Ludacris opens up to PEOPLE about his final memories of Paul Walker

By Elissa Rosen
Updated May 02, 2016 12:45 PM
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As he prepares to film Fast 8 in his hometown of Atlanta at the end of May, Chris "Ludacris" Bridges is opening up about his final memories of Paul Walker.

“He was my brother. We had a shared bond over our birthdays, which are both in September,” he told PEOPLE recently while supporting Make-A-Wish Georgia at an event at the Andretti Indoor Karting & Games complex in Marietta, Georgia. “When you lose a family member, you lose a part of yourself.”

But he’s doing his best to stay positive and reflect on the happy times they shared together.

“My favorite and last memory was during the last scene we filmed together” just seven days before Walker’s death, he says. “Tyrese [Gibson], Paul and I were in a car together and we had this great long conversation because we kept shooting the scene over and over. We talked about life, evolution, getting older and wiser and what we have learned,” he says. “It was a really great final memory of him.”

Walker and Bridges also bonded over their passion for giving back to the world. “He had a big heart and was always wanting to give back,” Bridges recalls. “He was always trying to better himself.”

Meanwhile, the Fast & Furious franchise continues with its eighth installment, much to the excitement of die-hard fans.

One of those fans is Deangelo, 11, who had Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma, a form of cancer. Deangelo was at the Andretti event hosted by Make-A-Wish Georgia – which helps set up special experiences for children with life-threatening illnesses – and says that since watching one of the movies at 8, he has dreamed of meeting Bridges and racing him. And with the help of Make-A-Wish Georgia and the Ludacris Foundation, Deangelo’s dreams came true.

He got to meet his idol and race against him at Andretti Speed Lab in Marietta. It was a night neither of them will forget.

Fast 8 hits theaters on April 14, 2017.