Lil Wayne began his career at a young age performing southern hip hop. Through years of maturation and many outputs, during which the delivery of his wordplay-heavy rhymes gradually changed from ringing and aggressive to stoned and rasped, he developed into one of the best and most influential rappers of all time with a massive unique body of work to support this.
Dwayne Micheal Carter Jr also known as “Lil Wayne” was born on September 27, 1982 in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. His mother gave birth to him at the age of 19, and Wayne’s father abandoned him when he was just 2 years old. He dropped the D in his name to eliminate any connection with his abandoned father. He attended Lafayette Elementary School, attended McMain Secondary, and dropped out of Marion Abramson Senior High School at 14 to pursue his music career. At just the age of 12, Wayne suffered a gunshot wound to the chest. At the time, he said it was an accident, but now he says it was an attempted suicide. His life almost ended before it even started Wayne currently has four children with four different women (Regina Carter, Dwayne Michael Carter III, Cameron Carter, and Neal Carter).
The Hot Boys
Wayne wrote his first rap at eight years old, the same year he met Birdman, also known as Bryan Williams. Birdman became Lil Wayne’s mentor and guided Wayne in his rap career. He included Carter on many of his Cash Money tracks. Wayne officially started his career at the age of 12. He joined B.G., Juvenile, and Turk to form The Hot Boys. The Hot Boys was an American hip-hop group formed in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1997. The group debuted their first album, “Get it How U Live,” the same year they were formed on the Cash Money label. Their most successful album called” Guerrilla Warfare” debuted in 1999 and sold 142,000 copies. It debuted at number 5 on the billboard 200. The album was certified platinum in 1999. The group disbanded in 2001 when everyone but Lil Wayne left. Many setbacks held the group back from prolonging its success.
His first album as a solo artist was “Tha Block is Hot” in 1999; it went double platinum but Wayne was still unknown to many. It debuted when he was 17 years old. His second album was “Lights out,” which was released in 2000. This failed to attain the same success as his first album. Critics wrote about his lack of maturity. The lead single in the album was “Get Off the Corner,” which was noticed for its lyrical style. Cartier released his third album, called “500 Degreez”, in 2002. It also used significant contributions from the Hot Boys. It failed to match the success of his debut album, the leading single “Way of Life” also failed to match the success of others. After the release of his album, he was featured on the single “Neva Get Enuf” by 3LW. This exposed him to many new artists and opportunities.
In 2004, Carter released his fourth studio album, Tha Carter. The release of this album was considered an advancement in his rapping style. It started his signature style, with his dreadlocks featured on his cover art. His album sold over 868,000 copies in the US. The song “Go Dj” on the album became a top 5 hit on the R&B/hip hop chart. After his growing audience, he was featured on the popular song “Soldier” by Destinys Child. He then went on to release “Tha Carter II” in 2005. This album sold 2 million copies worldwide. The lead single “Fireman” became a hit in the US and became number 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. In 2005 Carter was named president of Cash Money and founded Young Money Entertainment. In 2007 he stepped down from both establishments. For the next two years, Carter reached his audience through features and mixtapes. Dedication 2 and Da Drought 3 were among his most famous during these years. Dedication 2 dissed President George W Bush about hurricane Katrina and Da Drought 3 featured Cater rapping over beats from other artists.
In 2008, Tha Carter III was released, and it sold over 1 million copies in its first week of sales. Its late release made Wayne known for his un promised dates. The albums leading single, “Lollipop,” featuring Static Major, became Carter’s most successful song, topping the Billboard Hot 100 and becoming his first top 10 single as a solo artist and his first number one on the chart. This album went on to win 4 Grammy awards, including best rap album and best rap song. During the same year, Carter re-signed with Cash Money Records for a multi-million album deal. Carter became the first hip hop artist to perform at the country music association awards. On December 23, 2009, Carter released a collaboration album with Young Money, We Are Young Money, with its lead single being “Every Girl“. His sixth solo Rebirth was released in 2010, this album explored the genre of rock.
Tha Carter II
Tha Carter III
Tha Carter IV
With many delays and setbacks Carter IV was released in August of 2011. It debuted at number on on the Billboard 200, with first week sales of 964,000.I Am Not a Human Being II was released on March 26, 2013, debuting at number two on the Billboard 200 selling 217,000 copies in its first week. The coming of Carter V created excitement for all of Carter’s fans. Before the album’s release, Carter experienced many complications with Cash Money Records. Birdman refused to release the album although it was completed. In response Wayne created a mixtape dissing Birdman and the label. In 2015, Carter sued Birdman and Cash Money Records for 51 million. He was finally released from Cash Money Records in 2018. Tha Carter V was finally released in 2018, debuting at number one on the US billboard 200. Every song on the album was charted on the Billboard 100.
