SACRAMENTO, CA – Lil Wayne’s ‘America’s Most Wanted Tour’ hit Sacramento as Wayne and his posse descended upon Sleep Train Arena (aka Arco Arena).
Now when we say hit Sacramento, any Lil Wayne fan knows what we mean by that, and if you were there, you definitely know what we mean by that – just saying.
On the evenings menu was Lil Wayne’s hand-picked group of rappers T.I., 2 Chainz, Hit Boy, Adrien Broner and G-Eazy.
Oakland’s own Gerald Earl Gillum, better known to fans as G-Eazy kicked it off with his obscenity laced rap as he worked the few fans that had arrived for the 7 p.m. start time. G-Eazy did a decent job of getting the crowd on their feet, but many fans were streaming in and searching for their seats.
Boxer turned rapper, Adrien Broner, took the stage with Band Camp, leaving little doubt that Broner has his eyes set on moving up in the ranks of rap music and possibly leaving his boxing career on the mat.
Rapper Chauncey Hollis better known as Hit-Boy followed Broner. Their positions in the line-up should have been reversed, or better yet he should have opened the show, as he was more miss than hit. The crowd just didn’t seem to get into it with Hit-Boy, but that could have been that fans were anticipating the meat of the show with T.I., 2 Chainz and Lil Wayne.
As things started heating up, Sleep Train Arena started filling up, but never quite reached capacity, with the upper deck pretty empty.
Tauheed Epps also known as 2 Chainz lit up the stage with a huge replica of the front of a yacht with the words B.O.A.T.S. II: Me Time making a play on his new album of the same name due out in September.
The controversial rapper has found himself on both sides of the law over the last couple of months. In San Francisco he was robbed while outside of a pot dispensary and a couple of days later found himself getting hauled off a plane after checking baggage that contained marijuana and promethazine.
Promethazine is the key ingredient used for making ‘sizzurp’ a dangerously potent drug popularized in the southern rap scene. Several months ago Lil Wayne was rumored to be on his deathbed after bingeing on sizzurp, but those rumors were never proven to be true.
After years spent recording as a part of hip-hop duo Playaz Circle, 2 Chainz has gained notoriety and has seen major success in the last year. “It’s surprising when people ask to take my picture at the airport,” 2 Chainz told the Huffington Post. We think he may be confused with getting his mug shot.
2 Chainz brought his A-game and, here again, we believe there was a mistake in the line-up. 2 Chainz should have been second to Lil Wayne rather than T.I. While the both did a fantastic job, 2 Chainz’s performance was more polished and the set more dramatic than T.I.’s.\
T.I. turned in a lack-luster performance even though he performed some of his hits such as “Top Back,” “Rubber Band Man” and “U Don’t Know Me.” His choice of songs was questionable as he went from past hits to more recent material, leaving his better material on the cutting room floor.
By the time Lil Wayne took the stage, fans were well into the munchies after enduring a twenty minute set-change in between acts.
When Weezy took the stage he was flanked by skate ramps, complete with skaters and a pair of catwalks jutting out to the front of the crowd. Pyrotechnics ruled the night along with huge video screens flashing a hybrid butterfly in the likeness of Wayne, which was Lil Wayne’s own play on his new album I Am Not a Human Being 2.
With Wayne shooting lyrics in rapid-fire fashion, the crowd couldn’t help but get into the moment as he hit fans with hits such as “No Worries.” Wayne also ran into trouble as he condensed some of his bigger hits in favor of full versions of his more recent work like “Love Me” and Karate Chop.”
While fans really appreciated and totally rocked out to Lil Wayne’s set I believe the currently controversial 2 Chainz may have been better off head-lining the show. Not to take away from Lil Wayne’s star power and fan attraction, but at the end of the day 2 Chainz had a bit more energy and a bit more polish.
Rick Ross is still working damage control after the release of rapper Rocko’s track “U.O.E.N.O.(You Ain’t Even Know It)” three weeks ago.
Today Reebok announced they were dropping Ross as a sponsor due to the lyrics in the song.
In the song Ross raps, “Put molly (slang for pure MDMA, better known as ecstasy) all in her champagne – She ain’t even know it – I took her home and I enjoyed that – She ain’t even know it,” bringing the full brunt of UltraViolet down on the rapper and his sponsors. Ultraviolet is a women’s rights group.
Soon after the song was released Ross said in an interview, “The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records. Hip-Hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that. I just want to reach out to all the queens on my timeline, the beautiful ladies that were reaching out to me… we don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.”
Obviously the rapper has a complete disconnect with the English language.
UltraViolet was instrumental in convincing Reebok to drop Ross after launching a campaign against Reebok resulting in over 100,000 people joining the cause.
On Thursday of last week, UltraViolet supporters flocked to Reeboks flagship store in New York in protest.
