Lil Wayne Recalls The Time Willie Nelson Taught Him “Sweet Home Alabama” On Guitar Seconds Before He Performed With Kid Rock

Kid Rock and lil wayne country music
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What do Willie Nelson, Kid Rock, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Lil Wayne have in common?

Pretty much just this, I think…

Back in 2008, hip-hop and rap star Lil Wayne was scheduled to hit the stage with Kid Rock to play guitar at the CMA Awards during a performance of his smash hit “All Summer Long. The only problem was, Lil Wayne got there maybe five minutes before they were scheduled to perform, and didn’t have any time to practice or actually learn the song.

The tune was released in 2008 as the third single from Kid Rock’s 2007 seventh studio album Rock n Roll Jesus, and I guess Kid Rock and the production crew just assumed Wayne knew the track and could play it on guitar… mainly because it heavily sampled chords from the Lynyrd Skynyrd classic “Sweet Home Alabama,” and who doesn’t know that, right?

Well, Lil Wayne didn’t, I guess, because he told fellow rapper 2 Chainz the hilarious story in a video a few years back, saying that he really didn’t even know how to play guitar at all:

“I got a real funny story about Kid Rock. I did the Country Music Awards with him before. I showed up five minutes… I’m gonna tell you exactly how soon it was when I showed up. They weren’t in their dressing rooms, they was behind the curtains.

That’s when I showed up… the curtains were about to go up. I was like, ‘What are we doin’?’ They’re like, ‘We’re playin’ ‘Sweet Home Alabama… I know you know that, right?’

I was like, ‘I’m Black…’


“Listen, the story gets better… I had my guitar, I was gonna play the guitar. He wanted me to play the guitar on stage with him on ‘Sweet Home Alabama.'”

Lil Wayne had come out with a song called “Leather So Soft” a couple years prior, which featured him on the guitar. But needless to say, he didn’t have a single clue how to play “Sweet Home Alabama” or any other song besides that one in particular, and was trying to figure something out seconds before the live performance:

“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. That’s all I know how to play is ‘Leather So Soft,’ you feel me?

Is that gonna work for ‘Sweet Home Alabama’? I’m not sure. So somebody sees I’m like, I still don’t know, bro… he’s like, ‘You’ll be fine, don’t worry.’

And who waltzes up backstage right on cue to save the day? None other than Shotgun Willie himself, the great Willie Nelson. 

Overhearing the conversation about Lil Wayne not actually knowing that particular song on guitar, Willie tells him it’s pretty basic, and if he just keeps his hands on a couple different chords, he really can’t mess it up:

“Wille Nelson walks up. He comes up, he says, ‘Let me show you.’ He plays it within two seconds. He says, ‘Keep your fingers right here on these two strings, you’ll be alright. The whole song, two strings. I played it with him.”

And right about that time, the curtains went up, and they throw Wayne a Tennessee Titans jersey as he takes the stage to play song he really has no clue about at all:

“They throw me a Tennessee Titans jersey, I put it on, and we’re all out thee in a Tennessee Titans jersey… here we go. I got to play ‘Sweet Home Alabama’ with Kid Rock and Willie Nelson.”

But Lil Wayne wasn’t totally out of place, and has heard a lot of the same, legendary stories about Willie out-smoking literally everybody that we all have, saying to the red headed stranger upon their first little guitar lesson:

“And I told Willie Nelson, I said, ‘I heard you smoked Snoop under the table.’ He said, ‘Right under that mother****er.’ I said, ‘I ain’t Snoop… Know that. Know that.'”

You really can’t make this up. What a story.

@whiskeyriff One of the best unexpected trios. // Read more at #whiskeyriff #countrymusic #kidrock #willienelson #lilwayne ♬ original sound – Whiskey Riff

And actually, Wayne became the first hip-hop artist to ever play the CMA’s back in 2008, and I’d say he was a pretty quick learner, because I would’ve never known about that whole fiasco one way or the other based on watching their performance.

They put on quite a show, thanks in large part to Mr. Wille Nelson, and the whole performance was introduced by Carrie Underwood, no less…

Do yourself a favor and watch Lil Wayne tell it himself, it’s hysterical:

A beer bottle on a dock



A beer bottle on a dock