Drake Goes M.I.A.; Lil Wayne Fires Up at Jones Beach

Lil Wayne, the Young Money crew, and a sea of rappers stopped through Jones Beach Saturday night to perform for a sold-out crowd of almost 14,000 people. Tailgaters stretched the parking lot as far as the eyes could see—partying, drinking, and lounging in anticipation of the “America’s Most Wanted Music Festival.”

R&B crooner Jeremih kicked off the late afternoon event, performing “Imma Star (Everywhere We Are)” and his hit single, “Birthday Sex.” Former Pretty Ricky member Pleasure P also graced the stage early in the concert, looking extremely comfortable in the limelight without his buddies supporting him.

By 6:30 p.m., ticket holders had taken their seats. That is, until teen sensation Soulja Boy danced them back to their feet. His energetic stage presence captured the audience’s undivided attention. He eventually let the crowd take over his lyrical duties, while he and Arab did their own two-stepping routines until the set was over. Young Jeezy was the next artist to perform and perform he did. The crowd held up their Trap or Die T-shirts as Jeezy put on an incredible show backed by a live band.

The man of the hour, Lil Wayne, blessed the stage around 8:30 p.m., commanding men and women for a solid two hours, finishing up his lyrical accomplishments at 10:45 p.m. Besides high-energy, the tattooed rapper brought pyrotechnics to the stage. Explosions sounded before and after some of the 20 or so songs he performed. He even had real fire shooting to the sky as he spit through “Fireman” from Tha Carter II. Wayne also brought along his guitar to please his rock supporters, performing “Prom Queen” and “Hot Revolver.” Weezy was joined by his Young Money family including Shanell, Jae Millz, Lil Twist, Lil Chuckee, T-Streets, Tyga, Gudda Gudda, and Nicki Minaj.

Though the music fest quenched hip-hop fans’ thirsts, several still went home disgruntled due to Drake’s absence. The spill the Toronto native took on stage during the Philadelphia leg of the tour kept him from performing, which left a sour feeling amongst the audience.

–Bilal Morris

Photo credit: MTV News