When last year's Video Music Awards aired, [artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] was in a Rikers Island jail cell serving out an eight-month bid. So when he agreed to participate in this year's VMAs, he knew it had to be big.
Not only did Weezy close out the awards show on Sunday night, he timed his Tha Carter IV for a midnight digital release, so fans could purchase the album shortly after watching him on TV.
"This was actually very important to me," Weezy F. told MTV News correspondent Jim Cantiello after closing the big show. "I've actually never had a moment like this."
Kicking off the performance with "How to Love," Wayne started out subdued. Dressed in a white tee, fedora and black-and-white cheetah-print pants, he crooned the words to the acoustic ballad. But by the end of the first verse, the Young Money CEO went into full-on rock mode, stripping his shirt and tossing his hat as he jammed out to a Black Sabbath-inspired rendition of his street single "John." Wayne even jumped into the crowd and greeted his friend and collaborator on the song, [artist id="2000082"]Rick Ross[/artist]. After making his way back to the stage, the Rebirth rapper picked up a guitar and began to play a few notes before slamming it to the ground in true rock star fashion.
All in all, it seemed to be an enjoyable night for Weezy and his YMCMB family. After Nicki Minaj won Best Hip-Hop Video, Wayne, Birdman, Mack Maine and Tyga happily celebrated in the aisles of the Nokia Theatre.
"This is my first time, period, so I'm just ecstatic, I'm amazed," Wayne said about closing the VMAs. "I already have Moonmen at home, so I was good with that. Nicki Minaj got a Moonman, so that was awesome. I got to perform, Drake introduced me, it was great."
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