Finally, the cool summer night is helping to both soothe and relax the heat-crazed concertgoers of Lil Wayne’s UPROAR Hip-Hop Festival. The concert may have started at 7 PM, but fans began filling up the sectioned-off area of the Los Angeles Coliseum much earlier then that. And, while the name of the event does contain the word “festival,” only one stage was constructed to house the talent that is set to perform this evening. So, as thousands of eager Angelino bodies crowd together in order to get a glimpse of Lil Wayne, the temperature just keeps on rising. Until, at long last, the moon takes its proper place in a blackened sky, and the final minutes of daytime heat have slipped away; this is when fans started to truly turn up.
Prior to any artists taking the stage though, and while the sun was still scorching down upon us, dancers were put to the test in what was dubbed the UPROAR Dance Competition. Solo performers competed for a cash prize of $3,000, which was soon followed by a string of openers performing their own original music.
Afterwards, fans were graced with a handful of performances by long-time Young Money representers, Gudda Gudda, Cory Gunz, Lil Twist, Hoodie Baby, Euro, Jay Jones, Yaj Kader, and Mellow Rackz. Cory Gunz stood out the most, laying down his patented raspy flows over a bass so loud that most of the other openers were drowned out.
Lil Twist of Young Money performs at UPOAR Hip-Hop Festival, August 13 – Rich Fury/Getty Images
Once the Young Money medley was done, Big Latto stepped her talented and gorgeous self on stage to deliver spirited performances of “The Biggest,” “No Hook,” “He Say She Say,” and more. Her backup dancers were a highlight of the night as well, since no other artists opted to have a choreographed set. It made her performance stand out as clean, smooth, refined, and fun.
Big Latto performs at UPOAR – Rich Fury/Getty Images
Next, Polo G took the stage. His energy was very subdued and serene, in comparison. He didn’t jump, dance, or really show much emotional excitement at all. Polo G swayed back and forth on the stage, as if entranced by his own music, and calmly delivered performances of “Rapstar,” “Toxic,” “Epidemic,” and more. Although his low-key demeanor didn’t offer much room for fans to turn up, the crowd appeared content with his set as he left the stage adorned by applause.
Polo G takes the stage at UPROAR in L.A. – Rich Fury/Getty Images
The man of the hour, Lil Wayne, appeared on stage not much later. From the press section in front of the stage, we could easily smell what can only described as the fruitiest, strongest marijuana to ever grace our nostrils. In fact, it was hard not to ponder what Wayne was smoking on as he danced across the stage with the energy of a teenager. Dressed in black and white camo, and enough diamonds to start a reserve, Wayne blessed fans with a long list of his hits.
Wayne came prepared to surprise fans with a few unforgettable guests, too. The first of which was Big Sean. The Detroit native hopped on stage with electric energy, as if he was just as surprised to be there, as the fans were to see him. Big Sean touched down with “I Don’t Fuck With You” to start. Wayne happily ad-libbed from the back of the stage, where he also continued to smoke on that delicious smelling bud. Sean rocked the stage for another quick track before hopping off and handing the scene back to Weezy.
Big Sean surprises fans at UPROAR – Image via Karlton/HNHH
Lil Wayne rocks the stage in his camo outfit – Rich Fury/Getty Images
When Wayne took the mic back, he started pulling out mixtape tracks. Mixtape Weezy fans almost lost it when “Sky Is The Limit” started blaring through the speakers. Wayne also jumped into “Wasted” from No Ceilings and “Rollin'” off Sorry 4 The Wait. Then he hit us with another surprise guest… The Game.
LA is The Game’s city, and the crowd treated him appropriately. Deafening roars could probably be heard from the Valley when The Game stepped on stage. He tore down the house with a performance of “One Blood” before jumping into “How We Do.” Game let the crowd finish every single one of his bars as he went through his infamous verse. In fact, he even started rapping 50 Cent’s, “I put Lamborgini doors on the Escalade” along with the crowd before cutting the track and giving all praise to Weezy before he sauntered off stage.
Lil Wayne and The Game take the stage – Image via Karlton/HNHH
Once Game left the stage, fans expected that to be it. Nope. Weezy returned with yet another handful of bangers, including “Pop That,” “The Motto,” “No Problem” and “How To Love.” Of course, Weezy had his drank in one hand by this point. One thing remained evident through out his set, and that was his constant crowd control. “I am NOTHING without you,” Wayne would remind the crowd at any chance he got. And it appeared as though he really meant it. The outpouring of love from the audience only further pushed Wayne’s on-stage energy. It was a symbiotic relationship that was amazing to witness.
Before the night was up, fans got treated to one final guest appearance: Wiz Khalifa. With his dreads twisted up and his Chuck Taylor’s ready to go, Wiz hopped around the stage with a wide grin on his face. “Black & Yellow” was the first single Wiz took the crowd through, and although the track is somewhat older, nobody seemed to mind. One thing you’ve got to appreciate about Wiz is his breathing control. There is no way in hell half of the rappers could jump around with that much vigor and still hit all their lyrics. Not to mention, we already know Wiz probably had both lungs filled with smoke as well. Now, that’s skill.
Wiz Khalifa on stage at UPROAR – Image via Karlton/HNHH
Wiz was the last surprise of the night, and when he exited, Wayne hurried back on stage to grace fans with a few more singles before midnight. Nothing rocked the crowd quite like “A Mili,” which Wayne performed with precision and care. All-in-all, this was the first major hip-hop concert in the heart of LA since the pandemic shut down the city, and it was much needed. We spoke with several attendees that were just happy to be out at shows again, soaking up the performances along with thousands of others. UPROAR was a massive success, and we can’t wait until Wayne blesses the city once more.