Backstage at Atlanta’s Philips Arena on August 10, Ludacris congratulated Justin Bieber on the success of “Baby”…and asked the Believe star for his royalties, as captured on Instagram.
Earlier this summer, Bieber’s 2010 breakthrough was certified Diamond and named the highest-selling digital hit in history. With that news in mind, Ludacris acted as a music journalist: “How does it feel to have 12 million sold of the biggest-selling single in the United States of America, man?”
As he likely would to a music journalist, Bieber offers a slightly canned response. “I gotta say it feels incredible. It feels amazing, and I want to thank you for being on that song,” he says, smiling at the camera before Ludacris catches him off-guard: “Well, thank you man. I didn’t get my check though.” The look on Bieber’s face says it all: For a split second, he wasn’t in on the Atlanta rapper’s joke.
Luda’s ties to the pop star actually run incredibly deep: before Scooter Braun became Bieber’s manager, he was a well-established event promoter who earned his big break by organizing parties for Eminem and Ludacris’ Anger Management tour in 2002.
That said, even if “Baby” hadn’t just been certified Diamond, Ludacris likely still would have shown up to tease Bieber one way or another. Watch Ludacris grill Bieber up top, then catch him assisting with “Baby” on stage below.