2011 was defiantly the year of Weezy.  He really put it down all year long.  At the beginning of the year, he was getting back into the rhythm of things, being that he was released from prison in November 2010.  However, he was all over the radio with single after single from his soon-to-be released album "The Carter IV."  Plus, almost immediately upon his release, he went straight to work and on the road.

Then, in August he officially dropped "The Carter IV," which gave birth to the "I Am Still Music II Tour," and that was all she wrote.   I must say, it was one of the best tours I've seen in a minute.  The tour I caught had a ton of guests like Rick Ross, Keri Hilson, Ace Hood, LLoyd, The Game, Bun B, Trae The Truth, the Young Money crew and more.  It was good!  REAL good!  Lil Wayne did just about every joint he ever made.  In fact, he did a two-hour set by himself, just about.

Maybe that's why it turned out to be one of the highest grossing tours of the year.  Weezy grossed roughly $47 million large!  On his tour, Wayne crossed North America, Australia and even Africa, proving to everybody he truly is still music.  Of the tour's success, Weezy's manager Cortez Bryant said "For so many years, critics have claimed that hip-hop tours would never be successful.  Lil Wayne has put the nail in the coffin of that idea."

He sure did.  LOL!  I kid you not,  it still amazes me by how truly diverse hip-hop concert crowds are, and Lil Wayne's was no exception.   On one side of me sat two "soccer mom" looking middle aged Caucasian women and on the other side of me two middle aged Asian men, to an older Caucasian man in front of me in Dockers and a younger brotha on the side of him in a "snap back".  It's a beautiful thang.  It's also funny how some people buy into the fact that there's no money in hip-hop listeners.

The fact is, you should never judge a book by it's cover -- especially when it comes to the hip-hop listener.  Hip-Hop is the ONLY genre of music that crosses EVERY racial, financial and age boundary.  It's also grown up a lot, and its listeners have grown with it.  Yes, of course it has a lot of young artists and listeners, too.  Can't forget about them.  But, Hip-Hop is much older than its critics think.  For example, it hit the radio in the late 70's.  All those artists are now in their 40's and 50's -- plus most of them are STILL in the game and on our T.V./movie screens or for that matter calling the shots on the catwalk with name brand clothing and shoe lines and selling alcohol or perfume and cologne.  Kurtis Blow, Doug E. Fresh, Slick Rick, Biz Markie, MC Lyte, Queen Latifah, Dr. Dre, L.L Cool J, Diddy, Snoop, Ice Cube , Jay-Z and others.  All these guys are married with kids and well into there 40's or better.  Guess what -- so are the hip-hop listeners who grew up listening to them.

They are still listening or should I say WE, because I'm talking about myself too.  That's why I know what I'm saying is true.  I'm over 40, married for 19 years, college educated, a professional and a property owner.  hip-hop artists and listeners alike are very much responsible for everything from the success of the fashion and automobile industries to food to sports.  The listeners can be anyone from the person that cooks our food, to a real estate agent that sells you a home to the accountant that keeps up with your money.   By the way, Lil Wayne was a honor student and graduated at age 16 -- proof that you should never judge a book by it's cover or ever underestimate the power of hip-hop and the money it has.  The people who listen are faithful too.  Who else do you think bought Lil Wayne's albums and helped him make $47 million on one tour alone this year?  Well done Weezy -- well done hip-hop!

Here's some video from some of the tour.  Enjoy!