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Lil Wayne Concert August 13th 2011

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.

lyrics to above song

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Lil’ Wayne Analysis: Lyrics and Language

“Bitch, real Gs move in silence like lasagna” Get it?!  Brilliant. The ceaselessness of the allure of Wayne lies in his and his lyric’s paradoxical nature.  Just who is this guy?  What does he really stand for?  He intrigues so much with the catchy and shrewdly clever lyrics that the listeners delve to figure out the meaning of each line of his songs.  Then they begin to wonder just what it is they figured out about the song as a whole and how does each line relate to the song in its totality?  Just what is it that he is trying to say?

IN the end I think part of the allure and brilliance of his music is that on one hand he isn’t actually saying anything when you look at each song in its totality, there isn’t a clear message he is giving, he pushes spoken language and grammar  syntax and symantics to such a limit where it almost implodes on itself.  He pushes and exploits the nature of comprehension and language to explore spoken, and spoken vs written language and its structure itself.  His lyrics liberate language.  He incorporates random words and lines of thought that seem to be there simply to accomplish a rhyme or other poetic or rhythmic structure, but the amazing thing is they actually add to the content of the song.

He utilizes all kinds of figurative descriptors including onomatopoeia.  Notice the “pu” rhymes with too which illustrates how he intuitively and creatively constructs the lyrics.

got a sign on my dick that say “bad bitches only”
I don’t drink champagne, it make my stomach hurt
man I’m on that patron, fuck with me wrong and get murked
got a silencer on the gun, that bitch go “pu”

Got a mean ass swagger, my bitches do too

here the silencer could refer to the woman who is sucking his “gun” (dick) and spits the cum out making the “pu” sound.

“Suck my clip, swallow my bullets and don’t you spit uuuuuuuuuuP.”

–“Steady Mobbin’”

Here “clip” sounds similar to clit.  And a gun is an overt reference to a penis especially considering he follows by saying there are bullets (semen) coming out.  He makes the gun into a sexual object representing of ultimate masculinity and power, orders one to suck it (almost as if begging for mercy), and horrifically finishes the line, as if it’s not gruesome enough, by demanding that they don’t “spit [the bullets/come] up,” which is an overwhelmingly dominating and degrading image.

Nevertheless each of these at once random and poignant lines drifts his consciousness into other fields of thought from which he pulls subsequent lines that have a connection to the previous ones.  We get to examine the way a brain handles and operates via language (sign system) in all of its idiosyncrasies and unexpected and other times expected connections between words.  Listening to Wayne is like examining someone’s raw drifts of consciousness in real time.  This is as unexplainable as the mysteries of the way the human brain works and why it makes the connections that it does.

In some songs he delivers loving thoughts about a special girl he is in love with.  In other songs if not the consequent verses, he completely reject his capacity to love “love is in the air I put on a gas mask.”   Or even one line to the next, “This rap game, I got my hands around this motherfucker/Yeah I said game but I ain’t playin’ around this motherfucker” His contradictions reveal the complexity of his philosophy, and make him interesting—you can’t quite figure him out from what he says.  Yet it all flows naturally, there is logic and each line or verse makes sense.  As one listens to his music, one gets lost in it–in the sense that our comprehension of his words and syntax is moments behind his delivery of them, and in the sense that we are lost wondrously in the stream of conscious rhythmic delivery.  In the end, the larger meaning of parts, and the whole amount to everything and nothing in the same song.  It is at once larger than life, and trivial.  I think this is a defining characteristic of great art.  It takes you on a journey that continues to make you wonder without arriving at a definite conclusion, yet you enjoy the ride, and you feel like you’ve learned something.  But in the end whatever you were looking at can from another perspective be completely trivial.  Sort of like the way Pollock’s work can be interpreted as simply a masturbatory documentation of a moment; as nothing of substance, yet on the other hand has inspired countless interpretations and puzzled people for decades.

The biggest reason that his music is a masterpiece is its resemblance of the essence of the greatest things in this world.  It is the essence of what it means to be, and to exist.  Everything in this world is simultaneously infinitely interesting and significant, yet at the same time meaningless; (completely the opposite).  The success of this element of his music is largely attributed to his incredible natural sense of flow—which is essential for a convincing rap song.  His thoughts are merely pouring from his mind and out his mouth, and yes he permits even ones that make you wonder where they came from.  It feels as if he doesn’t even censor or edit them.  This is something that 3rd rate rappers like Drake just can’t master.

His constant contradictions and paradoxes keep us on the edge of our feet and listening and wanting to hear more.  But he does not have a clear agenda.  He doesn’t lecture and preach.  Only in his worst songs does it feel that he simply wants to literally tell us his agenda.

