Lil Wayne is dominating the conversation, and he's set to once again to dominate the charts.
Last night, the New Orleans rapper rocked at the MTV Video Music Awards, closing out the show with a power-packed three-song set. Immediately afterwards, in an unprecendented move, he released his new album, Tha Carter IV, exclusively to iTunes. With the one-two punch, Wayne concluded a week that saw the hype for his new release hit fever-pitch, and started a week that promises to end with him at the top of the charts yet again.
Weezy unveiled his groundbreaking plan to release Tha Carter IV exclusively to iTunes right after his VMAs performance last week. The plan in some ways one-ups the exclusive digital release of his rival Jay-Z and Kanye West's Watch the Throne earlier this month, a first-of-its-kind move that also helped that album debut No. 1.
Then, on Tuesday, Wayne leaked a new track, "It's Good," featuring Jadakiss and Drake, that seemed to take shots at Jay-Z and even threatened to kidnap his newly preggo wifey, Beyoncé. (Click here to see a history of frenemies Jay-Z and Lil Wayne's on-again, off-again beef.) The song dominated Internet chatter for days.
And finally, last night he batted clean-up at the VMAs in a much-hyped performance. He didn't win an award at the show, though he was nominated in two categories. But he made up for it with his performance. He started his energetic set with "How to Love," his hit ballad off his new album, singing through the Auto-tune vocal effect over a live band. He then ripped his shirt off and segued into a hard-rock version of "John," replacing the song's original track with his band's take on Black Sabbath's classic "Iron Man." Weezy jumped into the audience to greet Rick Ross, who is featured on the track but didn't perform. He leaped back on stage, grabbed a guitar and strummed a few chords, and then smashed the instrument to the ground at the song's end as fireworks went off.
Many wondered if Weezy would take any shots at Jay, who had performed "Otis" with Kanye earlier that night and beamed watching his wife Beyoncé, who had just announced that she was pregnant, rock her own set. But Wayne took the high road, yelling "Young Moolah, baby" into the mic before slamming it to the stage and walking off.
Presumably, he had his eyes on the real prize: Will Tha Carter IV outsell Watch the Throne? We'll find out soon. Tha Carter IV is up for sale at iTunes now, and it hits retailers in CD form tomorrow, Tuesday, August 30.
(Photo: Vince Bucci/PictureGroup)