The best rapper alive never got around to rapping Wednesday night in Nashville.
As he did at the VMAs in September, Lil Wayne joined Kid Rock onstage for a performance of the remix of Rock’s “All Summer Long” at the Country Music Association Awards. But this time there was no verse from Weezy — in fact, he barely made a sound at all. He just acted as part of the band, bringing out his guitar and strumming the strings inaudibly alongside Kid Rock’s guitarist.
Not having the New Orleans Fireman rhyme was a curious move, considering that Weezy’s people put out a press release late Wednesday afternoon trumpeting the fact that Wayne was the first hip-hop act ever to perform on the CMAs.
A source close to the situation told MTV News on Thursday that Wayne didn’t rap in order to keep things fresh — that the duo did not want to copy what they had done at the VMAs and figured Weezy playing guitar was a fly new take on their collaboration.
Watching on TV, you didn’t even see Wayne until somewhere around the song’s two-minute mark, when Kid came over and gave him five. Both performers wore Tennessee Titans jerseys: Kid with the number two on his, but instead of Rob Biranos’ name on the back, Rock had his own name; Wayne sported a #28 Chris Johnson Jersey.
Big CMT winners included Kenny Chesney (who took home his fourth Entertainer of the Year award, tying Garth Brooks for the most wins in the category), George Strait (Single and Album of the Year, making him the biggest award-winner in CMA history) and Jennifer Nettles of Sugarland (the group won Vocal Duo of the Year, and Nettles won Song of the Year for Sugarland’s “Stay”).
The show was hosted by Carrie Underwood (who won Female Vocalist of the Year for the third consecutive time) and Brad Paisley. Taylor Swift performed her hit “Love Story” (and borrowed Miley Cyrus’ boyfriend for the performance), and Shania Twain made her first major public appearance after a long absence.