Lil wayne concert, and most other concerts
The lil wayne concert in Chicago was truly an epic moment. To me, it was a pilgrimage. It was the first concert that I sought out and bought tickets to. I’ve been to concerts before, and to summerfest, but I usually went to spend time with friends, and or get drunk and be amongst the young, intoxicated, impenetrable nightlife crowd more-so than actually listen to the music. Although I’ve been to summerfest a few more times than is useful (none this year though), I don’t remember many concerts, and anyways I’m not usually a fan of concerts in general. (most live concerts I attend I don’t even face the stage, I just talk with friends and watch the illuminated bodies, limbs and heads behind me yell and wave at the band while my back is to the stage.) And afterwards my friends ask me what I thought of the concert and I just tell them that “I don’t know, I wasn’t listening,” or I say, “it was ok, but it’s no lil wayne.”
So August 13th, 2011 was a different experience. I felt I not only witnessed, but participated in history in the making. Yes, I believe a lil wayne concert is a historic event. When I’m an old creepy man this is the story I’ll tell to little odd children that sit next to me on my bench. I’ll become known as the “old guy who tells the same story about a lil wayne concert.”
So here was a guy (Wayne) who actually commanded my attention (and not only my attention) more than any girl in the audience that night. I mean most concerts, girls attract my attention more than the music, but it really is something when you can attract a straight guy’s attention more than a pretty girl. (Does this mean I’m not that straight?)
Description of the concert.
First up was keri hilson. She’s good, she’s cool. Next was Dick Ross featuring 100 extra pounds of fat that creates an illusion of a Mafioso tough guy character, which his skills do not warrant in the rap game. When he came on I took a seat in my chair, and watched dark masses go wild above me, and laughed internally when I heard the girl next to me recite all the lyrics of his song. Did she know the lyrics of one of Rick Ross’s obscure songs because she was black? And he was black? Because I couldn’t think of what would compel someone to learn the lyrics of one of Rick Ross’s obscure songs other than because they sense some kind of illusory relation to this artist (skin color) because the musical quality certainly doesn’t warrant such dedicated fans. He’s lucky.
Then I emptied my bladder in preparation for lil wayne. There was a line to the mens. I asked the guy ahead if he’s been to a lil wayne concert, and he said he has been 4 times. There was a girl in the bathroom waiting for someone to roll a joint or something, and I’m guessing every 10th guy commented on her being in the men’s. Then I bought another beer and went to my seat. Timely, lil wayne came on and there was a humongous roar from the crowd, and I almost yelled so hard my eyes closed and I barely saw him. Lil wayne performed a lot of his best songs, including a few from his No Ceilling mixtape. I was amazed to say the least. He said some things in between a song or two about jail time. Then some bridge was lowered and he sang on it. I think he also did “lollipop.” Towards the end some others came on stage, including Birdman. Wayne asked the crowd to cheer for one more song, and they did, and he gave us one more song.
It’s really hard to see something for what it is the first time you look, especially if you are overly excited for it. Because I almost remember myself singing and cheering more than the actual songs. If I see him again, I think I’ll be able to overcome my excitement and pay more attention to the music.
Fans and Tragedy/Questions
I couldn’t settle with the amount of people that were there. I mean it was a testament to what he has created. He created armies in numerous cities around the world that will bow down to him and follow him, and listen to him. It started with a small cult, and grew to such unstoppable proportions. To think: how many people’s ears has he convinced and conquered? This was a profound, yet tragic moment for me. I realized again, what a feat he has completed, and how immensely hard it will be for me to do the same with my craft. The most tragic recurring thought that goes through my head, is that visual art cannot accomplish this feat. Very few artists, if any have been able to create work that has figured out the issue of art in a system of consumerism, democracy, and mindless masses. Very few works of art appeal to both acclaimed critics and casual enthusiasts, and very few works function anywhere outside of a white cube space. And also tragic because how do you move on after witnessing the epitome of what you aspire to be? What do you do when you come back to the studio the next day?
These are horrific thoughts and feeling that I have to overcome. Really, it won’t be easy. But I must somehow get over this concert, and maybe over lil wayne in general. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Best rapper alive
Still, I really feel lucky that I got to be at this concert. At the point of his career where he could start making nothing but mediocre work from now on. I wish I got to see him two years ago, when he was in his prime. Everything from him now might be “post-fact.”
Towards the end of the concert he took the mic and said straightforwardly: my name is Weezy and I am the best rapper alive. And I loved this. I love that some people hate this, because it comes across as egotistic. But is it egotistic if one really is the best rapper alive? Or is it just truth. The same way some people proclaim themselves as black belt karate or “professional” photographers. That’s just his title: Best rapper alive; it’s not much of a boast.