Arts & Entertainment

Dear starry eyed-freshman:
Do you like music? Movies? How about burlesque dancers strutting their stuff on the Slope? If so, you’re in luck. The Pussycat Dolls may not strike Ithaca every year (thank god), but there’s plenty else to keep your eyes, ears and mind entertained on campus and around town. To get a taste, check out these review excerpts from last year — everyone from Girl Talk to Junot Diaz to Don Giovanni was in town, and we were there to get you the story. Appetite sufficiently whetted? Get ready for the likes of Ani DiFranco and Built to Spill this fall, and check out the concert on the Arts Quad on Aug. 29 (artist to be announced). It’ll be the start of another great year in Ithaca arts culture. And homework and tests and all that other boring stuff. Whatever.

Backstage at Barton

It’s not easy being a rap superstar, and it’s even harder being an award-winning thespian. So maybe Ludacris had a lot on his mind when The Sun sat down with him on Saturday night. Slightly distracted and eager to move on, the Mouf of the South indulged us for seven minutes in his “dressing room” — an ROTC classroom replete with whiteboards and fluorescent lights — just before he jumped on stage. We talked about politics and the future of rap, the good old college days and some character named Girl Talk. Plus, we got to brush by Shawnna. She’s really hot.

The Sun: When did you get into town?
Ludacris: Literally about two hours ago.
Sun: What do you think of Ithaca?
L: I love Ithaca, the crowd is always crazy. It’s a good crowd, it’s good people.

What Them Boys and Girls Like

Maybe it’s just my uptight, white-boy nature. Maybe I set my expectations too high. Or maybe I just haven’t attended the right show. Whatever the case may be, I rarely have had a great experience at a rap concert. From their general chaotic nature to the star’s lack of perceived rehearsal, the rap concert experience usually leaves me with a sense of “so what?” ambivalence (I’m sorry, T-Pain). So when I heard that Ludacris was coming to Ithaca, I admittedly had mixed emotions — knowing that, in spite of my love for his music (Word of Mouf still affectionately holds that singular place in my heart as my first Parental Advisory rap album purchase), somehow the concert experience was inevitably going to let me down.

A Little Bit of Luda

On Feb. 28, Ludacris, the rapper, part-time actor and self-anointed “Mouth of the South,” is coming to Cornell, set to perform at 8 p.m. Saturday in Barton Hall with special guest Shawnna.
Cocky, raunchy and unrepentant, Ludacris has made a career of churning out club bangers brimming with the big, brash, ballsy swagger of the Dirty South.
“I’m from the school of hard knocks, sneak peeks,and low blows,” he brags in a guest spot on Nas’s “I Made You Look.”