My friend and I wandered into the BAC's backstage area, hoping to find Lil Wayne. I had my video camera and was able to interview DJ Khaled and T-Streets before being escorted out of the area by a very large security guard. "Just go put your camera away and come back," he said.
I spoke with one of Young Money's new female artists, Shanell on the way out. "I
wrote the lyrics and the melody to Prom Queen," she said, "Its an
honor to write
a song for Lil Wayne. For him to trust me, I must be pretty good at
what I do. Wayne's show has a hip-hop and rap section.
Then he plays his more
'catered for the ladies' R & B, his rock section, he has me come up
and sing Lollipop and Prom Queen, and then the rest of the Young Money
artists perform. Theres dancers, performers, a light show,
pyrotechnics, its a big show."
I went back to the car and put my video camera away, but mission accomplished, sort of.
When I returned, I had missed Soulja Boy's performance, but Young Jeezy was onstage kicking some serious ass. Jeezy had a live band with a horn section, guitar, bass, keyboards, and a sick drummer that was playing like an African-American Keith Moon. I thought that he was going to throw his drum sticks into the audience after every song.
"Put your cell phones in the air," exclaimed Jeezy as the crowd went
ape shit, "this is Dade and Broward county." Just out of old school
rock concert-goer habit, I held up my lighter, but a security guard
quickly pointed a flashlight in my face and told me to put it away.
Man, the times are changin'.
I walked over to the procession
stand to purchase a hot dog ($5.50) and some fries ($5.00). "It smells
like marijuana in there," said a very young man to his friend. I looked
around and realized that the audience's demographic was 13-15 years
old. I felt like a hall monitor at a Junior High as I stumbled through
the aisles eating my hot dog. Flashback: 1986, West Palm Beach
Auditorium. Iron Maiden and Yngwie.
I was 13 years old, and it was my first concert. Jeezy had finished his
set and the lights in the arena came back on. "Jeezy is such a
gangsta," said the young woman sitting next to me. She introduced
herself as Danielle and continued, "I love Lil Wayne. I want to go home
with him. My boyfriend wouldn't care if I had sex with Wayne."
lights went off, as fireworks and some serious pyrotechnics exploded.
Suddenly, Weezy F. Baby stood onstage. He looked at us and screamed
into the microphone, "If you came to have a great motherfucking time
say, 'Hell yeah nigga!" We chanted the phrase in unison as Lil Wayne
walked out and filled in for T-Pain on "Got Money." I felt chills in
the back of my neck as the stage lights reflected from Wayne's diamond
teeth. "This a way, that a way...."
Dancers came out, stripper
poles popped up, Lil Wayne took off his hat and tossed it into the
crowd. A near riot ensued as the arena transformed into a space ship.
"We are not the same, I am a martian," said Lil Wayne. We responded,
"Phone home! Phone home!" He jumped around the stage David Lee Roth style, playing guitar solos in rock star fashion.
couldn't take the intensity any longer. I ran to the bathroom and
stared at myself in the mirror for a few seconds. The bathroom
acoustics were incredible as I stood alone. A man with a broom walked
up to me and said, "I am little Wayne," showing me his name tag for
verification. "Wayne." I got back to my seat just as Lil Wayne walked
off stage. "Any smokers in here?" asked the DJ, "I ain't talkin about
tobacco." The crowd cheered as Lil Wayne came back out and performed
the song, Kush. "I smoke that kush, like a ball go swoosh." Birdman
concert began to feel like a motivational, evangelical, spiritual
experience. "Do you believe in God?" asked Weezy. The crowd screamed
like they did for The Beatles at Shea Stadium
in 1965. "Because I believe in God." He continued, "Close your eyes
and just think." I closed my eyes as Wayne said, "Think about the lives
that we have lost." I thought about my Dad as he continued, "For the
past few years, Miami 305 has been my home. I am home, bitch!"
green cloud of smoke hovered over the crowd. Every breathe filled my
nostrils with the sweet smell. Five huge TV screens surrounded the
stage, giving the audience close-ups of Lil Wanye. He rapped about Adam
Sandler, Stuart Scott,
and went into "Ms. Officer." "I don't fantasize...I master-mind," he said
between songs, "Let me introduce the Young Money All-Stars." The stage
became filled with people as the band jammed away. I wrote, "Young
Money is like a Miami sports team and Lil Wayne is like Magic Johnson,"
on a small piece of paper.
"Make some noise for Michael!" The
large TV screens showed various pictures of Michael Jackson as Young
Money and the crowd sang along to "Thriller." This was the end of the
show. A tribute to MJ. Amazing.