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US rapper Lil Wayne 'never going back to Riyadh' after Saudi concert Open in fullscreen

The New Arab

US rapper Lil Wayne 'never going back to Riyadh' after Saudi concert

The rapper is rumoured to have brought weed into Saudi Arabia [Getty]

Date of publication: 1 December, 2019

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The hip-hop giant proclaimed he is 'never going back to Riyadh' after headlining a show in the Saudi capital on November 30.
Rap superstar Lil Wayne has ended a short-lived affair with Saudi Arabia, declaring he is "never going back to Riyadh again" after just a day in the ultra-conservative kingdom.

Weezy jetted into the kingdom on Saturday, November 30, when he was due to headline a concert in the capital Riyadh alongside fellow hip-hop artists Future and Tyga. 

"See you soon Riyadh !!", the 37-year-old rapper said in a since-deleted tweet.

Just a day later, Lil Wayne drew intense speculation by tweeting out: "Never going to Riyadh again!!!"

Photos shared on social media showed Lil Wayne on stage in Al-Diriyah festival, one of several ongoing concert series Saudi culture authorities have used to attract big names from across the world in recent months.

Neither Saudi Arabia nor Weezy have cleared the air by stating why the rapper will never go back, but Saudi Twitter was all of a flutter with rumours that the Louisiana native had been sent packing by Saudi authorities after bringing marijuana into the country.

Drugs including cannabis are strictly illegal in the ultraconservative kingdom with personal use punished by prison sentences and whipping. Anyone found guilty of dealing drugs is liable to harsher sentencing, including the death penalty.

As soon as the rapper tweeted he would not be returning to Saudi Arabia, social media users from the kingdom were quick to remind him of the country's strict drug policies.

"With all due respect, when you receive an invitation from a foreign country, before accepting that invitation, would you please read about the country and its regulations first?" one Saudi Twitter user replied. "FYI, even in US, some states still prohibiting weed."

Lil Wayne had earned no such "respect", another Twitter user replied. "This druggy should not have been invited in the first place," she said.

"He can't take two days without weed?" another fan questioned.

Allegations were also rife that, while Weezy may not have been able to take marijuana into the kingdom, the US rapper could easily have found other drugs at the Diriyah festival.

"The problem is that everyone last night was smoking Hash at the concert," one Saudi Twitter user said. "If he asked his fans they would have hooked him up."

A video purportedly showing a fan smoking hashish at the Lil Wayne concert in Riyadh was widely circulated on social media, but could not be independently verified. 

It's not the first time controversy has erupted after Saudi Arabia has flown in music stars from across the globe.

Rapper Russ had a better time than Weezy when he played a sold-out concert in Riyadh last month, where he told the audience: "Ima come back to Saudi too, I got y'all."

Saudi social media users were shocked when a video from the concert was circulated, showing a fan throwing a bra at the musician.

In October, a Saudi woman was arrested and accused of "disrupting social etiquette" after a video of her dancing to hip-hop at a Riyadh concert went viral on social media.

A similar video, purportedly showing an unidenfitied, uncovered Saudi woman dancing closely against a man at the Diriyah festival, has also been circulated on social media.

Although Saudi music festivals this year have attracted performances from K-Pop giants BTS and rapper 50 Cent, others have responded to calls to boycott due to widespread human rights abuses, with hip-hop star Nicki Minaj backing out of a Jeddah festival to show her "support for the rights of women, the LGBTQ community and freedom of expression".

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