Live Review: Lil Wayne, T.I., 2 Chainz, & G-Eazy — Irvine
Tue, 03 Sep 2013 07:01:11
"I need to say three things," Lil Wayne declared to the packed crowd at the Irvine stop of the America's Most Wanted Festival. "Number one is I believe in God. Number two is I ain't shit without you! The most important is number three. Ya'll—I ain't shit without you!"
The eruption of ensuing cheers could've broken the Southern California Richter Scale. However, majestic moments just like that one comprised the entire night. From the moment Wayne took the stage with a rapid fire rendition of "I'm Goin' In" as skaters crisscrossed a half-pipe in front of him, it was clear that the icon had curated and driven the best rap tour since Up In Smoke. Top to bottom the bill remained flawless, especially once the headliner took the spotlight. "Blunt Blowin'" emerged from a haze of smoke with Weezy smoothly sailing through the verses, brandishing brilliant bravado as he stalked the edge of the stage. "Trippy" exuded a woozy sense of wonder, practically intoxicating all of Orange County with its hook. After an explosive "Gunwalk", 2 Chainz took the stage for two raucous gems from I Am Not a Human Being II, "Days and Days" as well as the anthem "Rich As Fuck". He and Weezy traded verses on "Bandz a Make Her Dance", before they went old school with a rousing and righteous "Duffle Bag Boy".
"I'm you're hell of a motherfucking time tonight," Wayne smiled.
"Got Money" brought everyone back to making it rain in 2008 as the MC incinerated the verses with his raw skill. The same phenomenon drove "A Milli", proving once again that Tha Carter III is one of the best albums of all-time. Meanwhile, he took the stage solo to the acoustic strum of "How to Love", delivering an epic ballad that got asses moving. His dancers sexed up "She Will" as he announced, "This is my favorite part of the show". He later replaced that moment by bringing up some fans to twerk out "Pop That"—giving Miley Cyrus a run for her money, mind you. All smiles, he and surprise guest Tyga tore through "Faded", while T.I. practically set the floor ablaze on an incendiary "Ball". Another big moment came when Birdman landed for a seductively slick "Tapout" and bombastic "Still Fly". They remain one of the tightest duos in hip-hop history, and the performance illuminated that tenfold. "Bitches Love Me" and "No Worries" laid down the perfect bookend to the perfect rap show.
T.I.'s slot right before maintained a similar power. He busted out of the door of a house on stage with "Top Back" and ran through everything from a stripper pole-ready "Blurred Lines" to "Whatever You Like", naturally rolling through each line with iconic charisma. One of his most impressive mic displays came during the remix of "Bugatti" as he blasted through the lines with airtight precision. "Keep God first and keep doing your thing," he encouraged.
"Live Your Life" sparked one of the night's biggest sing-a-longs as T.I. emerged as a true "King". Prior, 2 Chainz effortlessly breezed through an unforgettable set of his own. Commanding the stage, he slid through the sharp "Crack", igniting the venue from the pit to the lawn. "Beez in the Trap" and "Dope Peddler" transported everyone in attendance deep into the heart of his native Georgia as his flow floated off to the heavens. "I'm Different" and "Feds Watching" tempered big beats with his infectious energy. He complemented both T.I. and Wayne with his own swagger, but he also stepped into the shoes of a headliner at the same time, delivering a set worth watching again and again.
Speaking of moving into headliner status, G-Eazy kicked off the night with the kind of charm that legends are made of. Donning a black leather jacket and shades, he delivered "Breathe", "Bitch I Don't Believe You" and "Lady Killers" with heart and humor. He smiled, "Some of ya'll might be thinking, 'Who the fuck is this lanky ass white dude on stage?'" The wisecrack just gave way to some of the best rapping in the game right now. That's no lie. He killed each line with the same savvy. If the audience didn't know who he was before they got there, they left knowing the name "Eazy"…
Ultimately, Wayne's statement "I ain't shit with you" proved rather prescient. Really, rap ain't shit without everyone on The America's Most Wanted Festival.
Check out the massive gallery from Crowd Album, plus a few pics from Rick:
Were you there?