I don’t think it’s legitimate to dismiss his lyrics as immature, or the majority of what rappers talk about as immature or unworthy of critical contemplation and philosophical discourse.  For example, this is a big philosophical question:

I’m crazy for being Wayne, or is Wayne just crazy?
–I  Can’t Feel My Face

It’s about identity, and the ethics of perusing an identity if it is not considered normal.  He’s takes a third person point of view disassociating himself from himself in the second part of the line referring to himself by his name.

Another contemplative question:

That’s too explicit, but why you listenin’? (Set this stage on fire)

Invitation to challenge him/double meaning:

Got beef homie I was just getting hungry
When you come bitch you better bring a army (Army Gunz)

Humorous personification:

Bullet find a home in ya arteries, pardon me (Army Gunz)

In “We takin’ over” remix he talks about family (daddy, Birdman) and how loyal he is to him.   He is owes his achievement to his father/mentor/supporter: Birdman.

“Who said I’ll be the one? Just my daddy.

Hello Hip-hop, I’m home, it’s your daddy.”

In previous lines as in the majority of the song he gives praise and thanks to his daddy (Birdman), and then throws in the line above, “hello Hip-Hop, I’m home, It’s your daddy.  The genre of Hip hop has been personified as a “bitch,” by hip-hop artists, (the most famous of which was Common in “I Used to Love H.E.R.”).  So here Wayne addresses the mother, hip-hop, telling her that he has arrived and also alludes to the fact that possibly he gave birth or re-birth to hip-hop.  That it’s now his daughter, or his bitch, depending how you interpret the meaning and syntax.

Also ends the song creatively saying “my flow just grew legs and walked out,” and the music cuts out sharply surprising the listener.

These are just a few of my favorite example of his lyrics, but really there are countless others.  What sets Wayne’s lyrics apart from other rappers is that they don’t allow you to easily come to terms with what he means; they are not literal, and oftentimes they can be interpreted in various ways.

Murakami, Lil’ Wayne, Warhol, Picasso: Motivation and creation.

This is Lil Wayne and the come is his music.   That’s Picasso, and that is my drawing from my “Drawing and Masturbating” series.

……

Or the top image is a portrait of Murakami/Warhol/Picasso, if we stick within the visual art references.

To me the connection is apparent, and shouldn’t be something revelatory.  Every piece of art that Takashi Murakami, Lil Wayne, me, Picasso, and any other artist creates is really, underneath the physical art object, the motive of power and sex all of which are inextricable from each other.  Each one of Murakami’s pieces is his offspring, which he took so much time and energy to create.  And he makes a lot of work just like lil wayne which infiltrates and impregnates our culture.  The two masters stand back and admire their offspring as they are being looked at, used, drooled over, celebrated, glorified and receive much attention.  Just like people enjoy impressing others with the accomplishments of their children.  The semen could symbolize this feverous creative energy just waiting to be released and splatted? Splattered? SplAtTTTerd?! onto the people of this world.

It is a worthwhile argument to say that music illustrates this theory perfectly because of its ability to be ubiquitous at the same moment, and thus impregnate more ears than a sculpture can.  (maybe a sculpture is like sex involving 2 people, and music can be like a mass orgy—like a concert). I think this is why music is so linked to sex even more directly than art.  Furthermore, music has a dominating power over the body.  It surrounds the body and the body cannot escape it and thus the body can respond through moving or dancing if it enjoys the music.  In addition, two people listening to music will hear it the same way whereas observing a painting is a more solitary activity because the whole of the painting is presented to you at once, and you cant synchronize the way your eye moves through it with the person next to you, whereas music unfolds sequentially which two people can (more or less) experience at the same time and place equally.  The plethora of tracks Lil Wayne makes, his drive to create says something about his sexuality/sex drive and his drive to exist.  More on his studio practice soon.

Lil’ Wayne is one of the greatest, if not the greatest artist/musician alive

Everyone in the field of creating things (like art, music, dance etc) should consider lil wayne—lil wayne as music | lil wayne as persona, | lil wayne as worker/creator, | lil wayne as innovator.  Even if you completely dislike his music, there is something to be learned from his studio practice as an artist/creator.  He is a force that has to be studied and learned from, and his proliferation should not be overlooked or dismissed.  He has achieved such widespread success that he now supersedes being relevant only within the music genre.

