Lil Wayne kicked off the 2023 ESPY Awards with his iconic track “A Milli”. He added a special twist to the lyrics by paying homage to star athletes who made an impact in the world of sports over the past year. From NCAA champion Angel Reese to NFL player Damar Hamlin and NBA coach Gregg Popovich, Lil Wayne’s performance was a celebration of both music and sports.
Held in Los Angeles’s Dolby Theatre, Lil Wayne captivated the audience from the moment he walked on with his cool and confident demeanor. Lil Wayne greeted everyone by saying, “how ya doing tonight?”. Soon after, a hyped DJ energized the crowd by saying to them, “ESPY 2023, I need you on your feet right now!… EVERYBODY UP! EVERYBODY UP!” After that, Lil Wayne dived into his performance.
Performing his 2008 hit “A Milli,” the New Orleans rap icon put his own spin on the track. He started off with the original lyrics before shifting gears to show love to basketball player and NCAA champion Angel Reese, expressing his fandom and support for her during her NCAA title game matchup against Caitlyn Clark and Iowa.
A true sports fanatic, Weezy then highlighted the progress in Buffalo Bills player Damar Hamlin’s recovery from a significant on-field injury, acknowledging the strength and resilience of the athlete. He continued by recognizing Deion Sanders’ new role as the head coach of the University of Colorado, playfully rhyming about being influenced by his “Uncle Prime” out there in Colorado.
The legendary spitter also gave a shout-out to San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich and celebrated the No. 1 overall NBA Draft pick, Victor Wembanyama, using clever wordplay in his rhymes to show his appreciation for their impact on the basketball world.
As Lil Wayne performed, he engaged with the audience, stepping out into the crowd, particularly the front row, dancing and enjoying the moment alongside them. He even took a brief moment to strike a pose alongside Kansas City Chiefs tight end and Super Bowl winner Travis Kelce, adding an element of excitement to the performance.
Wrapping up the electrifying performance, Lil Wayne expressed his gratitude to the crowd. He stated, “Thank you.. Welcome to the 2023 ESPYs. Thank you for your time, I appreciate you.”
While Lil Wayne pays homage to sports stars, he has also received recognition for his own contributions to the hip-hop genre. Recently, the rapper received the BMI Icon Award at the BMI R&B/Hip-Hop Awards, highlighting his impact and influence.
In a similar spirit of giving acknowledgement and showing love, Taylor Swift took a moment during her concert at the NJ Met Life stadium to introduce her collaboration with Ice Spice. The remix of Swift’s song “Karma” featuring the Bronx rapper showcased the power of artists coming together and celebrating each other’s unique styles and contributions.
Nashwa Rockingster, with a passion for fashion, film, art, and music, is an individual who immerses herself in these industries. She dedicates her talents to producing creative content that resonates within these realms.