After being hit with felony weapons and drug charges in an Arizona courtroom on Friday morning, Lil Wayne promised fans in Richmond, Virginia, that he would make it to his headlining show in the city that same night.
Well, he made it ... barely. And the New Orleans native gave them quite a show.
Wayne hit the stage more than three hours late for the sold-out gig, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch, strolling out just before midnight after promoters said his private plane was delayed leaving Arizona and had to be rerouted.
The 3,500 fans sat through several hours of what the paper described as "middling rappers, radio station DJs spinning popular urban tunes and hosts Fat Kat and Honey B, who basically kept telling the audience to 'Make some noiiiiiiiiiise.' "
By 10:30, the audience members had seemingly had it, though, booing anyone who came onstage, standing on their chairs and tossing up one-finger salutes, with more than 100 lining up and demanding refunds.
Then Weezy hit the stage to deafening cheers and unbridled fan support.
The Cash Money star took it all in and gave the crowd a passionate speech, recalling his recent arrest. In a short video clip that made its way online, a defiant Wayne appears to be taking members of his entourage to task through a cryptic message.
He told the fans, "I just flew in not even 10 minutes ago. I just had to deal with a whole lot of bullsh-- today, but I guess you know that. ... I want you to know that none of y'all up in this building have nothing to do with the attitude that I have right now. I'm not the happiest man right now.
"When your friends tell you one thing and they're gonna be there for you and then when you get to that point ... ," Wayne continued as he turned to the small crowd standing behind him onstage. "I just want all the mother----ers that been with me that ain't never gonna be with me to note, I did it for y'all. To the ones that ain't gonna be with me no more, die. Let's start the show."
Wayne then peeled off his leather jacket and appeared to angrily toss it toward his DJ, Cortez Bryant, who also acts as his manager.
He performed a short medley of songs after, including "I'm a Dboy" and "Duffle Bag Boy," then abruptly left the stage to a chorus of boos. He returned 10 minutes later and performed for another hour.
He addressed his arrest for drug possession and also rumors regarding his drug use during the show.
"A junkie can't do what the f--- I do. I try to tell them," Wayne said just days after a search of his tour bus uncovered nearly 4 ounces of marijuana, more than 1 ounce of cocaine, 41 grams of ecstasy, drug paraphernalia, $22,000 in cash and a .40-caliber pistol.
"I am the ultimate high, understand? I am my drug, you understand me?"
Wayne then targeted his crew once more, asking the audience to help him out.
"Why don't you do me one favor," he requested. "I ain't gonna tell you who we talking to, let's just look this way [as he turned toward the stage], and on the count of three say, 'F--- you.' "
Wayne's lawyer in the Arizona case, James Tilson, said he's not yet able to discuss a potential defense because he hasn't seen the evidence from prosecutors yet, though he expected that information to arrive Monday (January 28).
He was, however, able to explain the reasoning behind the charges, saying that the felony count of possession of a narcotic drug for sale was due to threshold laws in Arizona that allow prosecutors to levy the charge if someone is found with more than 9 grams of cocaine in their possession; Wayne was allegedly found with over an ounce.
The count of felony possession of dangerous drugs was a result of the 41 grams of ecstasy allegedly found on the rapper's bus and the felony misconduct involving weapons charge relates to an Arizona law that calls for such a charge when a deadly weapon is present during the commission of a drug offense. Wayne has a permit to carry a weapon in Florida, but Tilson said the alleged presence of a gun on his bus, whether legally registered or not, automatically triggered the additional gun charge because of the presence of drugs.