Lil Wayne Turns Back The Clock In Saturday Night Show
Lil Wayne and Rae Sremmurd brought the energy on a fun night at the Bryce Jordan Center Saturday night. Sremmurd opened with an energetic performance, but Lil Wayne showed how great he was/is by playing hit after hit. His career may have tailed off in recent years, but Saturday was all about Wayne’s massive discography.
Sremmurd opened right around 8:00 p.m. and did just what you should expect they’d do: dance. The two brothers, Khalif “Swae Lee” Brown and Aequil “Slim Jimmy” Brown were electric throughout, constantly running around dancing or jumping up and down as their music played. The Atlanta rappers don’t bring the lyrical wit or punch lines like Lil Wayne does, as Sremmurd tend to use easy rhymes and energy as their strengths. Sremmurd were perfect for the BJC, as the duo brought a crazy sense of energy perfect for a college crowd. The duo have appeared on “Wild ‘n Out” and even rapped for 20 straight minutes on the Tim Westwood Show. The mostly college crowd was filled with green thanks to State Patty’s Day. “I like them green shirts,” Swae Lee said.
Sremmurd came out banging with their “Start a Party” intro and followed with one of their biggest hits, “No Flex Zone.” The two have a lot of club hits and the atmosphere was representative of it as “No Flex Zone,” “Come Get Her,” “Throw Some More,” “This Could Be Us,” and “No Type” all got the crowd going. They also teased their new album “Sremm Life 2” and played two songs. They sounded fine but their performance goes further than the music. The two brothers are a great show and their energy was infectious. Slim Jimmy danced for the entire half-hour set without once drinking water. He also took a camera from one of his buddies and took a video of the crowd. The duo was a perfect warm-up to Lil Wayne as Swae Lee and Lil Jimmy had the positive vibes to wake up the crowd and make them want more.
Lil Wayne’s Dedication Tour might seem odd after “No Ceilings 2” and “The Free Weezy Album” came out recently with less-than-positive results. The much-maligned rapper from New Orleans might be known more today for his love for codeine and unfortunate seizures than his music, but Wayne reminded the crowd just how many hits he’s produced over the years. He came out to “Mr. Carter,” a timeless track off of “Tha Carter III.”
He and DJTLewis did a great job mixing it up between albums to show his variety. Wayne would constantly flip from “Tha Carter” series entries II, III, and IV, mixtapes and studio albums like “IANAHB” I and II, and “Sorry 4 the Wait” I and II. Wayne did well to showcase all his songs and verses without showing signs of slowing down. Instead of playing an entire track, he’d cut to his verse or only play his chorus. It led to a more immersive experience as you had to be locked in; zoning out would potentially mean missing out on a great track. After “I’m Goin In,” Wayne smiled, lit a blunt, and played “Blunt Blowin,” “6 Foot 7 Foot,” and “Rich as Fuck.”
Lil Wayne always seemed to be smiling and often reverted to his signature “jump up and down and raise his hand in the air” move. After “Rich as Fuck” Wayne surprised the crowd with “Loyal,” “Pop That,” “I’m On One,” and “Pop Bottles” then continued to keep things fresh with two tracks off Drake’s “Take Care”: “HYFR” (only the chorus) and “The Motto” before slowing down the pace with “Single” and “How to Love.” Weezy then picked up the pace with “Love Me” and “Every Girl.” Mack Maine made a surprise appearance to deliver one of his most notable lines, “In a couple of years holla at me Miley Cyrus.” Wayne looked out at the crowd and noted it was “Probably the most amazing crowd of the tour so far” before taking a break at 9:45 p.m.
“I’m gonna go check the score of the game,” he said — was he talking about Steph Curry?
DJTLewis kept everyone pumped up and standing during the intermission. Quick bits of “Party Like a Rock Star,” “Turn My Swag On,” “Lean Wit It, Rock Wit It,” “Make the Trap Say Aye,” and “Walk it Out” gave the concert a feeling of when Lil Wayne was at the top of the game. If there was one thing Wayne struggled with in the first half of his performance, it was it needed more Carter I, II, and III.
Lil Wayne came back out to “Go DJ” (thanking DJTLewis in what was the most obvious choice for his return to the stage) and followed with the classic “Hustler Musik/Money On My Mind.” Wayne brought it back to “Leather So Soft” before jumping back to “Right Above It.” Everyone wanting more classic Wayne got their wish when he played three straight “Carter III” songs in “Mrs. Officer,” “Lollipop,” and “Got Money.” Wayne mixed it up again by going into a mixtape binge and while he did play some from “No Ceilings 2,” he also played “Sky is the Limit,” “Pussy Money Weed,” and “Wasted.” Wayne then introduced his Young Money crew as each had their own little moment to shine. Two names people might remember: J Millz and Gudda Gudda. Not the biggest names in the game but hey, “Bedrock,” right?
Once Young Money was finished, Wayne came back with what he called “music with a message” with “Drop the World.” DJTLewis acted as if this was the final song, but there’s no way anybody bought that. Sure enough, Weezy gave the crowd a “show’s not fucking over!” and played maybe his biggest hit ever in “A Milli”. After playing “John” and his verse on “Truffle Butter,” Wayne played one of his best but oft-forgotten hits in “Steady Mobbin.” Wayne finished the performance with “No Worries” at about 10:40 p.m. and brought out his Young Money crew. The electrifying finish fit was the perfect way to wrap up the great experience.
Energy is key in a rap concert and Wayne did well in mixing up his hits between albums or mixtapes, changing the tone of the performance, or bringing in different faces. It was always different and more importantly, always fun. Wayne was grinning, laughing, and smoking throughout and even chest bumped one of his Young Money associates during the performance. Wayne still calls himself the “best rapper alive” which is a little odd now, but that was a very solid statement back in 2009. It was a great reminder Lil Wayne’s career is hugely underrated thanks to his recent exploits.
The bottom line is this felt like a retirement tour in the best way possible. This wasn’t Lil Wayne trying to push his new music on to listeners when he knows what they want to hear. This was the old legend turning back the clocks to have one special show again where you get fans thinking about the old days.