Drake and Lil Wayne: The Ultimate Hip-Hop Bromance
Less than a month after Jay Z and Beyoncé did not attend Kayne West's wedding to Kim Kardashian, rap fans have put forward a theory that Yeezus is articulating his indignation by censoring Jay Z's name from his recent live performances. But weep not; they were not even the biggest bromance of rap. Surely that title belongs to Lil Wayne and Drake. These two are the Pitt and Clooney of the rap world.
Moreover, Drake and Lil Wayne are bringing their heavyweight hip-hop hugfest to West Palm Beach's Cruzan Amphitheatre on September 3 as part of their 31-date jaunt across the United States. This is no surprise for fans of the rap giants, who have openly and often expressed an admiration for each other. Drake waxes lyrical about Weezy every chance he gets, while you can guarantee that Lil Wayne has every season of Degrassi on box set.
Here're a few moments from the wonder that is the Lil Wayne-Drake friendship.
When it all began, "November 18th"
Ever since Drake burst onto the scene, he's told of his debt to Lil Wayne. Speaking to MTV before the release of his debut EP, So Far Gone, Drake said he was "blessed" to have Weezy's wise words in his ear.
"To be under his wing, to be able to interact with him on a daily basis and talk to him and get information from him, I'm in a blessed position. I have the greatest mentors, the greatest teachers in the world. They all have gradually started to embrace me more and more, so it's a great feeling." Didn't Alexander the Great say the same thing about Aristotle?
So Far Gone features the track "November 18th" -- a significant date for the young Drake, as it was the occasion of his first meeting with the man who plays such a huge part in the rapper's evolution from Canadian teen star to bona fide bad-ass behemoth.
Since Lil Wayne and Houston go together like the Situation and a tanning salon brawl, Drake traveled to Weezy's hometown after breaking up with his girlfriend. It seems Weezy offered both personal and professional advice. After hanging with Lil Wayne, a rejuvenated Drake left Texas, a pair grown and with an added flavor of the Houston sound that he maintains.
The Feeling Is Mutual
Pretty quickly it became clear that the love was mutual. Riding high in every sense of the word after the colossal success of The Carter III, Weezy spat a few bars of Drake's "Money to Blow" during a performance of his own track "Misunderstood" at the 2008 MTV VMAs. At the end of the verse, he exclaimed, "Drizzy Drake, I love you, boy." Most in the crowd didn't know who on earth Wayne was referring to back then -- 17th century explorer Sir Francis Drake, Drake Hogestyn from Days of Our Lives? But now we all get this true bromance.
Visits in the Clink
Before Lil Wayne began his eight-month stint in Rikers for attempted gun possession, he declared "Damn, I'll be gone till November/Fuck it I ain't tripping, I know Drizzy gon' kill 'em" on "Miss Me." Drake made sure to visit his hero, mentor, and pal while he was on the inside. During the visits, the much-inked Weezy told Drake to never get a tattoo. This is one piece of advice Drake certainly hasn't heeded, with massive portraits of family members adorning his back and his father's mug shot on his arm.
Drake's "Hilarious" Weezy Impression
They say imitation is the highest form of flattery. Drake did exactly that when he accepted an award for Lil Wayne's No Ceilings on his behalf in 2010 wearing a dreadlock wig and attempting what seems like a Weezy impression. Drizzy has done it at least every ten minutes since -- and it never gets old! His Jimmy Cagney is also supposed to be dynamite.
Lil Wayne surprise-called Drake from the slammer when the rapper appeared on MTV in 2010. The look of joy on his face is palpable, if only because it provided relief from answering questions about the talentless Niki Minaj. They truly do have each other's back.
The only thing better than Drake's impersonation of Lil Wayne is his impersonation of someone who is very surprised. Weezy made an unexpected guest appearance at a Drake 2010 Las Vegas show just after his release from the slammer. Bar urinating over himself, Drake could not seem more gobsmacked... Surely Weezy walking onstage, calling, or popping over to borrow a cup of sugar can't be this surprising by now.
Drake recently threw a party in Lil Wayne's hometown, Houston. Complete with a hookah pop-up, afterparties with Lil Wayne himself and Kevin Hart, a pool party, a basketball tournament, and the premiere of the film Think Like a Man Too -- this was quite the shindig. Indeed, the only thing missing from the party was a clown -- Kanye, alas, was busy at Bonnaroo.
Lil Wayne and Drake. September 3 at Cruzan Amphitheatre, 601-7 Sansbury's Way, West Palm Beach. Tickets go on sale Saturday, June 21, at 10 a.m. on livenation.com.
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