You want to infuse some desperately needed cool into rock and roll? Look no further than "the best rapper alive." Lil Wayne officially debuted his new song, "Prom Queen" live on Tuesday and automatically became the coolest rocker in the biz (at least the coolest new guy; Bono is still pretty damn cool, you know). It's more than tattoos, shades and tight jeans. Rock has been missing that swagger for years. Why do you think hip-hop guys are the cats that kids want to be like?
Fall Out Boy have great records, Coldplay do their thing, but can we honestly anybody in those bands have the same matinee-idol status as Wayne? The kids go to their shows and listen to their music, but at a certain point, they turn it off. Wayne, Jeezy, T.I., they've permeated the lives of the people in their culture. Wayne will continue to do so in his new endeavor. What Wayne can do for rock is what he did for hip-hop: put more eyes on the genre. (His latest rock tune, "Hot Revolver," just leaked to the Web today.)
At a time when hip-hop was pronounced dead by some, when they said the economic and technological climate wouldn't allow for huge sales, Weezy F. Baby became the SoundScan poster child. Now look at rock. The die-hard fans of the music have long complained that it's just not hitting like it used to. Do they need a guy who can battle Slash in playing guitar? No. Do they need a guy who has a voice as harmonious as Elvis? Not really. They need that new, long-haired rebellious hero. They need that guy who might walk out of his own concert before the show even starts. They need that guy who is going to tell the world he does what he wants, and you damn well better like it. Rock needs Lil Wayne.