“There are no words to express my excitement, because this is close to 14 years in the making,” proud dad Ludacris tells Billboard about the debut of his all-new children’s animated program, Karma’s World.
The Netflix series, inspired by the rapper/actor’s eldest daughter Karma Bridge’s imagination when she was a child, officially premiered on Oct. 15. Each 13-minute episode tackles issues with identity, confidence, female empowerment, diversity and inclusion. From learning to love her name and hair to finding her voice, Karma explores some of the biggest challenges in a 13-year-old’s life.
“I want it to be a staple in young people’s lives, and even [for] some adults,” says Ludacris (real name: Christopher Bridges), who serves as executive producer on the show. “Parents may love the show more than the kids.”
After powering through various production delays while creating the show, he says that “There’s longevity in something that takes long — because we got it right. Sometimes, the longer something it takes to bring to fruition, the longer it lasts in the world.”
On Tuesday (Nov. 2), Karma’s World premiered a new music video for the uplifting song “Proud of My Hair,” in which Karma raps about the joys of rocking her natural hair. “This show is music driven,” the Grammy-winner says. “Once [Universal Music Group] saw the episodes and heard the music, they were instantly drawn to it and the potential. When you look at it in a space of children’s music, it’s way ahead of the competition.” (Ludacris also says of UMG, home to his decades-long music catalog, that “there’s no other company that I would want to work with.”)
The hitmaker, who also voices Karma’s dad in the series, says he “was involved in overseeing every aspect, from production to writing” of the series — and hopes it will end up inspiring young people. “[Karma raps her own lyrics] in every single episode,” he details. “When there’s a dilemma, she writes in her journal and expresses herself through music. It’s encouraging kids to write their feelings down, especially at a time where there’s so much pressure not only with social media, but the world that we live in.”
“Kids are dealing with a lot of different things so there’s always a teachable moment,” Ludacris adds. “In every single episode, Karma is trying to deal with things accordingly to become a better person and change the people around her and her neighborhood for the better, which in turn changes the world.”
Karma isn’t the only character on the show with a big personality, “Her brother is an inventor and one of the key messages is that he’s always working on something — when it’s not fully functional yet, he finds joy in continuing to make it better,” he explains. “Her best friend Winston is a painter and he expresses himself through his art and videography. Everyone has their own different talents, just like everyone in the world. It’s about finding that talent and cultivating it.”
Ultimately with the release of Karma’s World, Ludacris says, “I’m going to change young people’s lives for the better. I’m confident about that because I know how much this show will let them know they are not alone in their thoughts, and will teach them different morals and ethics.”
Fans can watch the first season of Karma’s World on Netflix.