In a convincing argument for cameras in the courtroom, TMZ has released footage of Lil Wayne’s deposition in his case against Quincy Jones III. The rapper sued Quincy Jones’ son earlier this year, claiming he never gave Jones, producer of the 2009 Wayne documentary Tha Carter, permission to use his music in the film. On to the fun part.
The video is a performance art masterpiece that would make Marina Abramović quake with thoughts of mediocrity. In the video above, Wayne thrusts, parries and dodges Jones' lawyer’s questions, alternating between boredom, denial, pride, frustration and threats. Every second is worth watching, but hit Play and follow along with this guide to the best video Wayne’s ever made.
0:06: “Clearly, Lil Wayne answers to no one,” says Katie Couric, as Wayne looks on with a smug look that says, “If this deposition is just showing newcasts about me all day, we’re in good shape." Wayne’s a pro at this point, having been in courtrooms just as much, if not longer, than the judge and lawyer in the video.
0:17: “What’s your name again?,” Weezy asks the lawyer questioning him.
The belittling begins. His name is Pete Ross and he will, soon enough, have a story to tell his daughters, banishing the idea that their dad is some uptight lawyer who never does anything cool. Ross laughs at the question, thinking that maybe, this deposition will actually be fun.
0:27: “Pete Ross, that’s a stupid-ass question.”
It will not.
0:37: Asked if he performed at the Virgin Mobile Music Fest, Weezy just looks at his right hand, admiring his manicure before curling it into a fist, an inauspicious omen of things to come.
Weezy admires his "drank hand"
0:43: “I don’t know, but I know I did perform at this badass b-tch birthday party recently. She was crazy, stupid thick.”
Wayne does not forget crazy, stupid, thick b-tches, especially on their birthday. This will also be the most words in one sentence Weezy will say all day.
0:54: “Isn’t it something you would remember if your album Tha Carter III was the biggest-selling album in 2008?”
How cute. Ross thinks Weezy can remember 2008. Have you never tried Purple Drank before, Mr. Ross? I have. Let me explain: Imagine playing a 45 rpm record at 33 1/3. Now play that record at .000000033 rpm while a team of elves with pickaxes slowly chop away at your neurons and synapses inside your brain. While on prescription-strength cough syrup. Things get hazy is what I’m saying. Let’s move on.
1:10: “Isn’t that a personal opinion-type question?” Weezy dodges with the lithe grace of Roy Jones, Jr. in his prime. You can pretty much use this answer to evade any question, ranging from “What is your name?” to “What is 5 times 5?”
1:14: F-ck Plato’s The Republic. College professors need to teach this semantical exchange in Philosophy 101:
Wayne: That would be actually answering the question to “Isn’t it something?” That’s my question? "Isn’t it something?"
Ross: That you would remember.
Wayne: “Isn’t it something?” That’s the question I have to answer, your honor? "Isn’t it something?"
Judge: Do the best to try and answer it.
Wayne: Yeah, it’s something out of your ass. That’s my answer. Yeah, it is something. Out. Of. Your. Ass.
1:47: Asked if he ever hired a photographer for an event, Wayne replies, “Sorry, sir, no. I’m a superstar. People hire them themselves to photograph me.”
Who cares that this answer doesn’t really make any sense? Wayne is a superstar. He doesn’t hire anyone, even when he should. Ya know, to carry drugs and guns and such.
1:56 – 2:45: “I don’t recall.”
2:57: If we had any money, we’d bring in a body language expert to analyze Weezy at this moment, arms folded on the table, head drooped down with covered hoodie. This is the moment for Weezy where it goes from fun to boring, perhaps at the realization that these questions could, conceivably, be asked nonstop for the next three years.
Weezy is officially bored of your prosaic deposition
3:37: Weezy is now answering “I don’t know” before a question is even asked. Have you no respect at all for the judicial process, sir?
3:40: Realizing that asking the rapper about his past criminal exploits is going nowhere, Ross tries to butter Wayne up with a few flattering softballs. “Didn’t you win the award for Best Rap Album of the year in 2008 for Tha Carter III”? Shrewd move, Ross. Despite no apparent connection to the case, there’s no way Weezy will deny winning such a prestigious award, right?
3:47: “I don’t know.”
3:53: “I’m sorry, that’s my psychic,” Wayne says when told he must wait for the question to be asked before answering, “I don’t know.” Doubtful, since if that was true, Rebirth would’ve never seen the light of day. Hip hop/rock hybrid slam!
3:56: “How would you describe your image in the media?,” asks Ross.
“I wouldn’t describe it.”
Ross is clearly outmatched here, as Weezy is handling this deposition like a pro. Remember when Ellsworth Toohey asked Howard Roark in The Fountainhead, “Mr. Roark, we’re alone here. Why don’t you tell me what you think of me?” and Roark is all, “I don’t think of you”? This is the hip hop version of that.
4:40: Weezy is getting more frustrated and antagonistic. He could be anywhere but here: skating around Los Angeles, recording lukewarm mixtapes. He is ready to wrap this up.
4:53: “You know he can’t save you, right?,” Weezy tells his interrogator.
Wait, whu? Did Weezy just threaten a lawyer?! Go on.
4:55: “In the real world.”
Damn. Is Pete Ross dead man walking?
5:02: “I don’t have to elaborate.”
Huh? Of course you have to elaborate. You just threatened a lawyer. In the real world. The only thing you have to do is elaborate.
5:12 – 5:15: Can someone please put these three seconds on loop and title the YouTube vid, “Lil Wayne Staring Contest”? (Update: Done!)
5:19: “He can’t save you.”
“And what does that mean?”
“I was talking to myself.”