Over the weekend, the city of New Orleans felt hip-hop's presence at a number of star-studded events tying into the NBA All-Star Weekend festivities thanks in part to American brewing company Bud Light. Invading the Big Easy for the three-day celebration, Bud Light held a series of concerts and panels, featuring the biggest names in sports and hip-hop, to help celebrate the brewing company’s “Famous Among Friends” campaign.

Popular hip-hop acts Curren$y, Jay Electronica, Sonny Digital, Raekwon and more took part in the Bud Light Crew HQ, which served as the ideal destination for attendees to check out dope performances while enjoying a cold one. With different basketball art installations featured around the venue and classic arcade games like NBA Jam on hand, the three-day pop up experience served as one of the places to be during the All-Star festivities.

One of the many highlights from Bud Light's HQ location came from none other than legendary New Orleans duo Big Tymers. Birdman and Mannie Fresh reunited onstage in front of a packed hometown crowd to perform classics such as "Still Fly," "#1 Stunna," "Get Your Roll On" and more. Their surprise set even included the presence of Grammy Award-winning superstar (and rumored girlfriend of Birdman) Toni Braxton.

Shortly after the Big Tymers' set, XXL caught up with Birdman to discuss a number of topics including his reunion performance with Mannie Fresh, the forthcoming Rich Gang II: Lifestyles album, his impact in Lil Wayne, Drake and Nicki Minaj's career and Young Thug's success.

XXL: You recently announced the Rich Gang II: Lifestyles album. What's the direction of this project and Young Thug's involvement?

Birdman: Me and Thug just doing our thing on this. Thug's really controlling the project. It's the majority of his ideas on this and I'm just doing my thing with him, but RG2 is something that I think is really dope and it’s a continuation of what we did with part one of the Rich Gang album. We wanted to keep that vibe and that feeling. London [on da Track] did a lot of the music and we just wanted to make sure the same feeling is on this project.

How do you feel about Young Thug's success so far and watching him grow as an artist?

I think Thug is the future of music. He’s a young man and I give him a couple of more years and he will be one of the most dominant, I think. My vision of him and working with him and seeing the artistic side that he brings, I think he, in a couple of years, Thug will be doing a million a week, first week that he drops.

You've been successful in the music business and business ventures outside of music, so what's the next venture you're interested in entering?

Movies, that’s my next mission. Making my daughter and a lot of these artists we have 'cause I think Wayne is a movie star. We didn’t take on those opportunities. Drake comes from movies. Nicki is a movie star and I think going forward in this time, everything dealing with entertainment, we’re gonna be a part of.

Speaking on Wayne, Drake and Nicki, you've played a vital role in their careers as they came up in the music business. How does it feel to see their success and to know you played a major role in their careers?

I feel blessed and honor to be able to be part of their lives and being able to help, mold and make them and help them turn their dream into a reality. It’s like magic. I seen it before it happened. I saw the hunger in all three of them coming and once they got their chance they did what they were supposed to do.

Will we ever see you and Wayne onstage one day?

Yeah, hopefully. You know, nothing is guaranteed. But he’s still my son, gonna be my son and that part will never change.

Dana Droppo
Dana Droppo

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