Dame D.O.L.L.A., the hip-hop alter ego of basketball star Damian Lillard, performed alongside Lil Wayne and Jeremih during the NBA All-Star Weekend’s Saturday night festivities at Chicago’s United Center.
Introduced by Common — “This guy is nice on the mic and I’m proud to present not only an NBA All-Star, this is an artist,” he said of Lillard — Dame D.O.L.L.A. delivered at a two-track medley on the court, first with his 2019 cut “Moneyball” with Jeremih.
Lil Wayne next appeared to hop on “Run It Up,” a collaborative track off Dame’s 2017 LP Confirmed. The performance marked the first time Dame and Lil Wayne appeared together onstage, as well as the first time an NBA player performed on the All-Star Weekend stage.
Lillard was also set for Saturday night’s 3-Point Contest and Sunday’s All-Star Game before a last-minute injury insured only Dame D.O.L.L.A.’s participation. Prior to the biggest gig of his (rap) career, Rolling Stone talked to Lillard about whether he was nervous about facing a packed arena as a performer as opposed to a basketball player.
“I don’t approach it the same way, but I think I’ve performed enough now where there’s no anxiety,” Dame said, noting that he joined YBD Cordae onstage when that rapper played Portland’s Moda Center in 2019. “There was a big crowd in the arena and I felt fine. It was cool. I feel comfortable in my music so I don’t even worry about it.”
During the performance, D.O.L.L.A. wore a jacket with “Mamba Forever” emblazoned on the back, a tribute to Kobe Bryant. Queen Latifah also paid tribute to the Los Angeles Lakers great with a choir-assisted cover of Stevie Wonder’s “Love’s in Need of Love Today” during All-Star Saturday night.