Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz Concert Review

Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
June 18th, 2016
Sprint Center - Kansas City, MO

Lil Wayne & 2 Chainz
Before his incredible appearance at the Sprint Center on Saturday night, Lil Wayne had been having a troublesome week. News broke on Monday that Lil Wayne's private jet was forced to land in Omaha after the rapper suffered a seizure mid-flight. It was also reported that he refused medical care initially and suffered a second seizure shortly afterward. Wayne has had seizures throughout his life, but after a nearly fatal seizure in 2013 some fans were worried for his life this time around -- the fact that he sips lean doesn't help much either. The internet was relieved on Tuesday evening after he tweeted "thanx for all the prayers!! I love y'all" and his management confirmed that he would performing in Kansas City.

Earlier this year, Wayne and fellow southern rap star 2 Chainz released their album "Collegrove" together. While the album didn't sell particularly well or end up with any smash radio singles, it sure made a great excuse for two of the game's most influential hitmakers to hit the road together. The pair opted for a similar approach to A$AP Ferg and Tory Lanez earlier in the week by playing solo songs then tagging each other back in. This show however, included Wayne and 2 Chainz doing solo songs, performing songs they're both on, and occasionally quietly hypeman-ing each other from several feet away. Wayne jokingly urged 2 Chainz to take a break after performing a couple songs and asked if he needed a lighter on his way to the table holding the refreshments and extracurriculars at the rear of the stage.

The manner in which the two stars shared the stage made the show reach all of its potential and then some. The new collaborative songs aren't either of the rappers' best work, but when they are being performed live you get to see the Wayne and 2 Chainz trade verses and dance around within a few feet each other for an ample amount of time. It's basically like getting a brand new music video from the pair and being able to chuckle at all the nuances and have fun with them. Wayne's cartoonish laugh just seals the deal every time.

Classic pop rap was laid on heavy as the show went on. Weezy played cuts like "Mrs. Officer," "Go DJ," and "A Milli," leading to hundreds of millennials jumping up and down and grabbing friends in excitement. "Carter 3" banger "I'm A Beast" began with sirens and put Wayne's Dirty South roots front and center for a moment. Another Wayne high point was his rendition of "No Worries" where he almost completely babbled a whole verse in his trademark nasal tone. Many of his naysayers would count that as a reason to hate him, but if you have the ability to look past it, you can tell that it's when Wayne is having his most fun and showcasing all of his goofy Southern charm.

2 Chainz highlights included his performances of "Birthday Song" and "I'm Different," both of which he prefaced with politely asking if it was anyone's birthday and if anyone else felt different. While his outlandish and over-the-top lyrics are often what make people laugh, 2 Chainz is arguably just as funny when making small talk. The entertaining stage chemistry, intense catalog of hits, and overall personality of the show made me wish several times that it would someday be available as a DVD I can watch in my living room.

Wayne and 2 Chainz also remained notably humble and human throughout their performance. Wayne paused to state at the beginning of the show and at the end that God matters most and that he (Wayne) wouldn't be who he is without us (his fans). The love that the pair was showing managed to spread too. As  2 Chainz played "Watch Out," I witnessed two people of different races from separate parties bump into each other. Instead of quarreling like many inebriated concertgoers would, they looked at each other and began dancing. I believe that if 2 Chainz were to perform this song at the borders of all warring countries, world peace would be imminent.

It did seem as though turnout could have been much higher for this show. The amount of seats made available was noticeably less than usual for large concerts and many areas were still not filled completely. Perhaps it was due to neither of the rappers currently having a huge hit on the radio or it being a busy night in the city. It's hard to tell. 2 Chainz said the promoter told him there weren't many people there. He let the audience know that he thought there were "plenty of motherfuckers in the motherfucker tonight." Some attendees may also have interpreted the occasional silence that fell over the arena as awkward, but I think it only added to the intimacy of the night.

Whatever their reason was, those who skipped the show missed out on a stellar performance. Seeing Tunechi and Tity Boi smiling, grooving, and laughing with each other for hit after hit -- especially after the events that occurred earlier in the week -- felt victorious.

Tech N9ne
Kansas City independent rap icon Tech N9ne performed an energetic opening set. "Worldwide Choppas," "Caribou Lou," "Hood Go Crazy," and others got all of the Technicians on their feet and swelling with civic pride. Tech's set also included a lengthy call for women to show off their breasts before "Areola" was performed. His style isn't for everyone, but Tech seemed ecstatic to be sharing the stage with two rap legends and performing at his best because of it. Fellow Strange Music Inc. artists Krizz Kaliko and Stevie Stone joined Tech during his set, Stone having already performed a short set of his own earlier in the evening.

Rich The Factor opened up as well. Draped in a white t and surrounded on stage by associates, Rich delivered a short set of Kansas City gangster rap, drawing from his nearly 20 year career. While his set wasn't anything outrageous, it was certainly a treat due to the fact that Rich has been incarcerated recently and has a handful of tracks that every hip-hop head over a certain age in Kansas City knows -- "How You Doing (Wendy Williams)" received a healthy sing-along. "From the penitentiary to the blacktop," declared Rich before leaving the stage. Shuttlecock stands with the Orca Movement.

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