It’s hard to say that Lil Wayne has been working overtime in preparation for his 12-month prison sentence, since the guy always works overtime. But on Tuesday, Wayne will be forced to take a break when he goes to prison for felony gun possession.
Wayne’s Rebirth LP just came out last week, and under normal circumstances, he would still be on the road. He had a short run of dates around Christmas with his all-star cast of rookies, Young Money.
“The tour was crazy,” Nicki Minaj told us earlier this week. “This last tour, I was only able to go out with them twice. It was the same energy. I don’t know how he does it with that amount of time [onstage]. His shows are always exciting.”
Since the tour ended, Weezy has spent most of his time in Miami. He’s been recording Tha Carter IV and shooting videos for the Young Money songs “Girl I” and “Roger That.” The latter plays off the film “Sin City.”
“When it’s Young Money/ Cash Money, it’s a lot of enjoyment,” DJ Scoob Doo said of the collective’s video sets. Scoob, who has been traveling with Wayne and company since last year, is the filmmaker behind the up-close-and-personal “Nino Brown Story” DVD series. The second installment was released January 22, and Scoob has been shooting with Weezy for the third. “It’s not a set where it’s a lot of tension. People wanna be there. It’s good energy.”
Scoob said when Wayne’s not working, he spends his downtime watching ESPN’s “SportsCenter.” “He can tell you what the sportscaster is about to say, the moves the players make [in the highlights] and how many times they replayed it,” Scoob laughed. “Lot of fun. It’s a good thing.”
In late January, Wayne went to his hometown of New Orleans to see his team, the Minnesota Vikings (he’s a Brett Favre fan), take on the Saints in the NFC championship game. When Favre and company lost, Wayne was none too pleased.
Days later, Weezy hit Atlanta to shoot two videos: one with Playaz Circle and the other with Shawty Lo.
“It was crazy,” Lo said about their collaboration, “WTF.” “We started 6 in the a.m. and didn’t finish until 6 the next morning. We had a club performance, we had the rooftop performance and an inside-studio performance. Like, three, four good scenes. … Wayne is unbelievable. He’s the hardest-working artist I know. He don’t need a pencil. He goes off the top. Wayne is unbelievable. He came and blessed me with the video. I was gonna go to Miami, fly down there. But he came and we shot it in Atlanta, so it was a great look.”
Weezy’s biggest and most anticipated video coming out in the next couple of weeks is for his mega-collaboration with Eminem, “Drop the World.” The two met for the first time in Los Angeles a couple of days prior to shooting the video Saturday.
“Security on that set was crazy,” Scoob Doo said of “Drop the World.” “You had to go through a lot of stuff to get on that set.”
In between takes, Scoob said Weezy and Em traded jewels. “You see two titans,” Scoob recalled. “Eminem and Lil Wayne — it just looks like a lot of wisdom and experience. They’re not really talking about nothing, about success or how to be more successful. It’s classic to see that.”
That weekend, Weezy and Slim Shady rehearsed with Drake and Travis Barker and performed “Drop the World” and “Forever” at the Grammys.
“For me and Wayne, it was just such a full-circle moment,” Drake said of the Grammys. “We started out this year on a mission for him to bring up some new artists under his label, Young Money. It’s very rare that an artist is successful in that, bringing up somebody and having the world recognize somebody else that they believe in. We had a great moment onstage. I gave him a big hug and told him I loved him. It was amazing.”
At the Grammys, Wayne said he was leaning toward going to the Super Bowl, which happens to be in Miami. “I may still go, though,” he said at the time. ” ‘Cause it is New Orleans in there. … If they win it and [I’m there], that’ll be right. At least I get to say I saw it.”
Weezy has already been partying as the star-studded weekend has begun. A Saturday night Wayne concert has been canceled, but he’s still making the rounds.
“Club Play with Drizzy. Guess who’s on his way?” Nicki Minaj tweeted Thursday night from Miami. Minutes later, another tweet confirmed the special guests: “Weezy, Mack and Short just walked in Club PLAY Its OFFICIAL!!!!!! Young Money in this BITCH!!!!!!!!! We dutty whining in this Bitch! Lmaoooo.”
Lil Wayne pleaded guilty to felony gun possession in a Manhattan courtroom in October, stemming from a July 2007 arrest following his first headlining concert in New York. On Tuesday, Wayne is due in court in New York for sentencing. An article in the latest edition of Rolling Stone magazine, which features Wayne on the cover, reports that the MC will travel by jet to NYC.