With the exception of those who have a peanut allergy, you’ll be hard pressed to find people who don’t like peanut butter. What you may find even more difficult, though, is finding someone who loves the nutty spread more than rapper and actor Ludacris. While he consumes it often as a protein to supplement his muscle-building workouts, he’s also been eating it just about every day since he was a child. One of his favorite things, he’s all about using it to make sweet things even sweeter.
“I put it on everything,” he tells ESSENCE. “I don’t know if people think this is crazy, but I definitely put peanut butter on pancakes and on French toast. I was telling somebody, ‘I put it on S’mores, graham crackers.'”
So it’s no surprise that he calls his new partnership with the Jif brand of peanut butter a dream come true.
“The universe made it happen, because that one thing that I eat every single day is definitely peanut butter,” he says. “I’ve done a lot of partnerships in my life, but this is one for the record books just because I’m so happy about it. You can hear it in my voice, right?”
The rapper is featured in the company’s latest ad campaign for The Lil Jif Project, which debuted on Aug. 16. The hip-hop genre has introduced some interesting, sometimes controversial new flows over the last few years, and in the ad, we see his own style of rhythms and rhymes change up with help from Jif peanut butter. As part of the campaign, Ludacris starred alongside rapper Gunna in the ad, reunited with famed music video director Dave Meyers who was behind the camera and has released his first new track in some time with the song “Butter.ATL.” It’s getting rave reviews from one very important listener: his 20-year-old daughter, Karma. She is featured in the commercial.
“It’s great, because your kids, once they get to a certain age and they’re teenagers, they’re the ones that tell you what’s cool and what isn’t,” he says. “It’s very ironic being a hip-hop superstar, and you think that for the rest of your life, you’re going to be the one telling your kids what’s cool. What’s leading hip hop. Then one day you realize that they’re the ones telling you. It was organic for her to be in the commercial, and also to be like, ‘Dad, this slaps!'”
Karma is the eldest of the star’s kids. He just welcomed his fourth daughter, Chance, with wife Eudoxie at the end of July. At the time of our conversation, he was over the moon at the reality of his family expanding.
“I’m feeling great about it. The Bible says, ‘Be plentiful,’ and that’s what we’re doing,” he says. “Humbly speaking, when you can afford it, it’s always great. I look forward to being a parent that can bring forth someone that’s going to continue to give to this world, and try and raise very powerful and integrity-filled children.”
And having daughters has also greatly inspired the star. Not only do they tell him what’s hot and what’s not, but they also drive him to create in a way that will leave behind a legacy for them.
“They are the ones that I’ve done so much work in my life for, but now it’s like, I’m all about legacy,” he says. “I’m all about trying to lead for them in order to be able to lead. I have so many projects that were inspired by my daughters that are coming out.”
Those projects include an animated Netflix series inspired by his eldest daughter called Karma’s World, and an app called KidNation that is an educational-based music platform for children and is available now. He’s looking forward to leaving behind many more great things for his girls, including passing on his love of Jif.
“They’re the ones, as I continue to have these children, they’re the ones that are inspiring all this new creativity and new forms of entertainment,” he adds. “I guarantee that they’re going to be eating peanut butter, Jif peanut butter, just as much as I do throughout their whole lives. That’s what makes us happy.”