Lil Wayne’s Onstage Style Is Alarmingly Attractive

Lil Wayne at the MTV ’Unplugged’ concert and Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival.

Last night marked the premiere of Lil Wayne’s long-awaited MTV “Unplugged” special. In a music environment that gets more and more flack for mounting production levels, phase vocoders, and other audio black magic, an artist as celebrated as Weezy doing an “Unplugged” set is a BIG effing deal. Of course, being the diligent stylettes that we are, MTV Style found added joy in the fact that rolling with Wayne is always taking a little style adventure—and not just due to the shirtless reveal of rippling delts and forearms. (Though that was definitely a highlight. *discretely wipes drool from corners of mouth*)

No joke, Lil’ Tunechi was on his A-game. The graphic font sweatshirt, pristinely soled sneaks, deliciously retro/punk acid-wash jeans (which we’re, like, 80% sure are by Cheap Monday), and smart red 59Fifty got us thinking back to his other great past style moments. Remember when he wore those Jeremy Scott x adidas teddy bear sneakers? Could he possibly predict that the sartorially inclined would palpitate so? Or that vintage Nieman Marcus promo sweatshirt? *heavy sigh* How could we forget?! He has the whole hip-hop-meets-skater look on such a serious lock we almost think Odd Future should be paying him royalties. His Bonnaroo stage outfit with this canary yellow Gonzz California Girls tank and Joyrich x Keith Haring backpack (the contents of which we’re DYING to uncover) and grey-and-black zebra pants is the stuff hipsters build shrines to in the deepest thickests of their hearts (Please note: hipsters never actually worship altars because true hipsters don’t submit themselves to long periods of physical exertion).

Lil Wayne at the Hot 97 Summer Jam and the Billboard Music Awards.

Style is not something that Wayne takes lightly, and his well-crafted Unplugged look was no accident. Not for our man Weezy. His black/grey/white/red palette for the special is so appropriately understated without being boring, like the true (style) professional he is. Sure, he could have gone above and beyond and taken a cue from the stage fashion of his Hot 97 Summer Jam get up—which has its moments, sure—and rocked neon pink Nike dunks and a pair of The Hundreds black-and-white, rugby striped swim shorts. But it was unnecessary. Summer Jam + swim trunks = perfect logical sense, but for “Unplugged”, he wisely chose the deceptively retro and relaxed look of a wise, reflective Unplugged star. Or he could have gotten cheeky, like at the 2011 Billboard Music Awards, with a vaguely Twiggy-esque printed face, All-Son camo shorts and a bright orange watch. Were people freaking out over his on-point debonair vibe? Not really. But they should have been. Maybe…and don’t kill us for saying this…but maybe this is his Kurt-Cobain-in-a-knitted-sweater moment?

If the man is so consistent, why would his on-point fashion game ever come as a surprise? Well, let’s face it, we can count the number of non-boring, behind the mic dudes (sartorially speaking) on two hands (maybe also a foot) so any time a guy brings it, we give him our most solid blessing. Otherwise, we wouldn’t have an entire franchise devoted to it. On top of that, Weezy follows a fashion equation that is meant to be unexpected. Even if we trick ourselves into thinking we’ve got him pegged, he pops up with a bright color or an indie shout out (Keith Haring, anyone?) that’ll keep us keeping our eyes peeled. One thing is for sure: Lil Wayne will always be doing it right. Oh, and FYI: “Lollipop” is even more incredible acoustic.

+ Watch performances from MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged on!!!