Moments before the group hit the store the clueless Ross Tweeted, “I dont condone rape.Apologies for the #lyric interpreted as rape. #BOSS,” still sounding like he doesn’t believe his lyrics depicted rape.
He followed up the tweet with, “Apologies to my many business partners,who would never promote violence against women. @ReebokClassics @ultraviolet”
The result was Reebok dropping Ross as a sponsor, sending Billboard a statement that said:
“Reebok holds our partners to a high standard, and we expect them to live up to the values of our brand. Unfortunately, Rick Ross has failed to do so. While we do not believe that Rick Ross condones sexual assault, we are very disappointed he has yet to display an understanding of the seriousness of this issue or an appropriate level of remorse. At this time, it is in everyone’s best interest for Reebok to end its partnership with Mr. Ross,”
In a statement Ultraviolet responded to Reebok’s decision:
“We are thrilled to hear that Reebok is joining the fight against rape culture and dropping Rick Ross. This is a huge victory for women, for the 526 survivors of rape who were brave enough to publicly confront rape culture, and for the nearly 100,000 UltraViolet members who have poured their hearts and time into this campaign. This sends a strong message that rapping about drugging and raping an unconscious woman is not only morally wrong, but has real consequences. After Steubenville, Americans expect and demand better. Thank you Reebok for taking a stand.”
The offending lyrics are, “Put molly (slang for pure MDMA, better known as ecstasy) all in her champagne – She ain’t even know it – I took her home and I enjoyed that – She ain’t even know it.” The lyrics continue to stir controversy even after Ross attempted to explain them away in an interview with Q93.
In his interview the 37-year-old rapper said, “There are certain things you can’t Tweet and certain things you want people to hear and I want to make sure this is clear… woman is the most precious gift known to man. You understand.”
Ross goes on to explain, “The term rape wasn’t used. I would never use the term rape in my records. Hip-Hop don’t condone that, the streets don’t condone that. Nobody condones that. I just want to reach out to all the queens on my timeline, the beautiful ladies that were reaching out to me… we don’t condone rape and I’m not with that.”
Many Twitter users echoed the sediment of #DirtyGames who tweeted, “Put Molly in her drink she ain’t even know it, took her home and enjoyed it, ain’t even know it” @rickrozay that’s rape bro”
Women’s rights activists are up in arms and one woman in particular, Lolia Etomi, has posted a petition on Change.org, urging anyone who takes issue with his lyrics to help force the 37-year-old rapper to make a public apology.
Etomi writes, “The dominant rape culture today has come from people ignoring and even glorifying statements like this because the song sounds good in the club. You don’t have to be a feminist to support this, but roofy-ing and rape are very serious and shockingly common problems.”
In another online petition at Ultra Violet it states, “His lyrics aren’t vague, he’s not hinting that he raped a woman–he’s clearly and proudly saying that he drugged and raped a woman who was not capable of consent.”
While some may say music is art, others will argue that this song sends a clear message.
Will he apologize? Should he?
Sleep Train Arena turned into a haven for pot smokers as Wiz Khalifa and his band of recording artists, under the record label Taylor Gang, brought throngs of fans to the arena formerly known as Power Balance Pavilion Sunday night.
Wiz Khalifa and Taylor Gang 2050 World Tour is in support of Khalifa’s latest album O.N.I.F.C.
Car alarms could be heard going off on a regular basis, as a large number of “pre-drinkers” and pot smokers were hanging out in the parking lot prior to the show.
While fans were filing into the arena, a thick cloud of smoke could be seen rising above the sold-out crowd. Wheezing was the watch word because as the crowd grew, so did the cloud.
As Fans pushed and shoved their way to the front, security was having to extract people who had bitten off a bit more than they could chew. There were a couple of instances where people were being pulled out of the crowd after they had lost consciousness. In fact, one fan had to have only been 10 or 11 years old.
These concerts are not for the faint of heart, and not the type of event parents should be dropping off their kids so they can have a nice quiet dinner alone. I was shocked to see so many young kids.
The audience was into the show from the start as Tuki Carter took the stage followed by Berner and Lola Monroe, each playing about 10 or 15 minutes. The short sets didn’t hamper their efforts to get the crowd excited as each came out and gave it their all.
Chevy Woods and Juicy J both performed for about 30 minutes each, followed by Khalifa who performed for over an hour.
It was quite a night with almost the entire audience smoking freely while girls were being invited up onstage to “party.” At times it was hard to tell where the smoke was coming from, smoke machines or the hundreds of joints being lit up throughout the arena.
Just prior to Khalifa coming out onstage, it was obvious a few fans saved the best for last, as they were holding on to finger sized joints with lighters at the ready.
It was a smoking good concert!