Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne, aka Weezy F. Baby, aka Dwayne Carter, aka the best rapper alive, needs no introduction, but he’ll get one here. Wayne got his break at the age of 11 when Brian “Birdman” Williams, CEO of Cash Money records, discovered him after Wayne kept leaving freestyle raps on Williams’ answering machine. He dropped out of high school at 14 (after, Wayne claims, accidentally shooting himself in the chest a year earlier), and at 17 had his first big hit as a member of the Hot Boys, a group comprised of him Juvenile, Turk and B.G.

Wayne’s early solo career was largely undistinguished, as he more than often acted his age, especially on his debut 1999 solo album, Tha Block is Hot. It wasn’t until 2004’s Tha Carter that Wayne’s artistic recognition matched his commercial success, as the album, and its 2005 sequel, Tha Carter II, were major steps forward for Wayne as a writer.

After Tha Carter II, Wayne started hitting the web-mixtape game like a man possessed, releasing what seemed like a new mixtape every few weeks between 2006 and 2008. He also took any feature position that was offered to him, appearing on tracks from Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and anyone else with label money to blow.

The more is more method of musical releases paid off, as Wayne’s Tha Carter III was one of the decade’s biggest success stories despite its legendary delays; it sold a million copies its first week out, a blockbuster in a marketplace without many of those anymore.

Since Tha Carter III, Wayne has been working on another long-delayed album, Rebirth, an album that has been promised to have a “rock” edge to it, and appeared on hit singles from the likes of Jay Sean and others.


Photo Credit: Chris Owyoung/


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