On CNBC’s ‘Closing Bell’ in Atlanta: Ludacris touts his app Roadie and the city’s entrepreneurial spirit

Ludacris on Closing Bell

By RODNEY HO/ rho@ajc.com, originally filed Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Rap star, actor and entrepreneur Chris “Ludacris” Bridges joined the CEOs of Delta Air Lines and Home Depot as well as the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta president on CNBC’s “Closing Bell” live this afternoon from the Atlanta Chamber of Commerce.

Ludacris wasn’t on a business network to promote “Furious 8” or his latest single. Rather, he came to talk up the Roadie app with co-host Kelly Evans, making sure he mentioned the app several times. Marc Gorlin, the founder and CEO, joined him.

Roadie, which debuted early last year, is sort of like Uber for packages. If you want something delivered and someone happens to be going that direction, you can set things up to have that item delivered. Ludacris has a financial stake in the start-up.

“It’s matching people with stuff to send with drivers already going in that direction,” Gorlin said. “The sun doesn’t rise and set in Silicon Valley. There’s something Southern about it. It’s rooted in Southern hospitality.” Then he noted that Luda happened to have a hit song by that name from 16 years ago.

I spoke with Luda right before his appearance on CNBC and did this Facebook Live video:

A few minutes later, he and Gorlin sat with Evans.

“I’m all about what’s to come,” Ludacris said. “I call it ‘Friend-shipping.’ ”

“This is Atlanta, Georgia,” he added. “We have our own thing going on here. In a few years, people will understand how powerful we are especially with something like Roadie. I fee like we will definitely do some damage in this community.”

Ludacris’ biggest money mistake received a big laugh: “I used to have extremely big gaudy jewelry. That’s why I’ve condensed it down to this little chain. I don’t need that anymore. I let my money speak for myself. It doesn’t have to speak on my chest anymore.”

Evans broached a pro-Obama video he did in 2008 where he used the b-word on Hillary Clinton. He neatly side-stepped the issue, avoiding any political statements at all. “That was in the past,” he said. “I’m just keeping it positive.”

He said he wasn’t negative at that point and things were taken the wrong way. He said there is political satire that was “misunderstood.” He then name-checked Roadie again as something “positive.”

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