Lil Wayne exploded onto the stage last Thursday night at the Rose Garden (literally). He stepped out to some serious smoke, fire and a giant boom! Obviously his "I Am Music" tour is really feeling the success of Tha Carter III. This show definitely seemed "bigger budget" than most I've seen.
But it wasn't all flash. Weezy's a solid performer. Some rappers really can't pull it off live. They run out of breath, can't finish their lines and let their hype men back 'em up. But not Wayne. His delivery seemed effortless.
As far as songs go, he did mostly new(ish) material ("Mr. Carter", "Got Money" w/Mack Maine, "Sky is the Limit", "La La", "Lollipop", "Mrs. Officer", "I'm Me", "Prostitute".) He did break out some old stuff. After asking "where the real Lil Wayne fans at?", he went into "Block is Hot". & that led into another pyro show "Fireman" with Weezy ducked down doing something that looked like karate chops while he was rapping. He even worked in some Juvie, Playaz Circle and Hot Boyz.
Midway in, Wayne took a brief break and let his Young Money fam (minus Drake and Nicki Minaj) put on a mini-showcase. 16 yr old Lil Chuckee and 13 yr old Lil Twist were great to watch! Those kids can dance! When Wayne returned, he introduced everyone who had performed and brought the Young Moula crew back out for "Every Girl".
Favorite moment of the night: Weezy was trying to nurse the crowd through a call and response to big-up his backup singer, Shanell. After the third try, the crowd finally got it and repeated what he was saying. Wayne said, smiling from ear to ear, "Y'all are intelligent. I like that. MAKE SOME NOISE FOR INTELLIGENCE!" I was LMFAO!!!
Only real bummer of the night: NO T-WAYNE!
Gotta send a big congrats to Steven Lopez! I received an email from him last week saying he's just about to head down to Dallas, meet with Badu and sign the print series they've been working on finalizing for some time now. Prints will go on sale April 15th.
Lopez's painting of Badu graced the cover of EW back in August of last year. If you missed it, you can read Chuck's Q&A with Steve here.
Full press release after the jump.
Steven Lopez releases the 1st installment of the After Midnight Series!
Respected Los Angeles artist Steven Lopez will begin work on his latest piece in the â€œAfter Midnight Seriesâ€ featur-ing soul goddess Erykah Badu. The After Midnight Series is a personal excursion for Steven to combine his two passions, music and art. It is this combination that has inspired the After Midnight Series and in the process brought Steven together with such musical greats as Chaka Kahn, Sade Adu, Aretha Franklin, India Arie, Jill Scott and his first inspiration into the After Midnight Series, Erykah Badu. Steven researches each artistâ€™s photo history, discogra-phy, and live performances to begin the creative process. Once versed visually and aurally, Steven selects a favorite and many times inspirational song to focus on and begin the painting process. His manner of painting syner-gistically with music is heavily influenced and constantly nurtured at the world famous Mint Club in Los Angeles where he performs his craft in front of a live jazz audience regularly. Jazz, soul, funk, and hip hop are all ingrained into Stevenâ€™s artistic style beginning with his days as a respected graffiti artist and to his current exploits as a contemporary artist with a unique vision. Steven works with many of the top agencies, brands, and record labels including Reebok, Nestle, X Games, Coachella, Vans, the United Way, Global Inheritance, and Spy Optics among others. His art has also been featured on such networks as BBC, The Discovery Channel and FUEL TV among others.
Steven is excited and honored to work with Erykah Badu, saying â€œErykah is one of my favorite artists of all time and Iâ€™ve been looking forward to interpreting her music since I saw her perform in 2005 during the â€œSugar Waterâ€ tour stop at the Greek Theater in Los Angeles.â€
The After Midnight Series will include 100 limited edition giclee prints signed by both Steven and Erykah. The signing will take place on March 24th at Baduâ€™s home town of Dallas. They will be available for purchase, Midnight April 15th exclusively through www.aftermidnightsoul.com.
A portion of proceeds will be donated to Baduâ€™s charity organization, Beautiful Love Incorporated Non Profit Developmentâ€”or B.L.I.N.D. Beautiful Love Inc. was established in 1997 and provides community-driven develop-ment for inner-city youth through music, dance, theater and visual arts.
Time lapse video of the actual painting can be found here.
For more information, check out www.aftermidnightsoul.com
& Steve, please tell Badu we need a show in Eugene.
Raphael Saadiq is the real deal. He's caught some negative comments about being gimmicky on his latest album, The Way I See It, a sort of throwback to 50s/60s soul. After seeing his sold out show last Friday, I can say without a doubt that couldn't be more further from the truth. Saadiq and his band gave one of the most solid performances I've seen since Prince's "One Night Alone" tour in 2002. He came out on stage dressed like a young Marvin Gaye and took us through a lot of the new album ("100 Yard Dash", "Let's Take A Walk", "Oh Girl", "Sure Hope You Mean It"), some Lucy Pearl ("Dance Tonight"), his other solo material ("Be Here", "Still Ray"), and even some old school Tony! Toni! TonÃ©! joints ("Anniversary", "(Lay Your Head on My) Pillow"). Every one was on point. Amazing musicianship and always in the pocket ... especially the lady singing backup and sharing the lead on some tracks ("Skyy Can You Feel Me", "Just One Kiss"). Saadiq closed the show with his tribute to New Orleans "Big Easy" which seemed to leave everyone wanting a second encore. I left with the impression that I'll be telling my daughter about this show someday ... about the time when I had the chance to see a certified soul legend do his thing.
Dead Prez killed it last night at the WoW Hall! Rocking some songs completely a cappella. Even covering a bit of Pink Floyd's "Another Brick in the Wall" that lead into ("their version") "They Schools". Like I've said before, I suck at remembering setlists but I do remember them running through "We Need A Revolution", "That's War", "B.i.G. Respect", "Be Healthy", "Hip Hop", "Hell Yeah", & "Politrickkks".
I was able to hang out with the fellas and everyone else in the appropriately titled "green" room for a while before the show and take some photos. Stic.man was doing some warm-up yoga with dready girl ... sorry I forget your name :). There were fruit snacks, beer and lots of enlightenmentainment from my man O SAGE BUFFALO aka BiG BUFFALO aka EVERYWHERE! Boots Riley was in the house!
Stic.man & M-1 told me DP have 2 new projects coming out in 09: Their new mixtape with Green Lantern, Pulse of the People, which will be released on Malcolm X's birthday (Tuesday, May 19th) and their new album, Information Age, will follow later in the year.
They also said that they're about to totally rework their live set to include a lot of the new material. So next time they come thru Eugene (or your town), expect something completely different.
Props to RR&TFB for the incredible instrumental cover of Michael Jackson's "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin"!
See who got serrrrrved.