Rapper Ludacris finally got the opportunity to perform in front of thousands of East Tennessee State university students on Thursday (27OCT05) - after weeks of haggling with city officials.

Security concerns had originally been cited for officials' reluctance to give the 28-year-old hip-hop star a venue, but many believe the STAND UP rapper's profanities and the references to drugs and violence which litter his songs were the real reason behind the hold-up.

But student JENNIFER DAVIS, who attended the gig at the university's Memorial Center, rubbished concerns saying, "I can understand where people are coming from, but at the same time, this is America and we have freedom of speech. I have the choice if I want to go see something like this or not."

Ludacris attracted a 5,000 strong audience and opened his performance laughing, "Ya heard it took a lot to get (me) here, right?"