David Livingston

The rapper reveals his greatest phobia and how he'll add his finesse to the show. 

Sydney Scott
May, 30, 2017

For a period of time in the early 00s, fear and adrenaline-focused reality shows ruled television. There was MTV’s Room 401, Syfy’s Scare Tactics, and NBC’s Fear Factor.

The latter is currently being rebooted by MTV with rapper and actor Ludacris set to host. We spoke to the Atlanta-based rapper about his new gig and what to expect from the reboot.

Much has changed since Fear Factor originally aired and that’s what the show will focus on. "It will always have the DNA of the original, we wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for them and Joe Rogan, he did a great job,” Ludacris told ESSENCE. 

"But, I feel like technology has changed things over time. A lot of kids are just afraid of losing their phones. That’s one of their biggest phobias because they don’t remember any contacts by heart, so they lose their whole world. We’re mixing all of these different things together and adding the Ludacris element."

While the Fear Factor reboot will focus on a younger audiences' technological fears, Ludacris doesn’t seem too scared of the fear-inducing challenges ahead. A fan of the show himself, the things that really make him squirm are challenges that involve very rare cuisine. 

"I’m an adrenaline junkie myself, which is part of the reason I did the show. The only thing that does make me squeamish is when contestants have to eat and drink crazy stuff. All the other stuff I would do. Stuff with animals, bugs, stunts, I would do to overcome my fears, but I just hate the eating thing.”

The rapper does admit, however, that his real phobia is being stranded in open waters. "Fans following me into the men’s bathroom and asking me for pictures. I am terrified of that,” he jokes, “But, really, my biggest phobia is being in open water, way far away from the shore and not being able to see down and something brushing up against my damn leg."

And, while Ludacris plans to do the original justice, the reboot will still have that Luda vibe. "I want to motivate individuals, I want to encourage them the only way I know how to do it and I want to bring my personality to it as well."