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Rob49 On Birdman Passing The Torch & Names His Top 5 NOLA Rappers Of All Time 

New Orleans is a pivotal city in hip-hop’s landscape. A place where the entrepreneurial ventures of Birdman and Master P set the blueprint for independent rap across the world and elevated the names of artists like Lil Wayne and Snoop Dogg to GOAT status. Birdman, specifically, has made a concerted effort to elevate the South throughout the years, whether forming groups like Rich Gang or going to bat for artists like NBA Youngboy. The latest rapper that Birdman took under his wing is Rob49 – the 24-year-old rapper that’s ushering in a new era for NOLA. 

Read More: Rob49 Taps Kevin Gates & Birdman On “Hustler’s Anthem V2”

Birdman Passes The Torch

On Friday, June 8th, he unveiled his latest body of work 4GOD II, a culmination of his ascent to stardom in the past year. It arrived ahead of his second annual Vulture Island Weekend in his hometown which included a celebrity basketball game and a concert where he was able to connect with fans for the first time in a long time. Ultimately, it was an event that furthers the notion that he currently holds the throne for the city. It’s no surprise that Birdman officially passed him the torch on the intro to 2022’s Welcome To Vulture Island – an act that seemed like a far-fetched reality to him a few years ago.

“When he first did it, it really didn’t mean nothing to me,” he told HotNewHipHop of his initial reaction to Birdman formally passing him the torch. That is until a few months ago when he revisited the intro to Welcome To Vulture Island. “I was like, man, this is the new New Orleans, like this is Birdman. I started thinking about where I was when I was in high school and middle school and shit. We would listen to this sh*t and it was just so far-fetched for us. I’m just like, ‘damn, this is really it and he’s giving it to you,’ so it was a big thing for me.”

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Rob49’s Top 5 NOLA Rappers

New Orleans rapper Rob49 at All Rap-Caviar experience.

Birdman’s become a guiding force in Rob49’s career, having been one of the first people who tried to sign the rapper to Cash Money. Although the deal didn’t pan out, the Cash Money co-founder evidently wanted to see Rob49 prosper regardless. He recently featured on the single, “Woedy” from 4GOD II, a song that Rob revealed nearly didn’t make the final cut of his album. “[Birdman] told me to stop separating my feet and put both of my feet in rap. That’s the biggest advice he told me and I did it and it worked for me. That’s the biggest advice he told me and it works,” he explained.

While Birdman came through as a pivotal force in Rob49’s career, he’s among the several New Orleans natives that helped shape the budding star’s artistry. During our conversation, he listed his top 5 NOLA rappers of all time, which includes the obvious choice of Lil Wayne. “Soulja Slim because he just reminds me of myself. Like, his wordplay, his aura – he just reminds me of myself,” he explained. “Lil Wayne because he’s just the best rapper alive.”

Although Soulja Slim became one of No Limit’s most legendary signees, it’s evident that the sounds of Cash Money resonated deeply with Rob49 throughout his come-up. In addition to Slim and Weezy, he listed Juvenile, Birdman’s nephew, Nino Calvin, and B.G. to round out his top 5. “Juvie had that project in him that we have in New Orleans,” he stated. 

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Biggest Misconception About New Orleans Hip-Hop?

Rob49 during Vulture Island weekend 2022.

Louisiana, as a whole, has had a grip on the hip-hop landscape, but it’s hard to deny the number of fierce lyricists. New Orleans, specifically, birthed the talents of both Lil Wayne and Jay Electronica – two MCs who’ve earned their position among hip-hop’s elite. However, New Orleans hasn’t necessarily gained a reputation for being sharp wordsmiths. Some have even gone as far to say that rappers from the city don’t even bother rhyming their words. 

“I think the biggest misconception is like us with our rhyming pattern,” Rob49 said. “I know people are like, ‘Oh, they don’t rhyme,’ but New Orleans people, we talk our sh*t. Like, that’s what we grew up on, you know what I’m sayin’? We just poppin’ it. We ain’t trying to rhyme.”

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