Lil Wayne To Tape 'MTV Unplugged' Episode
Lil Wayne will be the first hip-hop artist to tape an episode of MTV's "Unplugged" in a decade when he takes the stage Thursday (May 12) in Los Angeles. The episode will be aired around the time of his next release, "Tha Carter IV."
MTV will use all of its platforms for the premiere of "MTV2 Presents: Lil Wayne Unplugged," airing it at 9 p.m. ET June 12 across MTV2, MTV and MTV.com.
MTV has had discussions with the New Orleans rapper for several years to do a performance show for the network. The timing worked out for the new album and the show "was pulled together quickly," MTV's executive VP, Music and Talent, Amy Doyle tells Billboard.com.
" 'Unplugged' is one of the most revered franchises and to get a core artist of the brand (MTV2) means we want it to be very loud in the culture," Doyle says, noting she hopes the episode is a key driver of his first-week sales.
Cash Money/Universal Motown has not yet announced a release date for the album. Having been moved from a mid-May release, June 21 is now the most commonly speculated date. Weezy continues his "I Am Still Music" tour July 13 in Hartford, Conn.
The set list for the stripped-down show has been changing since Lil Wayne started going through the material. MTV asks performers to do their classics, debut new material, a cover and bring in guest artists.
"We give them a broad menu of the things that make for a great 'Unplugged'," Doyle said. "Then it's up to the artists. (Wayne) just keeps going back to his catalog. (The set list) is changing every day."
Revived over the last two years, "Unplugged" has most recently featured Adele and Lykke Li. The next rock band to do an "Unplugged" will be Thirty Seconds From Mars, who will be taping an episode Friday. Their show will run on MTV.com.
"We have watched the band grow from clubs to arenas and everythign has resonated with our audience, mostly in the traffic numbers on our website," Doyle said. "Their fans are so 'mobilized' it seemed like a perfect fit."