(c/o Times Pic)
During this Sunday's Grammy telecast, Lil Wayne is slated to perform his Hurricane Katrina-themed "Tie My Hands" during a New Orleans segment also featuring Allen Toussaint and the Dirty Dozen Brass Band.
The seemingly incongruous mash-up of styles is the result of Grammy producer Ken Ehrlich's desire to keep New Orleans in a national spotlight. Since Hurricane Katrina, Ehrlich has built New Orleans moments into Grammy telecasts.
He often turns to his longtime buddy, New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival co-producer Quint Davis, to help put it together.
"Ken Ehrlich is one of the city's true friends," Davis said Thursday from Grammy rehearsals in Los Angeles. "This started where Ken called me and said, 'I have this idea to get Allen with Wayne, what do you think?' That started percolating, then we got the Dozen out here."
According to the script, Wayne will kick off the segment rapping "Tie My Hands," which includes such lyrics as, "My whole city under water, some people still floatin'/and they wonder why black people still voting."
He'll hand off to Toussaint, the Rock 'n Roll Hall of Fame producer, songwriter and pianist, who will play "Big Chief." The Dirty Dozen will join in and segue into "Feet Don't Fail Me Now" as they parade into the audience and Wayne raps about second-lines.
That the artist with the most Grammy nominations this year happened to be a New Orleans rapper likely made a Katrina segment all the more palatable. "And you've got to give Wayne credit," Davis said. "Wayne had to agree."