Young Money Entertainment
Young Money Entertainment is an American record label founded by Lil Wayne. Young Money’s president is Mack Maine, a lifelong friend of Wayne’s. The record label was an imprint of Cash Money Records. The brand has released fourteen albums that reached number one on the Billboard 200 chart. Some of its most notable artists are Nicki Minaj, Lil Twist, Drake, and others. The label has released many compilation albums, its most famous is “We are young money”. He launched his radio show called Young Money radio streaming on apple music.
Lil Wayne is very involved in his New Orleans community. After Louisiana was hit by hurricane Katrina, Wayne helped rebuild the community by rebuilding parks around New Orleans. Wayne is big on mentoring the youth. He launched a nonprofit organization called One Family Foundation in 1997 which was a youth mentoring program. He also worked alongside other celebrities to record “We are the world 25 Haiti” in support of Haiti after its earthquake.
Some songs he was featured on was “Gimme That” by Chris Brown, “Make It Rain” by Fat Joe, “You” by Lloyd, and “We Takin’ Over” by DJ Khaled (also featuring Akon, T.I., Rick Ross, Fat Joe, and Birdman), “Duffle Bag Boy” by Playaz Circle, “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” by Wyclef Jean (also featuring Akon), and the remix to “I’m So Hood” by DJ Khaled (also featuring T-Pain, Young Jeezy, Ludacris, Busta Rhymes, Big Boi, Fat Joe, Birdman, and Rick Ross).”Girls Around the World” by Lloyd, “Love In This Club, Part II” by Usher, “Official Girl” by Cassie, “I’m So Paid” by Akon, “Turnin’ Me On” by Keri Hilson, and “Can’t Believe It” by T-Pain; rap singles “My Life” by The Game, “Shawty Say” by David Banner, “Swagga Like Us” by T.I., “Cutty Buddy” by Mike Jones, All My Life (In the Ghetto) by Jay Rock and the remix to “Certified” by Glasses Malone; and pop single “Let It Rock” by new Cash Money artist Kevin Rudolf.All these singles charted within the top 20 spots on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Rap Tracks, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
Lil Wayne influenced the rap community in many ways. Lil Wayne influenced many rappers with his heavy use of autotune, especially new school artists like Travis Scott and Lil Baby. It has been used as a cheat code to make hits. During the long battle with his label and multiple musical output delays, Wayne has mastered the mixtape and put them out as appetizers. It also inspired a generation of artists under him to go on similar routes. One of Lil Wayne’s most notable features is his tattoos. Wayne has tattoos tattooed on his forehead, eyelids, eyebrows, chin, and everywhere else. He normalized and inspired others to tattoo as well. When you see Lil Wayne, you see his dreads. Many rappers in the game have locs. Sometimes they’re dyed various colors like blond and red and, in other situations, natural hues of black and brown. Since he was a teenager, Lil Wayne has been known for wearing his hair that way.
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Song 2009 · Lollipop
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Album 2009 · Tha Carter III
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance 2017
- MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip-Hop Video 2012, 2008 · HYFR (Hell Ya F*****g Right), Lollipop
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group 2009 · Swagga Like Us
- Grammy Award for Best Rap Solo Performance 2009 · A Milli [Explicit]
- BET Award for Best Collaboration 2017, 2011
- BET Award for Video of the Year 2011 · Look at Me Now
- BET Hip Hop Award for Best Lyricist of the Year 2011, 2008
- BET Award for Best Male Hip-Hop Artist 2009
- 2 Chainz
- Jermaine Dupri
- Young Dro
- Yung Joc
Lil Wayne has had a significant impact on the music industry as a whole. Lil Wayne has increased the use of autotune, encouraged artists to explore different genres, influenced rappers’ appearances, and the output of multiple mixtapes among many hip-hop artists. Lil Wayne will go down in history as one of the most influential rappers of all time.
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Lil Wayne Biography, Songs, & Albums. AllMusic. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.allmusic.com/artist/lil-wayne-mn0000272689/biography
Lil Wayne News, in-depth articles, Pictures & Videos. GQ. (n.d.). Retrieved November 28, 2022, from https://www.gq.com/about/lil-wayne
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