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Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj to perform at 1st Mariner Arena

Superstar rapper Lil Wayne and his protégé Nicki Minaj headline a star-studded lineup for the "I Am Music II" tour, which will come to Baltimore's 1st Mariner Arena March 20, according to concert promoter Live Nation.

The pair will be joined by Miami-based rapper Rick Ross and Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker. The tour, which will be Wayne's first tour since his prison release nearly three months ago, kicks off March 18 in Buffalo, N.Y., and ends May 1 in East Rutherford, N.J. The "I Am Music II" tour is also scheduled to stop at the Verizon Center in Washington on April 3.

Wayne, a New Orleans native, has become a fan- and critic-favorite with his unique voice, witty lyrics and catchy beats. Wayne last appeared in Baltimore on March 20, 2009 for the "I Am Music" tour.

Minaj has taken the music industry by storm since gaining notoriety with a series of mix tapes and collaborations. The Queens-based lyricist has attracted fans with her bold fashion choices and willingness to verbally spar with veteran rapper Lil' Kim. Minaj's debut album, "Pink Friday," produced a slew of hits, including "Your Love" and "Right Thru Me."

Ross is best known for his hits "B.M.F" (Blowin' Money Fast) and "Aston Martin," as well as his feud with rapper 50 Cent.

Barker, the tattooed drummer from pop-punk band Blink-182, survived a 2008 plane crash that killed four. His solo album, "Give the Drummer Some," is scheduled to be released in March. It features guest appearances by several artists, including Ross.

john-john.williams@baltsun.com

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