SCRANTON, Pennsylvania — [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] wasn’t scheduled to go onstage during the dress rehearsal Sunday night at the Toyota Pavilion at Montage Mountain, 24 hours before the launch of Young Money Presents: The America’s Most Wanted Music Festival .
Weezy F. Baby was simply supposed to sit and watch his band and dancers go through the set. So, when the practice run of his set began, Wayne and his Young Money family were watching from about 12 rows back.
As “A Milli” played, the smoke and explosions were right on point. “They say I’m rappin’ like Big, Jay and Tupac,” his recorded voice repeated a few times, with blast of smoke coming from the floor each time he said the line.
But finally, Wayne, wearing a white T-shirt, black-and-red basketball shorts and black-and-red Jordans, got up out of his seat and hit the stage to finish the song.
“Got Money” followed, with Young Money member Mack Maine coming out. All indications are that Wayne’s show is going to be another big production — dancers, band, special effects and an intricate stage set that includes a few big screens.
Weezy strolled around the stage with confidence and ease, drinking a bottle of water as the music for “Mr. Carter” kicked in. By this time, Young Money family member Nicki Minaj had made her way to the box seats and watched while another of Wayne’s crew, newcomer Lil Twist, rolled around the audience area on a Segway scooter.
Wayne’s energy level went up a couple of notches when the music for “Go DJ” came on, and the Louisiana Fireman told imaginary spectators to put their hands in the air. Finally, when Wayne’s spinner put on the music for Notorious B.I.G.’s “Get Money,” Wayne informed him that was the wrong record.
“Uh, uh! Uh, UH!” Wayne said in his mic. He told the DJ to play one of is signature theme songs, “Fireman.” This transitioned to “Money on My Mind” which led into Big and Junior M.A.F.I.A.’s “Get Money.” Wayne actually started rhyming Biggie’s legendary lyrics: “You wanna sip Mo’ on my living room flo’,” before switching up the words some.
“Mack, why she wanna stick me for my paper?” he rapped while looking directly at Mack Maine, who made it back to the audience seats to watch Wayne alongside an assortment of the crew, including Lil Chuckee.
“No ‘Show Me What You Got,’ ” Wayne informed his band, as he looked down at a set list and made instant edits to his program. “I do not know that sh–.”
After a few more records, which included a tribute to a genre defining hip-hop classic, [artist id="2545682"]Drake[/artist] came in and shook hands and got hugs from the crew sitting in the audience chairs.
“Oh, that’s new,” he said, looking at the list on the ground for the next record. “You just threw that in. But that’s OK, c’mon.” The band began playing a beat, but Wayne was obviously not into the doing the record.
“I don’t know a word of this sh–,” he kept repeating in a sing-songy flow. Then he just started freestyling in the same delivery. “I just wanna f— you, baby/ I can’t believe it.”
Eventually, Drake made it to the stage. Fans will be happy to hear that Drake’s torn ACL seems to be healing nicely, and the blue-chip performer will be on the tour. He made a decision 48 hours ago to go on the tour despite the fact that he’s still recovering from the injury. Drake did tell MTV News that because of his ailment, he won’t be able to have his own 30-minute set, but his presence will be made on the tour nonetheless.
After “Best I Ever Had,” Wayne came out and announced, “Make some noise for the hottest mutha—-a on the planet!” The music for “Successful” came on, and Weezy informed everybody, “By the way, I do not know my verse. I do not know my verse.”
Wayne said he may know the words by show time, and would let everyone know if he did. After the set, the whole crew shared smiles as Wayne went onto his tour bus very calmly and quickly.
“The thing about Wayne is that he’s just as at ease during rehearsal as he is during the real show,” Drake said later.
On Monday night (July 27), the real thing happens, so keep checking back at MTV News for more coverage from rehearsals and the big show.