Lil Wayne Talks On-the-Fly Guitar Lesson From Willie Nelson - Rolling Stone
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Lil Wayne Talks On-the-Fly Guitar Lesson From Willie Nelson

Rapper learns “Sweet Home Alabama” from the country star moments before Country Music Awards performance

Nothing like learning how to play a song on the guitar on the fly from a country legend – that’s what happened when Lil Wayne was tapped to perform with Kid Rock and Willie Nelson during the 2008 Country Music Awards. According to Weezy, who shared the story while participating with 2 Chainz in a multi-part video series on their ColleGrove collaboration for Genius and WorldStarHipHop, he didn’t have much time to pull off Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama” live onstage. However, Nelson came to his rescue.

In the clip, Lil Wayne and 2 Chainz are backstage at Atlanta’s the Tabernacle in March. “I got a real funny story about Kid Rock. I did the Country Music Awards with him before,” Wayne tells 2 Chainz, adding that he showed up five minutes before they were to take the stage, literally, as they were behind the curtains before they were about to go up.

Wayne was told that they would be playing “Sweet Home Alabama.” However, there’s a slight problem. “[Kid Rock’s] like, I know you know that, right?’ I was like, ‘I’m black,'” Wayne says, laughing.

“What he don’t know is I don’t know how to play the guitar. I just made a song called ‘Leather So Soft’ and it worked,” he explains. “That’s all I know how to play is ‘Leather So Soft.’ You feel me? Is that going to work for ‘Sweet Home Alabama’? I’m not sure.”

And while Wayne says that it was becoming obvious to others onstage that the situation might go south quickly, the Red Headed Stranger steps in to save the day. “Willie Nelson walks up. He comes up, he says, ‘Let me show you,'” and then Wayne mimics the chords that Nelson quickly teaches him. “I played it with him” and then boom, the curtains go up and it’s show time. “I got to play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ with Kid Rock and Willie Nelson.”

The pair also discussed presumably one of their favorite pastimes. “I told Willie Nelson, I said, ‘I heard you smoked Snoop under the table. He said, ‘Right under that motherfucker.’ I said, ‘I ain’t Snoop.’ Know that, know that,” Wayne concludes. 


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