’s interest with having artists work independently and then deciding which songs worked well with the rest of the compilation. Proclaimed Bridges, “It’s kind of hard when you have 13 artists and they all have good ideas!”

Don’t be too quick to dismiss Disturbing Tha Peace as just yet as another staple of the Southern hip hop scene. The label features multiple sounds ranging from the smooth R&B of Valentino to the creative mixing talents of DJ Jaycee to the hard-hitting sound of Atlanta rock band lazyeye. When prompted about the plethora of musical styles all deriving from the Atlanta scene, Valentino declared, “In Disturbing Tha Peace, you have all those sounds in one,” and characterized the label as offering “the complete package” of “everything that you hear from the A-town” because the album offers “different type vibes and different grooves throughout different songs.”

Bridges is similarly hesitant about attempting to classify the label’s sound and instead stresses the importance of innovation, “I love everybody! I don’t try to compare myself to anybody. I think we stand on our own and just do what we do. Be it that we are from the south and originate here and there’s a lot of talent here, we have people from all over and it’s this versatility that sets us apart from everyone else. I don’t necessarily try to fit in with other people.”

But that’s not necessarily to say that Bridges isn’t certain of what he’s looking for because he’s got the mogul role mastered. “Not only in compilations but in artists, I always look for three elements,” explains Bridges, “One is of course the music sounding good. You can tell when a person’s music is great or when it sounds different – and two – star presence has a lot to do with it – having a great personality and three, being a hardworking individual and wanting to work hard.” Rather than rely on the reputation of big-name producers for the album, the Disturbing Tha Peace compilation resulted from the hard work of “hungry producers.”

Always realistic but remaining optimistic, Bridges doesn’t hesitate to express his feelings towards his craft and his own role in its development, “You have to respect the state of hip-hop and what it is because every couple of years or so there’s a whole new generation of what young people think hip-hop really is. I just feel that we change with the times and at the same time; hip-hop is what you make it – as for the state of hip-hop, I think its at where it needs to be and I respect that. Hip-hop and R&B music is where we want it to be and we have a powerful impact in that process.” To be released Dec. 13, Ludacris Presents – Disturbing Tha Peace exemplifies the maturation which has characterized the continuous evolution of Disturbing Tha Peace Records. Bridges hopes the album will show fans “how the company has grown since the last Disturbing Tha Peace Album so that they can “get a feeling for what we’re trying to do.”

Archived article by Tracy Zhang
Arts and Entertainment Editor