While Migos put the finishing touches on their long-awaited Culture III album, Quavo is channeling his competitive spirit toward the hardwood, for a star-studded two-on-two game of hoops set for All-Star Weekend in his hometown of Atlanta.
Bleacher Report’s Open Run will pit Quavo and Jack Harlow against 2 Chainz and Lil Baby in a first-to-21 hip-hop heavyweight matchup. The half-court game will be livestreamed on Saturday night (Mar. 6) at 8 p.m. ET, with Taylor Rooks, Adam Lekfoe and Supreme Dreams playing hosts for the event.
“Those are four good guys on one court — that’s gonna be fire,” Quavo tells Billboard of the contest’s prospects. “We the best two that’s gon’ win. You know anyone with me is going to win. Let’s get it. I hope they bring their A-game.”
Four artists. One court. Watch it go down Saturday of All-Star Weekend in B/R app & on B/R TW at 8pm ET.
Don’t miss the start. Like this tweet to get a reminder Saturday night.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) March 1, 2021
Aside from bragging rights, the winning team will split the purse and donate a portion to HBCUs of their choice. Quavo already has a pair of universities in mind to pass the cash to that he was looking at personally, back when he was lighting up the Gwinnett County high school basketball circuit.
Prior to hitting the court alongside Harlow, Billboard caught up with the 28-year-old hip-hop star to talk about the anticipated Migos comeback, what made his relationship with the late Pop Smoke special, and interacting with Robert De Niro on the set of their upcoming movie, Wash Me in the River.
How was it locking in again with Offset and Takeoff at the compound you rented out in California to record?
It was fun, and we had a great time. I can’t wait. I wish I could tell you more about it. It’s time to wake the world up.
Do you feel like fans are sleeping on the Migos right now?
Not really — fans got a short attention span. We haven’t put out music in two years. We were rolling on the tour, and then this pandemic hit and it was like, the fans are hungry. If you ain’t putting nothing out, the light still shines.
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Is it still tough to replicate that drive you guys had in 2013, before all the mainstream attention? Your lives are so different now with everyone shining and doing their own things.
That’s what y’all see. It’s fun to tell y’all what we been up to in the music. We always on them times mentally. We always on them time when we away from each other and together back on the North. I just feel like it’s going to all be in the music.
We’re speaking on the one-year anniversary of Pop Smoke’s death; you were one of his early co-signs and were close with him. Can you reflect on one of your favorite moments with him and what you thought made him special?
Pop Smoke was a real dude. I just feel like he was always ready to soak it up. He was a sponge soaking up info. He wasn’t afraid to try new things and do the things he watched on TV. It was the same concept I figured out. Growing up and watching films and superhero movies and being on the basketball and football team, it kind of teaches you lessons, without having a pops around.
I feel like that’s the kind of path he took. When we sat in the studio, he would ask questions and see how the studio work or how I engineered myself and used transitions. When Mustard came through and did the “West Coast S–t,” it was out of his field, but he was so ready to take that challenge on and he killed it. He was just like a sponge ready to grow. That’s what made me want to put him up under my wing, and show him everything I know and we can grow together. The chemistry was crazy, too.
What do you think his legacy is, and how big of an artist could he have been? We’ve seen how successful his posthumous album was.
He’s still big and growing. The legacy continues. One thing about this music, it goes to the moon. That’s what his album did. When it’s out of this world, it’s timeless.
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Would you feel comfortable releasing some of the collabs you and Pop have in the stash together?
Of course. The people need to hear it and see what we were working on. We had plans to drop it, so why not? We still got good music in the hard drive.
You scored a role in the upcoming movie Wash Me in the River, alongside Robert De Niro. Talk to me about your character Coyote, who’s a ruthless drug lord.
I’m a ruthless gangster, ruthless killer named Coyote. It’s just an honor to be on the screen with Robert De Niro, Jack Huston and John Malkovich. I’m just blessed and I can’t wait for y’all to see it. It’s a very action-packed movie. I had fun doing it. I stayed in Puerto Rico shooting for a whole month grinding. There was some long film days. Them film days are different. It’s like you’re shooting a video all day.
What was it like interacting with De Niro? That’s a legend in the game right there. Did you go up to him and dap him up?
I said what’s up to him. I told him I said a line in one of my new songs about the trip I just took, and he was just like, “For real. M-I-G-O-S, right?” I was like, “Yeah, he’s finna go home and look me up.” It was too hard. I couldn’t wait to tell my Mom dukes that I’m gonna be on the screen and kicked it with him. He’s a nice dude.
Make sure to tune into the B/R app or Bleacher Report’s Twitter to catch all the Open Run action streaming at 8 p.m. ET on March 6.