A lot remains unclear about Lil Wayne’s Lil Weezyana Fest, Friday night at Champions Square.
The show is billed as “Lil Wayne and friends” and promises a reunion of producer Mannie Fresh and The Hot Boys, the chart-topping rap group that featured Lil Wayne, Juvenile, B.G. and Turk.
But because he is in prison, B.G. won’t be able to make it. Other performers were not announced at press time.
A portion of the event’s proceeds will go to Tha Carter Fund at the Greater New Orleans Community Foundation.
The show, which will be streamed live on Tidal, comes at a tumultuous time for the Hollygrove-raised rapper Lil Wayne. He is embroiled in a dispute with his longtime label Cash Money Records, which caused the label to delay release of his long-awaited album “Tha Carter V,” first scheduled to drop last May.
For years, Lil Wayne has publicly made Cash Money an important part of his identity, particularly when labelmates and proteges Drake and Nicki Minaj took off. But behind the scenes, the money has always been complicated. In January, he sued the label to get out of his contract and collect the $51 million he believes he is owed.
Reportedly, that prompted rapper and Cash Money co-founder Birdman — Bryan Williams — to delay the album.
Recently, Birdman told a DJ in an interview, “If he says he wanna go, I’m not gonna stand in his way. That’s my son. I can fight it if I choose to, but if he tell me, ‘Pops, it’s time to move on. …’”
Lil Wayne has publicly said many times he wants off the label, but according to Birdman, “I haven’t heard it from his mouth.”
The delay is the most recent setback associated with Lil Wayne.
A Lower 9th Ward skatepark he opened with Mountain Dew in 2012 quickly turned into a public relations disaster; after the ribbon-cutting, it never reopened due to electrical problems and insufficient funding. And in 2010, Lil Wayne went to jail for eight months for criminal possession of a weapon.
Ironically, the two mixtapes he has released this year suggest “Tha Carter V” could be a return to form for Lil Wayne.
After a run of albums and mixtapes that sounded like he put in days at the office, “Sorry 4 the Wait 2” and “FWA (The Free Weezy Album)” feature a more committed, engaged and provocative Lil Wayne.