"Yeah, some say tragedy is hard to get over/ But sometime that tragedy means it's over," he rapped. "Soldier from the academy league of rollers/ I deny bein' down, though they seem to hold us/ My shoulders are strong, I prove them wrong/ I ain't doin' nothin' but movin' on/ Let the truth be known."
Weezy introduced legendary producer and songwriter Allen Toussaint, who took the set more upbeat. Speeding up the tempo, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band came out for "Big Chief." Wayne seemed excited as the Mardi Gras-style music consumed the Staples Center. As dancers came out in teal and yellow outfits with matching umbrellas (New Orleans Hornets colors), jazz trumpeter Terence Blanchard joined the party.
They transitioned into "Feet Don't Fail Me Now."
"Feet don't fail me now," Wayne and Thicke started singing.
"New Orleans," Wayne yelled. "Robin, tell 'em."
"New Orleans," Thicke sang.
Following the performance, Wayne was honored with Rap Album of the Year.
Will Lil Wayne grab all the gramophones? Is Katy Perry going to tell her girl rivals to kiss off? Can Coldplay march off with a win? MTV News is all over the 51st Annual Grammy Awards, so stay tuned for interviews, analysis and more before, during and after the big night.