Pop Goes the Library

Using Pop Culture to Make Libraries Better.

by Sophie Brookover, Liz Burns, Melissa Rabey, Susan Quinn, and John Klima. We're librarians. We're pop culture mavens. We're Pop Culture Librarians.

2007-02-23

My Runaway Love for Ludacris

Longtime Pop readers may remember that I've blogged about my admiration for rapper Ludacris before, and I've been meaning to blog about the greatness of his current #1 single, "Runaway Love" since I first heard it and saw the video back in December. Now that Luda has won Grammys for his current album, Release Therapy, and a previous single, "Money Maker", I've got a keen reminder of why I like the guy so much.

  • "Runaway Love" is a YA problem novel in song form! He released the song, with guest vocals by Mary J. Blige (who I also love, in spite of her continuing habit of referring to herself in the third person, which is both weird and unsettling -- like, does "I" not exist in her vocabulary? Does she have a split personality? What is UP with Mary, Mary?), paints vivid, disturbing pictures of three girls whose family situations are so horrible that they feel "there's nothing left to do but grab some clothes and pack / she says she's 'bout to run away and never come back."
  • It's not just a problem novel, it's one designed for reluctant readers! What does Patrick Jones tell librarians looking for books to appeal to reluctant readers? Pacing, pacing, pacing. The story has to grab the reader (er, listener) and not let go. Character development? Not so important. Part of what's so great about this song is that in a few strokes, Luda makes sure you know these girls, how hemmed in and desperate their lives are. Complete lyrics may be perused here.
  • Like libraries, Luda wants to make a difference. The guy is sincere, and he's funding and putting his name behind a wonderful initiative, The Ludacris Foundation: Helping Youth Help Themselves. What a great potential partner for YALSA! The Ludacris Foundation provides programs like Luda Cares, Hip Hop Culture, Healthy Living, and Stand Up 101, all geared towards meeting the needs and interests of disadvantaged youth.
  • He is so adorable it makes my eyes hurt. It's shallow, but true: Luda is a looker.

I've said it before, and I'll say it again: is he available to be a guest speaker at Annual 2008? That would rock.

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