Photos By Azeez Bakare, Review By Shelly Bell
A woman in West Palm Beach, Fl left her two children in the car to attend Lil Wayne’s America’s Most Wanted Tour. It was only right that BYT find out what the hype was all about.
The DC tour stop was hosted by 93.9 WKYS. After giving away tickets and putting the concert on Groupon, promoters may not have gotten the sell out they were hoping for, yet every level was packed with raging fans who would all consider themselves “turnt up!”
2 Chainz opened the show. The crowd reaction from section 121 rows T and S included comments like “He was good,” “I mean, he’s 2 Chainz, he always puts on a show.” When I asked about back drops, lighting, fire, poppers and wardrobe changes the response was “No, he didn’t do any of that, but he was aight.” Their initial responses were indicative of their affinity for 2 Chainz, but their responses to the latter questions revealed his lack of showmanship in comparison to T.I. and Lil Wayne. He is a great artist and the majority of any crowd is familiar with his lyrics. This makes for a fun sing-a-long session, but when gracing the stage with veterans you have to bring your “A game.”
If you’re a reality TV addict and not a hip-hop head you may know T.I. from his hit reality show T.I. and Tiny: The Family Hustle. If you’re from the south you may know recognize T.I. as one of the pioneers of trap music or as the self proclaimed “King of the South.” You may know him as the rapper in the suit imitating James Brown’s moves on Robin Thicke’s hit single “Blurred Lines.” The America’s Most Wanted tour is giving the world a reintroduction to T.I. He is a former thug, awesome father, crossover artist, and trap music king of the south all in one. During his performance he gave you the opportunity to choose the one you like best and party with it. He reached back to his second album Trap Muzik then took you on a ride through each of the following album’s mainstream hits. His performance included at least three wardrobe changes, poppers, sparkles, light show, and colorful video backdrops. He put on a show from the time he stepped on stage until the last minute of the show. Near the end of his set he brought out Meek Mill who performed his latest track titled “Levels.” One of the hypest moments of T.I.’s performance included his verses on “Woke Up In a New Bugatti,” “Still In This B*tch,” and of course America’s favorite song “Blurred Lines.” After being reintroduced to T.I. on stage the T.I. you knew before this night solidified his relevance in present day hip-hop. 2 Chainz had the crowd singing along, T.I. entertained you and almost gave you a heart attack with the poppers, the anticipation for Lil Wayne was extremely high. Finally, we would witness the reason a Florida mom left her kids in the car to attend this show!
The media has been swarming with news of Wayne’s drug habits, truck fit endorsements, newly found skateboard hobby, and terribly offensive lyric using the Emmett Till beating to describe sexual acts. When he hits the stage all of that somehow slips your mind. Sure, he’s sweating profusely, but it’s hot on stage. Especially, when the stage was turned into a skate park: skateboarders were gliding back and forth up and down ramps and across staircase railings while fire puffed out of machines on sides of the stage and poppers sporadically went off throughout the show. This was an awesome display of talent and creativity. After performing pieces of his catalog, some accompanied by sexy half-naked background dancers, the collaboration with fellow artist on the bill became the height of his performance. Lil Wayne brought 2 Chainz back out to perform “Duffle Bad Boy,” Bandz’a “Make Her Dance” and “Rich As F*ck.” He brought T.I. back out to perform “Ball.” Surprisingly he brought out Birdman (Daddy) who doused us with a touch of nostalgia by performing “Still Fly.”
As camera’s spanned the crowd it is evident that hip-hop has the potential to bring out people of various ages, races, ethnic groups, sizes, and socioeconomic backgrounds. There was a young woman with blond hair whipping across her t-shirt that read “gangster rap made me do it.” There was a father with his kid on his shoulders. There was an older woman flailing her arms in the air and partying. While this is all extremely awesome and the crowd reaction was the epitome of “turnt up,” that Florida woman should surely find a baby sitter next time.