First of all, I want to apologize in advance of for spreading this propaganda glorifying Lil Wayne.  Wait, I take my apology back because I made a resolution to not apologize.  Ok, to the point:  there is nobody in the world who does “it” better than Lil Wayne.  Nobody is as masterful and prolific but more interestingly simply amazing at their music game (“it”) as Lil Wayne.  Not Lady Gaga, not Grizzley Bear, not the Red Hot Chili Peppers, not Foreigner, definitely not Drake, Rick Ross, Minaj, and not any other somewhat known non-mainstream musician/band.  Yes there are a number of musicians who are the best at making brilliant music within their genre, but they are not the best they could be; they haven’t reached or will not reach their potential.  There is no other musician that I can imagine who exists today, is exceptionally talented and dedicates so much time to their craft as Lil Wayne.  Yes there’s been others that compare to him (Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, Notorious BIG, Joy Division, Ippy Pop, Velvet Underground to name some.)  But aside from these, and a few others, nobody today breathes music like Wayne does.  By breathing music I mean having it be their life.  Like Mark Zuckerburger breathes facebook, his dear child, like Hugh Heffner breathes, whatever it is he breathes these days, and like Warhol breathed pop art.

Partly what inspired me to write this, and subsequent posts is I realized that not a day goes by when I don’t hear at least one Lil Wayne song.  I listen to him religiously, and increasingly so to the point where other artists are starting to simply not do it for me.  Most musicians become palette cleansers in relation to him.  Of course I like hearing variety, and I do like to discover new non-rap/non-hip hop artists, and I do also listen to nearly as much Velvet Underground, but I realized I can’t get past the allure of Lil Wayne’s music.  I guess I haven’t figured out how these perfect bizarre verses flow effortlessly out of his mouth.  It has to do with practice that he has acquired throughout the literally thousands of songs he’s put out in his career.

Of course the greatest songs of numerous other musicians can compete with his work, but the thing is he’s got more hit songs and appearances on other artists tracks than any other known musician I can think of, especially today.  What’s happened is the quality of his work just drowns out anything I hear by less capable musicians.  I used to try to listen to an indie radio station, and I enjoyed it quite a lot sometimes.  They played the greatest indie stuff.  But I couldn’t help to often prefer a pop station to the indie station, because even though most of the artists on the pop station are mediocre or horrible, the production value is so high that at least the song is technically very well made, and the background music is done very very well.  It’s like a naïve artist who paints in a traditional or kitsch manner, but does it so well that you almost prefer to look at that than a poorly executed, rough craftsmanship albeit potentially much more interesting art experiment by an informed art student. I’m trying to say that most other musicians are exploring equally interesting territory, but they just haven’t presented as successful of findings as wayne has. Of course Wayne has also put out a fair share of atrocious material, but consider those practice.

There are plenty of talented indie bands out there making great stuff, but with the exception of their handful of hits if that, the rest is just mediocre.  Sometimes, it partly has to do with the amount of time these talented people can afford to spend on their craft.  (some have other jobs to tend to)  but regardless, Lil Wayne brings his recording equipment everywhere he goes, even if he is on tour.  I approximate quotes from his interview.  Q: what do you think of the situation in New Orleans? (around time of Katrina I believe)  Wayne:  Shit idk.  Man I don’t understand these journalists who interview me.  Don’t they do their research?  Where do they come up with these questions?  Don’t they know that I aint got time to watch the news or care about what goes on in New Orleans?  Q:  What do you think of rapper x?  Wayne: I don’t have time to listen to him.

And I keep discovering new music of his that I haven’t heard before that is really good.  I feel he is getting a lot of attention, but I think he should get even more attention than he is because this is one of those times in history that we can witness something beautiful and brilliant unfolding.  Anyways, I had to let this out, and that’s all I want to say until I complete my essay about why he is so alluring, and why his music is so brilliant.

