May 13th, 2011
06:01 PM ET
Thursday night, Lil Wayne rocked the mic for 650 lucky fans at a re-boot of "MTV Unplugged," the network's signature series from the 1990s. Hours later, we're still trying to figure out what was "unplugged" about it.
For most of the concert, the hip-hop superstar was backed by an energetic seven-piece band that included a pair of electric guitars and an electric bass. Only two or three songs featured acoustic instruments - including "Nightmares at the Bottom," a song off his upcoming album, "Tha Carter IV."
The taping took place at Sony Pictures Studios in Culver City, California - home of "Wheel of Fortune" and "Jeopardy." Weezy took the stage in a black sweatshirt with the word "WOW" emblazoned on the front. By the end of the set, he had peeled away not only his sweatshirt, but also a white t-shirt and tank. There was a funny bit when he discovered his jeans were unzipped.
"Why didn't someone tell me my fly was down?!" he asked incredulously, as the crowd laughed.
In a particularly poignant moment, Wayne flipped the bill of his red baseball cap to the back of his head, and quietly addressed his fans.
"A few months ago, I was in a really dark place," he confessed, obviously referring to the eight months he spent incarcerated at Riker's Island for possession of a weapon. "Everybody always asks, 'How was it?' And I never answer."
Here, he answered by launching into a cover of Tupac's "Hail Mary," a song which laments time wasted in a penitentiary, and speaks of demons that inhabit "the solitary mind."
Perhaps a line from Lil Wayne's new song, "Nightmares at the Bottom," reveals his current mindset.
"Don't call me sir," he raps. "Call me survivor."
"MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged" premieres June 12 on MTV2, MTV and MTV.com at 9 p.m. ET/PT.
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