Ludacris Thinks Fans Upset Over His ‘R. Kelly’ Line In A Previewed Track ‘Just Didn’t Understand’ It

During his recent Verzuz hits battle with Nelly on Instagram, Ludacris previewed a new track which met with a backlash from some fans on social media over a line name checking R. Kelly and Bill Cosby. Fans were apparently upset at a couplet in which he mentions both disgraced stars, rapping, “The world screwed if n****s pouring drinks like Bill Huxtable / I love R. Kelly but around my daughters, I’m not comfortable.” Today, Luda addressed the controversy over the line during an interview with Atlanta radio station V103, explaining the meaning behind the lyric and why he thinks people “misconstrued” it.

“Sometimes when you speak on records, you speakin’ like it’s just me and you having a conversation as friends,” he explains in the video below. “But you just speaking, and just being honest. I saw that a lot of people kind of misconstrued or didn’t understand what it was that I was saying.” Turning the question on host Big Tigger (shout-out Rap City Tha Basement!), Luda asks, “What do you think I meant when I said that?” Tigger’s response: “You meant, ‘I loved his music… but I’m a father of daughters, and you’re not gonna be around my daughters.'”

“You’re a smart man,” the rapper replies. “It’s that simple.”

The kerfuffle surrounding the line just illustrates how easy it is to misinterpret hip-hop and maybe also how quick some parties are to jump to conclusions or strip meaningful context — whether accidentally or on purpose — for the sake of creating conversation on social media. If there’s a takeaway, it might be to give art the benefit of the doubt before going into outrage mode.

Watch Ludacris’ response above.