TV viewers watching Lil Wayne and Eminem perform their tough-talking single "Drop the World," backed by Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker, were puzzled Sunday night by extended sequences in which all the audio inexplicably cut out. The performers were shown stalking the stage and aggressively gesticulating to a wild crowd reaction, but absent any sound.
According to a representative for Lil Wayne, the show's producers were responsible for the measure -- presumably taken to censor the rappers' extensive use of profanity in the F-bomb-laden song.
Moments later, when Wayne, Em and Barker were joined onstage by Canadian rap phenom Drake for a rocked-out rendition of Drake's Grammy-nominated hit "Forever," sections of that song were also subject to the silent treatment.
Taken as a whole, few award show performances have been more extensively edited for tape-delayed broadcast. On Sunday, a spokeswoman for the Recording Academy could not immediately be reached for comment; at Staples Center, a show producer confirmed the silences were not the result of an audio failure.
One possible factor in the rappers' decision to act out: The Grammys most likely will mark Lil Wayne's last television appearance before he turns himself in to begin a yearlong prison sentence for gun possession charges on Feb. 9.
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