On his 2008 tour Lil Wayne proclaimed that he was music. Just in case there are any doubters, Weezy is currently reassuring fans on his I Am Still Music Tour
. And on Sunday Lil Tunechi once again staked his claim and put his diversified musical prowess on display on “MTV2 Presents:
Lil Wayne Unplugged.” The show featured Wayne’s hardcore rap bars on “A Milli,” his rock-out howl on “Drop the World” and some R&B stylings on his “How to Love”/ “Lollipop” mashup.
One of the forces behind Weezy’s growth is his musical director, Gil Smith, who has been touring with the Young Money CEO since 2008 and helped put together the set list for Wayne’s “Unplugged” special.
“It was crazy. We were on tour on the first leg of the I Am Still Music Tour and it just came in an e-mail: ‘Wayne has unplugged,’ ” Smith told MTV News. “As a band we kind of get together and we get excited about stuff like that. So we start thinking about which songs he could do.”
Choosing from the Cash Money star’s catalog of music is no easy feat, especially when you have to satisfy an intimate audience of fans as well as the millions of folks expected to watch on television.
“Thankfully we’re familiar with his repertoire, having been on the road with him,” Smith said. “We’re familiar with what songs he loves, what songs are important to him, and then also wanting to incorporate Tha Carter IV, which is being released this summer.”
What Smith and his team ended up with were different segments of a
show: one for longtime fans, another to showcase new music from Tha Carter IV and then lastly some random favorites. The next step was taking the ideas to Team Weezy. “As far as working with Wayne’s management, Tez, he is very helpful in putting together the set list,” Smith said. “Other than that it’s Wayne. He chooses what’s going on. He’s the boss.”
With Wayne’s approval, songs like “Mr. Carter” off of Tha Carter III, “Hustler’s Muzik” from Tha Carter II and brand-new tracks like “How to Love,” “6 Foot, 7 Foot” and the previously unheard “Nightmares of the Bottom” ultimately made the cut, thanks to Gil Smith and of course Lil Wayne.