Lil Wayne stopped in Washington, D.C., earlier this week with the “I Am Music II Tour” and announced the release of the Carter IV slated for May 16.
Although not completely sold out, Lil Wayne, Rick Ross and Nicki Minaji had 90 percent of the 20,000 seat Verizon Center filled as they shut the stage down with Wale, Drake, Baby and Young Money.
Welcomed on stage by thunder and lightning, first up was Rick Ross. A 20 foot backdrop of himself, a fresh pair of Jordans and lyrics that not many can mess with was all he needed to command the stage.
His performance was solid, one of the songs that got that best crowd response was “Here I Am,” but nothing rang through the arena like “Big Meech” and “All I Do Is Win.” A major highlight of Rick’s performance is when the current Prince of D.C., Wale, joined him to perform the city’s anthem “Pretty Girl.”
The funniest part of the first half of the night is when Rick left the stage and this young White, Ethiopian and Black group of kids started arguing over exactly when Rick was shot and “all that matters is he’s a gangsta now”… no doubt about it Hip-Hop is definitely mainstream!
Bright lights, multiple expositions, a police dispatcher and a slow stage lift brought none-other-than Hip-Hop’s master lyricist onto the stage. The crowd jumped to their feet with drinks in hand, ganja to lips and screams so loud my ear drums almost burst — no doubt about it Lil Wayne was in the building!
Rock star to the fullest, Lil Wayne had the full on guitarist and percussionist going in as he performed “Got Money” (that had guys throwing $20’s in the air) and “Go DJ.”
Halfway through his performance Wayne brought out all of the Young Money crew including Lil Twist with new single “Love Affair”, and rumored “in-house girlfriend” Shanell, with the oh-so-ghetto “Hair Down My Back.”
Of course, Young Money wouldn’t be complete without Minaji. Nicki needed no introduction except Wayne barefoot and dressed in a cloth robe “resurrecting” her from the stage as she lit into “Roman’s Revenge” with background dancers dressed like Lil Kim, circa the 2000 “Notorious K.I.M.” era.
”I always do something special for my barbs, but now it’s time for the boys” Nicki said as she brought up a lucky guy from the audience and gave him a semi-sexy lap dance–I could have had a V8!
In an attempt to bring meaning to her performance Nicki dedicated “Save Me” to the victims of the Tsunami in Japan.
After Nicki left the stage to a standing ovation, Wayne returned to spit more hits like, “Every Girl,” “Bedrock” and “Lollipop.”
When Young Money came out for the final song, Shanell did not join the team, of course that doesn’t help to kill the rumors that she and Nicki are fighting over Wayne’s attention. But she did join Wayne as his background singer on his final four songs.
The night wouldn’t have been complete without paying homage to Tupac, Biggie, Nate Dogg and Michael Jackson, the artists the Wayne says have had the biggest influences on Hip-Hop.
Here’s a list of dates for the last leg of the I Am Music II Tour:
4/10/2011 – St. Louis, MO, Scottrade Center
4/14/2011 – New Orleans, LA, New Orleans Arena
4/15/2011 – Dallas, TX, American Airlines Arena
4/16/2011 – Houston, TX, Toyota Center
4/19/2011 – Phoenix, AZ, US Airways Arena
4/23/2011 – Anaheim, CA, Honda Center
4/24/2011 – Oakland, CA, Oracle Arena
4/26/2011 – Sacramento, CA, ARCO Arena
4/28/2011 – Edmonton, Canada, Rexall Place
4/29/2011 – Vancouver, Canada, Rogers Arena
05/01/2011 – East Rutherford, N.J, Bamboozle Festival
– Marcus A. Williams
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