Drake vs. Lil Wayne
Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Invited in by the scent of some of California's sweetest cheeba, smokers, drinkers, twirlers, and athletes (including OKC Thunder's point guard Russell Westbrook) rolled into the Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre to catch Capcom Presents: Drake vs. Lil' Wayne. In the classic story of the apprentice one day emerging as his mentor's adversary, Drizzy Drake stepped to Lil' Wayne ready in a fight for the crowd's affection. By the end of the night audience members were tasked to choose a winner between the two. So far on the tour, Lil Wayne held onto a one show lead, upping the Toronto protégé 15-14.
Graphics on the screen prompted the crowd to download the Capcom-powered app for the tour. From there, crowd members chose who would perform first and ultimately, who would be the victor of OC's exhibition. Lil Wayne started things off, ascending to the second story of the stage for three songs. For the majority of the night, the two would perform in triplicate, charming the crowd one bit at a time.
After Weezy's first round, up came Drake in an all-white getup and original Jordan 1s as his shoe of choice. He looked more like a hip-hopping Ryu than a 27-year-old living legend. Much more tense than Lil Wayne had been, Drake was pumped for this battle and brought with him the vigor of a challenger.
“Tonight, in Irvine, California, I got one job and one job only, and that's to roast this nigga alive for everybody to see. So let's enjoy the show!” said Drake of Weezy before taking his first three punches. Drake bounced on his tippy toes and crossed his hands like an amped up umpire calling safe at home plate mustering all of his gusto.
But that energy did little to faze Lil Wayne, who–as the seasoned veteran of the pair–reminded the crowd that he's been a hip-hop star since Drake was rolling around in a wheelchair on Degrassi.
“By the way, we still looking for that nigga who shot him and when we find him we gone fuck over [sic]” Lil Wayne said, cracking himself up. Wayne went almost out of his way to show how composed he could stay in the face of Drake's young pup energy. Following one of Drake's vignettes, the New Orleans rapper emerged again, shirtless this time, and sporting soccer pants with one leg up like LL Cool J, holding a blunt and chewing on an Airhead Extreme sour belt before he returned again to work the stage.
Drake responded with the more recent hits like “Pop That” … For what seemed like forever, the two traded songs and friendly, yet lashing insults at each other. The two even insisted not to play the opponent's verses on songs they featured during the versus. At a point, Drake appeared annoyed at his counterpart's onslaught of Degrassi jokes. After Wayne shortly slowed the tempo to play a few ballads of his accompanied by a sleek, red electric guitar, the Yolo rapper took aim at Weezy's ability to play strings saying he was merely “playing Guitar Hero.”
“My name is Lil Wayne, some people call me Tunechi, my momma call me Lil Boy, my kids call me Daddy, my bitches do too, yo bitches do too” Wayne boasted before stopping to laugh before dropping another bomb. “Drake bitches do too…” finishes Lil Wayne.
Energy picked back up and soon the battle evolved from a strictly verbal one. On the second story of the stage, the two approached each other and began a dance battle. Drake quasi-pop locked while Tunechi did his best crunk-dancing, Chris Brown impression after his verse on the spring smash, “Loyal.”
And of course, we weren't going to make it out of a Drake performance without hearing some R&B crooning the lyrics to “Find Your Love”. Ensuring that he maximizes heart-melt aka panty moistening range, Drake floated out in the audience on a small platform holding onto a pole for stabilization, zip gliding above the crowd calling out all the ladies he lays eyes on during his trip in sing-song fashion, a usual trope of his stadium concerts. Per usual, he serenaded the entire audience with a variation of “I see you” shout outs. As silent as the crowd has been during the afore mentioned show introduction, the audience stared at Drake hovering over the open-air venue in awe. During the last bar of Drake's song “Marvin's Room,” Wayne resurfaces to belt the lyrics with his raspy voice, not further off-key than one would assume.
Maintaining the take-no-prisoners attitude though, Wayne quickly pointed out that Drake had just hovered over thousands of people while straddling a “stripper pole.” He then proceeded to portray his softer side with songs like “How to Love” to “Mrs. Officer” before getting ratchet with the hit “Bitches Love Me (Good Kush and Alcohol).” Prevalent enough to be felt by all in attendance, Wayne address just how “sultry” shit had become in the amphitheater. The erotica had now comprised a large portion of the show and what was once a battle had become a pillow fight.
Before the night as over, it was up to the audience to proclaim who had put it down best. A “D” and a “W” in Street Fighter font appeared on the screens. Red and yellow bars began filling the empty letters as patrons incessantly mashed on their devices. Would Drake's R&B antics outdo Wayne's southern-tinged insults?
“I think you got this one” says Wayne somewhat acquiesced. The elderly, wise Wayne was correct. The two chest bumped in the name of good sportsmanship and dapped one another. Drake had tied up the series and won the battle but the war still continues. With just four more shows following the OC stop, the tournament could easily be decided either of the mega stars but in the name of diplomacy they will probably just end a tie.
Overheard: “Weezy! Pass me the blunt!” yelled a high-pitched voiced from the top of the orchestra section. What'd she wanted him to do zipglide out there?
Random Notebook Dump: Though the show was definitely the last big hot ticket of the summer, a few managed to get in without one. Around 8 p.m., swarms of uninvited rabble-rousers up in the lawn were seen hopping fences for the admission price of scuffed sneaker and an adrenaline rush. Flashlights waved around the lawn and both the security and the invaders scurried around the top.
I listen to music. I write about it. I like hot sauce on my chicken.