This is the second in a series of articles dedicated to the most influential concerts in the history of Hip Hop
Due to the highly sampled nature of the genre, Hip-Hop songs often cannot be completely recreated live. It would be quite a spectacular feat if Kanye West were to resurrect Curtis Mayfield to let rip the heavily sampled 'Move On Up' each time he performs his legendary track 'Touch The Sky', but to my knowledge this isn't yet possible - even for Yeezus.
As a result of this unfortunate limitation, hip hop shows are often performed with some sort of backing track. Recorded songs rarely sound as authentic as original, live instrumentation. Commonly in concerts, we see a lone rapper standing on stage in front of thousands of adoring supporters, like some musically elected politician. The artist proceeds to perform a range of songs, from their greatest hits to the tracks that only their most loyal fans will know.
Some argue that the lack of live instrumentation can make for quite an empty experience. But I would argue that it gives artists an incredible level of freedom. Freedom that has been taken advantage of to produce some weird and wonderful artistic experiences. Specifically, I've got five of these such experiences that I'd love to tell you about. We'll be releasing them article by article over the next few weeks to give you the chance to dig into each of them.
This article, we're looking at possibly the most popular set of tours in hip hop history, the totally scintillating tours of Lil Wayne when he was at the peak of insane mainstream appeal at the close of last decade:
Back to Back Domination: Lil Wayne’s I Am Music Tour and Americas Most Wanted Tour
Built off the back of his wildly popular album Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne embarked on back to back tours in 2009. Over the course of the concerts, the MC transformed from a rapper into a certified rockstar. He donned a guitar for many of the performances, and perhaps for the first time brought a pop audience under the umbrella of hip hop with songs such as Lollipop.
He conducted 60 back to back shows. For many, the indisputable highlight occurred when Weezy looked up from his mic, out at the hundreds of thousands of flashes and adoring faces, swallowed his lean, removed his lollipop from his lips and declared himself the “best rapper alive”.
To read about the influence that Eminem had on Hip Hop tours, click here.
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