Most people know Ludacris for his rhymes or his role as Tej Parker in the Fast & Furious franchise. But the rapper and actor is also the creator of Karma’s World, an animated series for kids streaming on Netflix since 2021.
The series follows Karma Grant, a talented tween who tackles issues, including self-esteem, friendship and discrimination, with the help of her friends and family. And they do so in a way that helps parents engage their kids in age-appropriate dialogue, a fact that earned the show three NAACP award nominations, including Outstanding Children’s Program in 2022.
Karma’s World returned for a third season in July with nine new episodes. We spoke exclusively with Chris “Ludacris” Bridges about what fans can expect from the new season and the special reason why the show is so close to his heart.
Ludacris says his oldest daughter, Karma, is the inspiration for the series and its talented lead character. The father of four girls said he wanted to find a way to help his daughters’ generation be the change he wanted to see. “As soon as you have kids, you start thinking about the next generation and stop thinking so much about yourself,” he said.
When developing the series, he said it was important that Karma’s parents (especially her dad) were featured prominently. And if Karma’s dad’s voice sounds familiar, it’s because it’s none other than Ludacris himself. “I think it’s extremely important to show the parents’ love, especially the dynamic of the father and daughter,” he said. “I was intentional about making sure Karma’s dad was a key figure, but I was not intentional about me voicing the dad,” he laughed.
In season 3, Ludacris says Karma’s World will continue to touch on important themes in a way that kids can understand. “There’s an episode about standing up for what you believe in and why people boycott. If you’ve seen the previous episodes, you know there’s music, and there’s a theme,” he said. And Ludacris says there will be even more music, including a soundtrack. But he says he can’t take credit for Karma’s bars. “I oversee [the writing]. But it’s very important that I’m not the one speaking for a young girl. So I have a team of people to help me with that,” he said.
Looking ahead, Ludacris says he loves that the show has built a loyal audience of fans who are reaching out to the show on social media to share ideas for future episodes, something he hopes will continue. “A lot of the episodes are based on things that Karma honestly went through. And I think that’s why it resonates with people so much,” he said.
In addition to the new episodes, Ludacris said the show partnered with top toy maker Mattel to launch a line of Karma’s World toys, including dolls, accessories, styling heads and more. And he says he couldn’t be prouder of what the Karma’s World team has been able to accomplish. “It’s all about stepping into your purpose. I’ve never felt more fulfilled,” he said.