AUSTIN, Texas — Lil Wayne was feeling inspirational while making an appearance at South By Southwest. Snoop Dogg admitted he was too high to notice he was performing on a stage six stories tall that looked like a vending machine. And rumors that Eminem would make a surprise appearance continued to swirl around 6th Street.
Hip-hop stars completed a near takeover of the music conference and festival overnight Thursday and early Friday with Lil Wayne, Snoop Dogg, B.o.B., T.I. and Wale all playing bass-booming showcases just blocks from each other into the early morning. And later in the day, Nas would be the subject of a Q&A interview and 50 Cent was expected to headline the Shady Records showcase where he would perform his iconic album "Get Rich or Die Tryin'" live in its entirety for the first time.
Posters teasing Lil Wayne's concert at Austin Music Hall appeared Thursday all over town and Weezy was in high spirits as he played his hits, introduced fellow rappers Chanel and Birdman, kicked off a partnership with Mountain Dew and introduced his new clothing line.
"If you get anything from me, it's to find your name and do you because, ladies and gentlemen, that's what I do," he told the crowd in what he said was a commercial for the new soft drink partnership.
As Weezy wound down, Snoop Dogg held court about six blocks away. There, he regaled reporters with tales of his love for the long-gone sour cream and onion Doritos rather than the new "JACKED" flavor he was promoting, his requirement that the company give him a couple of vending machines so his friends can have some and how he couldn't see the five-story stage on which he performed a set that stretched into Friday.
He also didn't exactly deny he's reuniting with Dr. Dre at Coachella, talked about a new project with producer Diplo, his upcoming movie release in June with Wiz Kalifa, gave a shoutout to Virginia Commonwealth basketball coach Shaka Smart and talked of sharing a bucket of fried chicken in Amsterdam with Willie Nelson.
He also explained hip-hop's takeover of Austin and the big-money deals he, Lil Wayne and Jay-Z – who was brought to SXSW on Monday by American Express – are landing.
"You know, it's a hip-hop world," Snoop said in an interview as he stretched out on an orange couch at Carmelo's in a Texas Longhorns basketball jersey next to a surreal 5-foot-tall snack bag. "I don't mean that in a cocky way, I mean that in a real way. If you watch TV, anything that's got to do with a commercial or selling something, it's hip-hop orientated, whether it's the music we personalize, the artists involved, even attention on football and basketball. Whatever it is, it's trying to be something that's hip-hop."
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