fuck these bitches

and fuck these bitches, i swear i care about everything but theses bitches, i-i dont’ care i so what these bitches, and i put young mulah baybe way above theses bitches. and fuck these bithes i swear i care about everything but these bithes.  i-i fdon’t care i so what these bitchess, and i put young mullah baybe way abovere these bitches.  and fuck tehses bitches, i swear i care about everyting but these btiches.  i-i dont care i so what these bitches, and i put your mullah baybey way abover these bitchers.  and fuck there bitches i care i swear i care about evertything but thess bitches,  i-i fon;t care i so thwha t there bitches and i put young mullah baybe way aboe there bitches.  iad fuck these bitches i sewera i care about everythin but these bitches. i-i don’t care i so what ??? these bitches and i put young mullah baybe way abovet herese bitches. and fuck these bitces, i swear i pcare about everytin but these bitches, i-i fon;t carei so wha these bitches, an i put youn g mullah baybe way above these bitches.  and fuck these bithces, i swear i care about everyting but these bitches.  I -i fdon’t care i so what these bitches:'” and i put young mullah baybe way above there bitches….  and FUCK these Bitches. i swear i care about everyting but these bITTCHES ,, i 0i i sont care i S”SO what? these GITCHES . and ” i put young mullah baybe waty above these bitches.  and fuck these buitches i swear i care abouvt aneverything abut thesr bitches i ii dont; acare i so what theese bithces and i ut young pmmullah baybe way above tgeres bitchers.  iand fuck thesebithces i wswera i care about everytinng but these bithcehs.  iii i so what theses bitgeschs na di pu tyoun gmulah baybey way abouve these bitches.  and fuck these bithches ano i so  sdo tn nthe i dii dpnt cai dont care i so what these bitches anf i sweari i care about everythin but these bitches.  and idoont care i so waht these bitches and i put young mullah bayb way abother these bitches.  And fuck these bitches i wswear i don’t care about everythin g but these bitches,.   and iii don’t care i so thawat these bitches and i put young ,mullah baybe way abotherver thereshtsethese bitches. and fuck thes bitches i sewwwear i sondt tcar about anything an    i wswera i cancare abouev aeverything but these bitches.,  aiii  don’t don th care i son sp what these bithceres and i put uyounf g   mullah baybe yu way abouve these bitches.  and fuck these bitches i swear i don’t cate about many thing but thetses bithece i swear i care about everything but these bithcer.  andnd ii  i dso what whetthese bitces and ti put young mullah baybe way abover theresse bitches.  and fucfk these bitches i swear i care about everything but theiese bigthce …ii-i don’t care i so what theses bitche?:” es and i  puput young mullah baybe way above these bitches.  and fuck these gbitches a=i  swear i sodn’i care ce about everythign but theses bitcheser and.  ii’ i so what these bithes nad i out yong mulah baybe way bapueve these bitches…

fuck these nigga and fucke these bitches

man fuck theses bitches, i swera i’ma spare everything but these bitches, and i put young mula baby way above these bithes.  yeah fuck these bitches , i swear i care about everything  but these bitches, and i swear i put everything above these bitches.  and i don’t care i so what these bitches and i put young mullah way above these bitches.  i [ut everything ways aove therese bitches.  if it aint broke dont break it.  and if he aint shook dont shaknk em. cause if a wolf cy wolf you still see that wolf teath futurictic handgun if you act foul you get two shot ad one.  you nigas softer that roassans sone you cannot reach me on my samsung and busy giving the universe my dam tonguge crazy muthufucka i am one, but the crazy thing is i began one.  all white brick i’m stratight like its jumpin back to 36 nigga.  bog hous ling hall ways got ten bathroon i can shit all day nigga. and we don’t want no problems ok youre a goon but whas a goon to a golblin.  yeahhhh it cam on the beat i fuck and leave a nigga brains on the streeet eehhh. now pop that pussy i bring er to tthe bedroom and pop that pussy ahaha and we be steady mobbing ok kimosabi big ballin is my hobby.

what the fuck is iup is guucci mane the gi it tuiity boy no city boy so why she no nike boy this gucci boy keep shitting on me.  this gucci prade boy this gucci boy jkeep buyign shit this ak 47 will hit you from the ankle up.  fuck that nigga kill that nigga bring them back and him again.  ok i’m reloaded sagger bo bright i don’t wven mneeed lights i’m with a omeddel broad and se don teven eat rice would ou believe.  she ask me for a pitch and i gave her three strikes.  yeah i’m the sman around this muhtufucker .  i’m so hot you prob catch a tan aroung this mothurfucker, this rap game i got my hand aroud this mutufucker., yeah i said game but i aitn playing abroung this muthufuckesr.  yeahhhh. i’m the best to evea do it bitch , and you the best at never doing shit.  if you the shit then i am serwer rich,/  i swers that i could fuck your girls and make her steal for me and kill for me .  d then i murder that bitch and turn her body back to our cassh..  and we dont want no problems ok your a goon but whats a goon to a bgonlin. i came on the beat i fuck around and leave a nigga brains on the street.  no pop thatt puusssay i bring her to my bedroom and pop that pussay.  ok steady mofbbing ewe kimossabe and balling is my hoobby.  ok ksvk my clip swallow my bullet sand dont you spit uppppp. i ‘ am the ship hop socialing  i and the hip hop socialist lif is a gamble when yout r all about ou poker chips do tou want  dose ioo f this i will make the most f this f i s for ferocious musrder your associates mured you acssotitaes keep a hard dick for youir girl to wobble on.  eeeeeewwww.   and we be stead mobbindg esww kimosabe and big ballin is my hobby.  now pop that pussy  bring her to my bedroom and pop that pussy.  i fuk aaround and leave that nigga brain on the street.  and we don’t want no problem , ok your a goon but whats a gon to a goblin.  yeahhhh i came on the beat i fuck and bleave a nigga brain on the street i brin g her to my bed and pop that pussyand we be stead y mogbbin and ok kimosabe and big ballin ais my hobby