Watch a slideshow of Lil Wayne at KeyArena on Sunday, Jan. 25. All photos by Renee McMahon.
I never thought I'd use Lil Wayne and sexy in the same sentence. But after seeing him last night, I've changed my mind: Lil Wayne is sexy.
Yes, he's a fucking weirdo. He drinks too much cough syrup. He smokes too much weed. And I don't really dig the tattoos on his face. Since last year, the subject of whether or not the rapper possesses any actual talent has been a huge debate.
And certainly, there are rappers more talented than Wayne. But I will say, the man can put on one hell of a show. How many acts can pull off playing in a venue holding thousands of people and no booze? Initially, I was devastated when the server explained the arena wasn't selling alcohol that night because "Most of this crowd is underage."
Great, I thought. So I'm gonna be sober and the oldest person in the crowd. (The last time I saw a show at Key Arena was George Michael, so the demographic and vibe were a tad different).But Lil Wayne's got that star quality that few musicians actually have, so it turned out I didn't need booze anyway. His shit was so random that even when it was stupid, people loved it. Example: At least twice the rapper sat down with a guitar. And didn't play the guitar. He just held the damn thing. And people went wild. (If that's not star power, I don't know what is.)
At the start of the show T-Pain joined Lil Wayne to perform their collaborative hit "Got Money," during which T-Pain wheeled around the stage on a segway and grinned at everybody. Nobody knew what the fuck he was doing, but once again, we all cheered anyway.
That's just how phenomenal a year 2008 was for Lil Wayne. He truly became a superstar. Songs like "Go DJ" and "Fireman" were received well, but a majority of the crowd was obviously there to see him perform hits off Tha Carter III, including myself. By the time "Mrs. Officer" came around, I was dancing like my rent was due the next day.
Toward the end of the night at 10 p.m. or so, Lil Wayne rattled off some thanks and gave a shout out to his opening acts (Gym Class Heroes,Keri Hilson, and T-Pain). He asked the crowd to give it up for Barack Obama and they erupted. The rapper then humbly told the crowd, "If you ain't remember shit about tonight, remember this: I ain't shit without you."
Then it came. The moment I'd been waiting for. "I am the bodyguard," Lil Wayne announced. Then he started swaying and lip syncing to Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You." He also ran around the stage occasionally rasping the song's words in his reptilian voice. It's become his signature performance at the end of every show.
And for some bizarre reason, I left thinking, I'm in love with Lil Wayne. Had I known where he was staying, I would have showed up to his hotel room. This is a dude who looks like a fucking insect and is seriously like five feet tall. But after seeing him perform, I realized I'd still go home with him in a heartbeat.