Young Moula, baby

Lil Wayne headlines a tour in Scranton, Pa. Photo by Leon Laing.

Lil Wayne headlines a tour in Scranton, Pa. Photo by Leon Laing.

Last year, Lil Wayne resuscitated the weakening record industry with projects, such as The Carter III album. On July 27, he ruled the stage at The Young Money Presents: America’s Most Wanted Music Festival. (Wayne founded the Young Money Entertainment label, which is an imprint of Cash Money Records.)  The 22-city tour kicked off in Scranton and ends in Dallas, TX. Scranton’s venue, Toyota Pavilion, sits in the mountains and is tucked away in an area lined with trees. The Weather Channel predicted a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms on that 83-degree day, but Mother Nature spared us.

The headliner Wayne came out clad in Black Air Yeezy sneakers, one fingerless leather glove, camouflage clam diggers and white T-shirt with a picture of skull. Occasionally, he smiled like a Cheshire cat, showing his iced-out grill.  Weezy’s dreaded mane was crimped like how he wore it in his “Prom Queen” video.

Speaking of “Prom Queen,” Wayne gave the audience a taste of his upcoming album, Rebirth, by performing that same song. The crowd went wild. Young Money Entertainment recruit Shannell Woodget wrote “Prom Queen” and sang the chorus during the show. Woodgett, the older sister of former Danity Kane member D. Woods, has penned songs for Kelis, Danity Kane and Wayne’s Rebirth. Wayne played his red, electric guitar during “Prom Queen,” but the audience could not hear the riffs. Weezy did other songs, such as “Swagger Like Us,” “Mr. Carter,” “Got Money,” “Hustler Musik” and “Fireman.”

Baby, Cash Money Records co-founder/Wayne’s mentor, joined Wayne on stage for hits such as “Always Strapped.” And Baby, aka Birdman, made his set complete by doing his signature wing gesture with his hands. After Young Money’s Woodget and Mack Maine accompanied Wayne on stage, Young Money all-star Drake rocked the mic. The actor-turned rapper/singer performed “Successful,” “Best I Ever Had” and “Every Girl.”  Weezy also brought out his other Young Money affiliates so they could showcase their talent.

Young Jeezy does not rep Young Money, but he has collaborated with Wayne. Jeezy sported a signature black outfit: a fitted baseball cap, leather vest and Nike RT1 kicks aka the UnYeezy. His blue jeans were the only exception.

Jeezy also headlined a concert at The Forum in Harrisburg on October 29, 2005 (Chris Brown opened up for Jeezy during that show). Jeezy, a laid-back lyricist known for his ad libs in his songs, performed songs including “Put On,” “I Luv It” and “Go Getta” at the July 27 concert. Aside from his distinct, raspy rap delivery, Jeezy’s set impressed the fans when his guitarist played Jimi Hendrix’s memorable version of the Star Spangled Banner. A short instrumental of “My President is Black” followed the guitar solo. Then Jeezy exited the stage.

After being stuck in concert in traffic, Soulja Boy had to be escorted into the Toyota Pavilion, according to a venue employee. When arrived at the concert, Soulja Boy was jiggin’ to his smash song, “Crank That (Soulja Boy).” Concertgoers cheered when he began “Turn My Swag On.” The Central Pennsylvania-based group V.S.O.P., Jeremih and Pleasure P completed the roster of opening acts.

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