By Nadeska Alexis
Lil Wayne showed up as scheduled in Austin, Texas on Thursday night to put his next wave of Young Money artists on display for the SXSW annual festivial. YMCMB. Trukfit. DeWeezy. And repeat. When Lil Wayne took over the Austin Music Hall for his SXSW show in Texas on Thursday night, the rapper-turned-skateboarder had the venue draped in banners upon banners, shouting out his team, his new clothing line and his new partnership with Mountain Dew.
Earlier in the day, Wayne invited his pro skateboard friends — including Paul Rodriguez and Theotis Beasley — to get their grind on on the top floor of the venue while the Mountain Dew-sponsored show was being prepped. By showtime later that night, the boys were all freshly prepped for their closing appearance at the concert.
And while Wayne saved his skateboard family to wrap the night, his YMCMB family members came out to open the show and made brief appearances throughout his set. U.K. singer Jay Sean hit the stage early, along with Lil Chuckee and recent Cash Money signee Mystikal, who gave the crowd a taste of his hits including “Here I Go” and “Shake Ya Ass.”
Wayne finally hit the stage around 12:30 a.m., decked out in his Trukfit gear, with skateboard in hand, bringing a burst of energy for fans who’d already started a few “Weezy” chants in anticipation of his performance. He kicked things off with “I’m Goin’ In” and “A Milli,” with head banging and dreads flying everywhere.
During his one-hour set, Wayne gave the crowd some words of inspiration on falling and getting back up. “Life is like skateboarding,” he said. He later dropped another one-liner, “It’s not what you do, it’s how you do it,” admitting to the crowd that they’d just participated in a commercial shoot for his new DeWeezy campaign with Mountain Dew.
With that out of the way, there were still plenty of hits left to go around, including “She Will” and “Blunt Blowin’,” plus a few more guest appearances. Drake, Nicki Minaj and Tyga were all noticeably absent from the show, but after giving them a shout-out, Wayne brought out a few more YMCMB members including Shanell, Bow Wow, Gudda Gudda, Mack Maine and Birdman, who performed his single “Y.U. Mad.”
Despite Drake’s absence, Wayne delivered his verse on “The Motto” and saved Tha Carter IV single “6 Foot, 7 Foot” for the finale. Maybe the most surprising cameo of the night came from rapper Cory Gunz, who was recently arrested for gun possession. The young Gunz joined Wayne and his crew of pro skateboarders onstage to assist on the track before calling it a night.