Behind the Music on VH1 was like TV crack to me back in the day. I did not miss an episode even on bands I gave not a damn about (Pantera). Even though the show became EXTREMELY formulaic (meteoric rise to fame, something tragic happens, band falls apart, now trying to put it all back together); I still loved it. For a few years they stopped producing original shows and only played re-runs. So a few weeks ago when Bouge Commenter ASmith tweeted about the return of BTM, I was giddy. First on deck, Lil Wayne.
Weezy got me, ya'll. I was up at 2:00 in the morning downloading the entire Lil Wayne catalog and scouring the net for his hard-to-find mixtapes.
Bougie as I am, I love my Dirty South hip-hop (for the most part). Starting back with the Geto Boyz to Luda to Rick Ross (yes, I know he's a poser but Speedin' was my jam!) to Outkast to the 504 Boyz. I even like a lot of the Miami/Reggaeton inspired stuff (Daddy Yankee and Pitbull). Come one, come all - I'll give my southern boys a shot. However, I didn't pay a ton of attention to Lil Wayne, having only noticed his Hot Boyz participation with Millionaire Dream (the bling-bling song). So I knew of him and heard a couple of things but didn't really understand the hype. I DVR'ed the show with a skeptical side eye and finally got around to watching it this week. I was so intrigued by the program that I rewound and watched again.
Now let me be clear, Lil Wayne is kinda off the chains about himself. Small, angry, bunch of kids and baby mommas, he may or may not be addicted to various suspicious and illegal substances and he is apologetically hood. But move past all of that to the base of the man and he's brilliant. A lyrical genius. Watching him pull together a song at 3:00am with no pen to paper, just off the top of his head was more than a little awe inspiring. Now I'm sure I'll catch heat for this but Weezy seems almost Tupacian (made the word up) in his ability to pinpoint a beat that works and then tie meaningful lyrics to it. He's more than "bling-bling". Tie My Hands is one of the most stirring tribute songs I've ever heard and I will not get on a treadmill again without the extended mix of Tha Block Is Hot or Mr. Carter on my iPod.
BTM does a great job of showing you both the man and his music. Suffice it to say… he's been through some stuff, making his ascendancy to rap royalty that much more impressive. Even if you are not a fan of rap or Wayne, his story is put together well. VH1 has become a channel that I can't watch for more than a few minutes without feeling the need for a scalding hot shower and some antiseptic. That being said, the return of Behind the Music gives me a reason to at least look up the VH1 channel number in my DirecTV guide. If you get a chance to watch BTM, do it. Up this week: Pink. Now that oughta be interesting.
Have you watched Behind the Music, do you have a favorite? Any thoughts on DeWayne Carter?