Rolling Out

Why Lil Wayne doesn’t perform ‘Mona Lisa’ in concert

The truth behind why ‘Mona Lisa’ is missing from the setlist
Lil Wayne
Photo by Nagashia Jackson for rolling out

Fans of the iconic rapper Lil Wayne have often pondered why the track “Mona Lisa” from his 2018 album Tha Carter V is conspicuously absent from his live performances. The song, which features a collaboration with the talented Kendrick Lamar, has sparked speculation that perhaps ongoing tensions between Lamar and fellow artist Drake might be behind its absence on stage.

Lil Wayne’s lyric amnesia

Dispelling the rumors, Lil Wayne himself has provided a much simpler explanation for the omission of “Mona Lisa” during his concerts: he doesn’t remember the lyrics. During a recent headlining performance, Wayne addressed the curiosity head-on, revealing a candid insight into his relationship with his discography. “This is the second time I’ve seen this within my last three shows. Somebody had a sign that said, ‘Mona Lisa’ […] If y’all real Lil Wayne fans, you know I don’t know the lyrics to my shit,” Wayne expressed to the crowd. He further reassured his fans, “I don’t like to rap the words, but I’m going to learn that shit. I’m going to learn it. I got you.” This statement not only highlights his authenticity but also his commitment to delivering for his fans.

A history of lyric googling

The issue of lyric retention isn’t a new one for Lil Wayne. He has previously admitted to having to Google his lyrics to avoid repetition. In a conversation with Eminem on Young Money Radio back in 2020, Wayne shared, “If you go through my phone history, my Google history and you press L, first thing that will come up is ‘Lil Wayne lyrics.’ I literally have to Google my lyrics to make sure I didn’t say certain stuff before.”

While some artists might be embarrassed by such admissions, Lil Wayne’s transparency about his creative process and performance challenges endears him further to his audience, reinforcing his status as a relatable and down-to-earth legend in the rap game.

In conclusion, while fans may be eager to hear “Mona Lisa” live, they’ll have to wait until Lil Wayne masters the lyrics again. Until then, they can appreciate the honesty and humor with which he approaches his craft.

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