Drake & Lil Wayne's onstage teleprompter raises questions: Is it karaoke or authentic performance?

Lil Weezyana Festival
Lil Weezyana Festival / Erika Goldring/GettyImages

In a surprising turn of events, hip-hop heavyweights Drake and Lil Wayne have ignited a heated debate within the music industry. During a recent electrifying performance on the It’s All a Blur — Big as the What? Tour, the duo left fans both intrigued and bewildered. Why? Because they dared to glance at a teleprompter while spitting their fiery verses.

The teleprompter controversy

The video that set tongues wagging surfaced online shortly after the concert. In the clip, Lil Wayne can be seen relying on a teleprompter while delivering his iconic lines from the hit track “Right Above It,” a collaboration with Drake. The burning question echoed across social media: Is it normal for rappers to have teleprompters during live performances? Are we witnessing hip-hop’s version of karaoke?

The defense and the numbers

Wayne fans swiftly rallied to his defense. They pointed out that the legendary rapper boasts an astonishing 3,051 songs cataloged on Genius. Yes, you read that right! His track “10,000 Bars” alone spans a jaw-dropping 7,000 words. So, if Weezy occasionally glances at a teleprompter, can we really fault him? After all, he’s been penning rhymes since the days of flip phones and baggy jeans.

The confession: Googling their own lyrics

In a candid moment, Lil Wayne and Eminem spilled the beans on their lyrical struggles. During an episode of Young Money Radio, they confessed to Googling their own verses to avoid repetition. Eminem humorously described the creative process as a blank canvas gradually filling up with paint.

But when you’ve penned countless songs, keeping the flow fresh becomes a high-stakes game. Wayne chimed in, admitting he often Googles his own lyrics to ensure he doesn’t recycle lines unintentionally. It’s like a lyrical treasure hunt, folks!

Forgetting lyrics, even to their own biggest hits, isn’t uncommon for artists. A teleprompter can help prevent those embarrassing moments and keep the show running smoothly.

Practical considerations:Some artists perform a vast repertoire of songs, including covers they’ve never played live before. Teleprompters assist in quickly retrieving lyrics for these impromptu moments.

While some fans might question the need for a teleprompter, the reality is that live performances involve complex logistics, and having lyrics readily available ensures a seamless experience for both the artist and the audience.In summary, while the use of teleprompters might surprise some fans, it’s a practical tool that helps artists deliver consistent and memorable performances.

Lil Wayne joined Drake and J. Cole on the ‘It’s All a Blur — Big as the What? Tour’ for a captivating musical collaboration. Here’s why:

  1. Co-headlining tour: Initially, the tour was billed as a co-headlining run featuring Drake and J. Cole. However, due to scheduling conflicts or other reasons, J. Cole was unable to perform during some of the final concerts on the tour itinerary.
  2. Lil Wayne steps in: To ensure an unforgettable experience for fans, Lil Wayne stepped in to take the stage alongside Drake. His energetic performances and iconic presence added a fresh dynamic to the tour.
  3. Final shows: Lil Wayne’s involvement began with a run of gigs starting on March 23 and 24at the Amerant Bank Arena in Sunrise, Florida. He continued to perform with Drake at various venues, including the UBS Arena in Belmont Park, New York, the Bryce Jordan Center in State College, Pennsylvania, and the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey.
  4. Newark shows: The tour concluded with two newly-announced shows at the Prudential Center in Newark, New Jersey, on April 4 and 5.

So, is it karaoke? Nah, it’s more like hip-hop’s secret sauce. Drake and Lil Wayne are seasoned maestros, weaving intricate rhythms and metaphors. Their teleprompter use doesn’t diminish their artistry; it merely adds a dash of practicality. As the beats thump and the crowd roars, they’re still the lyrical architects, sculpting verses that resonate across generations.

Next time you catch a rap superstar peeking at a screen, remember: It’s not karaoke; it’s the evolution of a craft. And in the words of Lil Wayne, “I knew I flipped this before.”