Celebrating the city’s resilience ten years after Hurricane Katrina, Weezy put on for his city in a major way. Taking the stage just outside of the Mercedes-Benz Superdome, NOLA’s official hip-hop ambassador drew a crowd of 10,000 to Champions Square for a night truly dedicated to his roots. With help from hometown legends — including Ms. Tee, DJ Jubilee and Master P — Wayne curated a special set just for New Orleans. As he addressed the crowd in his now-traditional live show speech, the words took on a more personal meaning.
“Before I start this show I must let you know three important things about myself,” Wayne said to his home crowd. “Number one is, we all ain’t s**t without God. Number two is, I ain’t s**t without you. And number three is the most important, and that is: I ain’t s**t without you. Ya dig?”
And then there was the Hot Boys reunion. Evoking almost unbearable levels of nostalgia, Lil Wayne was joined onstage by Mannie Fresh, Juvenile and Turk for hood hymns courtesy of early Cash Money. From Mannie’s “Still Fly,” to Juvenile’s “Set It Off,” fans were taken back to moments that started it all (sans a nowhere-to-be-found Birdman). The group also paid homage to B.G., who currently serving time in prison, with a special tribute featuring his mother.
Other moments of the night included hometown love from August Alsina, guest verse renditions from Cory Gunz and Curren$y, an ode to bounce music from Big Freedia, and a live brass band finale. But Drake would prove to be the most electrifying out-of-town guest, taking the stage with the man he called his “idol” for “HYFR” and a handful of his If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late favorites. Wayne also joined in on the turn up for a low-lit performance of Drizzy’s on-wax onslaught on Meek Mill, “Back To Back.”
At the end of the night, Lil Wayne revealed that his Lil WeezyAna Fest was a dream conceived long before his Cash Money days.
“This was a dream I had,” he said. “I had a dream to one day stand on this motherf**kin’ stage and be able to bring out all the New Orleans legends and still be the one standing at the end with the microphone in my motherf**kin’ hand.”
As you kick yourself for not being there, watch clips of the ten most notable moments of the night (in no particular order because we couldn’t choose).
Lil Wayne belts out his classic, “A Milli”
The Hot Boys bring “Back That Azz Up” back for the ’99 and 2000s
Wayne salutes Mannie Fresh with “Go DJ”
August Alsina shows hometown love
Master P makes New Orleans say “Uhh” for old time’s sake
Drake goes “Back To Back”
“Uptown Thang” B.G. dedication
The Hot Boys came around the city with “Bling Bling”
Juvenile proves that he still knows the words to “Ha,” and you don’t
Ms. Tee kicks off the barrage of New Orleans legends