During his long exile from his recording career, Lil Wayne became a frequent guest on sports talk shows, to the point where Skip Bayless now looks like one of his best friends. But Lil Wayne is now, finally, back in the business of releasing music. Last week, Wayne finally got out of his legal entanglements and released his long-awaited Tha Carter V, which is already looking like a tremendous hit. And so his talk-show bookings are changing. Last night, Wayne was on The Tonight Show, both to perform with house band the Roots and to chat with Jimmy Fallon.
Fallon, excited and obsequious as always, spoke to Wayne about the long legal battle that he had with Cash Money, a subject that Wayne addressed in a very understated way: “It was, you know, business. King of over my head at times.” Wayne also rhapsodized about skateboarding, about the way it can clear all other thought out of his head: “If you thinking about something else when you on that board, it’s gon’ show you.” And Wayne got into the subject of freestyling every song he does. Fallon asked Wayne something I’ve always wanted to know: How he manages to memorize his songs to perform them live. And as it turns out, Wayne didn’t know his own song “Dedicate,” the song he performed on the show. The Tonight Show’s people printed out Wayne’s own lyrics, and he studied them while rehearsing.
Sure enough, Wayne seemed to get lost once or twice while doing “Dedicate” with the Roots. But he still gave a bouncy, energetic performance. And he seemed to really enjoy the part where the song ends and the sample of Barack Obama dropping Wayne’s name in a speech comes on. Watch both the interview and the performance below.
Tha Carter V is out now on Young Money/Republic/Universal.