LL Cool J, Jay-Z, Lauryn Hill and now [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist]. On Sunday (June 12), Weezy joined MTV’s “Unplugged” hip-hop ranks with a most energetic performance.
Birdman Jr. took the stage wearing a black sweatshirt, black sunglasses and a red fitted baseball cap with a white button attached that read “Tunechi.” Backed by a full band, Wayne launched into his 2008 album cut “3 Peat” and then stopped to address the full-throated crowd. “If you got your Carter III album, make some noise,” Wayne said of his highly regarded record.
From there, the New Orleans rapper jumped into spirited renditions of “Mr. Carter” from TCIII and then “Shoot Me Down.” Wayne, who was released from his eight-month prison bid last November, segued into his portion of Drake’s “Miss Me” with a heartfelt speech. “A few months ago, I was locked up and stuff,” Wayne began. “And it was people like y’all that made me feel like I wasn’t even there, so I really appreciate it.”
After warming up, Weezy F. took off his sweatshirt, leaving on a white tee, then turned the heat up with an animated “A Milli” performance. With the energy steadily building, the Young Money CEO went into “Fireman” from Tha Carter II and then treated fans to something special: a cover of Tupac’s “Hail Mary.” Wayne focused particularly on ‘Pac’s second verse: “Penitentiaries is packed with promise makers, never realize the precious time that bitch n—as is wastin’,” he rapped to the crowd’s delight.
Aside from the rap hits he is known for, Lil Tunechi visited his rocked-out Rebirth album and performed a spirited version of “Drop the World.” As Wayne delivered the song’s opening line, “I got ice in my veins, blood in my eyes,” he removed his shades to reveal his eyes and his emotion. From rock to pop, the self-proclaimed Best Rapper Alive mashed up his latest single, “How to Love,” with his 2009 #1 smash record “Lollipop.”
The MC took the crowd to musical heights as he ran through his catalog of hits. One highlight in particular is when Wayne debuted “Nightmares of the Bottom,” a new track from his highly anticipated and oft-delayed Tha Carter IV album. The song, which details Wayne’s rise to the top and unwillingness to fail, was an immediate fan favorite as he rapped lines like “Don’t call me sir, call me survivor” and “Weezy F. Baby, and the ‘F’ ain’t for fear.”
As the performance drew to a close, Wayne took off his shirt and let his hair loose before his band drummed up the beat to his Harry Belafonte-sampling cut “6 Foot, 7 Foot.” A loosened-up Weezy rapped each lyric with conviction before he brought out his Young Money signee Cory Gunz to deliver the track’s rapid-fire third and final verse. Cory quickly exited the stage, and in the end, Lil Wayne stood triumphant while the crowd applauded ferociously. Young Moola, baby!
What was your favorite part of “MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged”? Tell us in the comments!