NEW ORLEANS — For the second time in a week, hometown hero Lil Wayne graced a New Orleans stage and gave fans a rock-star performance.
On Saturday night, the rapper took the stage at GQ’s Super Bowl party, which took place at a mansion about a ten-minute drive away from the city’s downtown area. Wayne’s set was similar in tone to the one he turned in on Thursday at the EA Madden Bowl, but it was no less exciting, if scaled down in length and size for the magazine’s event.
And it actually had its advantages by putting Weezy that much closer to his fans. While guests sipped on Patron Black and nibbled on fried-green tomatoes, he performed a 23-minute set of some of his more popular songs and collaborations. After opening with “John” from Tha Carter IV,, he ran through tracks including “She Will,” “Blunt Blowin” and “No Worries.”
The crowd — which included celebrities and athletes like David Arquette, Kate Upton, Victor Cruz, Terrell Owens, Hayden Panettiere and Terry Crews — listened as the rapper thanked God and his fans and plugged his forthcoming album, due before the end of March.
“Without you, I’m nothing,” he told the room of Lil Wayne parishioners.
What was also different about the Saturday night show were a few aesthetic points. Before his Thursday performance, Wayne had taken a picture backstage with Outkast’s Big Boi, who later posted it to his Instagram and unknowingly started quite the social media scandal.
In the photo of the two rappers, it looked as if Wayne had chopped off his signature dreadlocks. He hadn’t, of course, but the photo made it look as if he now had a small afro. At the GQ event, his hair was pulled back again as it had been that night, but one lone, long lock hung over his right shoulder much of the night, perhaps a teasing dig at the fun, online firestorm his hair had caused earlier in the week. (Also missing was a Band-Aid on his cheek from what Wayne had said was a recent skateboarding accident.)
Earlier in the day, Wayne participated in the DirecTV Celebrity Beach Bowl — his team lost — where he played flag football along with others like Snoop Dogg. But that test of his physicality didn’t slow Wayne down one bit for the show. Wayne put on a high-energy set that was fitting for a guy who was excited to have the Big Game hosted in his hometown.