Master P Shares Career Advice, Rick Ross Draws Diverse Crowd at Atlanta's A3C Festival 2016

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Rick Ross performs in concert at A3C Festival And Conference on Oct. 7, 2016 in Atlanta.

With the threat of Hurricane Matthew hanging overhead, attendees of Atlanta’s 2016 A3C Festival still came out in droves for the third day on Friday (Oct. 7). The first major draw was the conversation with Master P, hosted by AB+L Radio’s Day 1 Radio crew at the Loudermilk Center.

“I was always passionate about everything I was doing,” he told a ballroom full of aspiring artists, producers and songwriters. “It was never about the money for me.”

Imparting knowledge of the industry to younger artists is the general focus of this festival, and the head of No Limit, past and present (with the New No Limit Boys), told stories about being rejected by program directors and label heads while coming up.

“The competition was real for me back then,” P said. “Tupac and Biggie were still alive and people told me that I wasn’t gon’ make it.”

The rapper also spoke on his currently incarcerated brother C-Murder and the fact that years before, at No Limit’s inception, the two had argued about his rap name. P believes that the name itself is a large part of why C hasn’t been exonerated, despite physical evidence that he hadn’t committed the murder of a New Orleans teenager -- the reason he’s locked up.  

“You gotta look at the power of words because it’ll come back and get you. We used to argue as kids. He said, ‘I’ma name myself what I want! I said, ‘G’head. They wanted me ‘cause I was successful, but they couldn’t get me, so they got my brother.”

As it began to drizzle outside, more festival-goers trickled in for P’s live talk. Just a few blocks away, the A3C staff was setting up for the first big night on the main stage. BET Music Matters was at the wheel and Rick Ross was headlining for the evening. Royce Da 5’9” dropped a few gems between bars on that same stage before Rozay performed.

“I’d been battling with [substance abuse] my whole f---ing career. A lot of times it slowed me down,” he said. The crowd was silent. “If you can, stay away from all that shit. Stay sharp. Make sure you take the necessary steps to put yourself in a position where you gon’ have your next shot, the best shot. Take care of you first.”

A3C attendees had been receiving tips of the trade all day long, and even as they partied on the Festival Grounds, they were still being schooled. Down the street, there were other events like POW TV’s stage featuring Sauce Walka, Colonel Loud and Snootie Wild. But then there was the unexpected as well -- the RNB Untapped show gave festival-goers a break from hip-hop for a bit.

By the time Ross touched the main stage, the drizzle had cleared and the fenced-in outdoor space was packed. The crowd was mixed, because while A3C tends to bring the backpackers out, some events, such as this one, tend to diversify the crowd. No one seemed to feel out of place.

There wasn’t much talking before the head of Maybach Music Group appeared from behind the stage in dark jeans, a black jacket, Polo tee and a Roc Nation hat. He bounced and did little dances while performing -- shimmies and such. He flirted with the women in front and the crowd ate it up. Ross jumped into some of his biggest hits from “BMF” to “Pop That.” He even did his verse from Meek Mill’s “I’ma Boss” remix. Even as his crew fixed and propped up a Checkers cutout on stage right.

“What’s the deal with the Checkers board?” one guy asked aloud, between songs. At the end of his set, the rapper said something about growing up on Checkers and wanting to share their food with everyone in attendance. A few lucky folks went home with free burgers. How odd. Also, this may mean another franchise deal for Rozay which is good business and it all began at A3C.