The tattooed rapper closed the Video Music Awards with tunes from his new album as an ad blinked on the bottom of the screen reading: “Be the first to download ‘Tha Carter IV’ on iTunes.”
The album was to be released digitally at midnight on Aug. 29 and in stores later that day.
“There’s only one man brilliant enough to piece this plan together,” rapper Drake said as he introduced Lil Wayne.
Wayne opened with the melodic “How to Love” before tearing off his shirt and jumping around during “John,” which borrows heavily from Black Sabbath’s familiar “Iron Man” riff.
Fellow rapper Rick Ross called Wayne’s strategically timed album release “big for hip hop.”
“The strategic moves we’ve been seeing in the last few months, from the release of “Watch the Throne” and the pop-up stores, etcetera, I think it’s big for hip hop and it’s only going to continue to open doors for biggest numbers and bigger profits and a bigger future,” Ross said.
Copyright 2011 The Associated Press.