Renowned rapper Lil' Wayne was born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. on September 27, 1982, and raised in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana. Lil' Wayne began discovering his rhyming talent at the age of 8 and was later discovered by his brothers Bryan and Slim Williams of Cash Money Records, who ultimately signed him to their label.
In 1993, he completed his first recording with Cash Money Records, called True Stories, but started selling crack to support himself. His money troubles soon became a problem of the past when he joined the rap group Hot Boys, compiled of other Cash Money artists, including Juvenile, Turk and B.G. The group released their debut album Get It How U Live in 1997, selling over 400,000 copies, followed by their second album Guerilla Warfare (1999), which sold over 1 million copies.
Riding off the his success with the group, Lil' Wayne introduced his solo act to the world with his debut album Tha Block Is Hot (1999), which climbed to the top of the hip-hop album charts and went double platinum. Following the mild success of his ensuing albums, Lights Out (2000) and 500 Degreez (2002), Lil' Wayne switched his game plan and put out his debut underground mixtape Da Drought in 2003.
Lil Wayne was officially crowned a predominant artist in the ever-changing rap game with the release of The Carter (2004) and its lead single "Go DJ." He wasted little time to release his fifth studio album The Carter, Vol. 2 (2005), an even more popular album that reached #2 on the Billboard pop charts and resulted in the public's unconditional respect for the new young face of rap. He continued to gain popularity with his critically praised mixtape Dedication, Vol. 2 (2006) and his collaboration with mentor Bryan William, known as Birdman, in the album Like Father, Like Son (2006).
Success reached an all time high ensuing the release of Lil' Wayne's follow-up album Tha Carter III (2008), which sold over 1 million copies in the first week and debuted at the top of the pop, hip-hop, and rap charts. The album was a critical and commercial success, leading Lil' Wayne to a Grammy for Best Rap Album, Best Rap Song for "Lollipop," Best Rap Solo Performance for "A Milli" and shared the Best Rap Performances by a Duo or Group for the hit single "Swagga Like Us" with Jay-Z, T.I. and Kanye West at the 2009 Grammy Awards.
On February 2, 2010, Lil' Wayne dropped his debut rock-inspired album Rebirth, with its title track "Prom Queen" reaching # 15 and second single "On Fire" climbing to #33 on the Billboard Hot 100 charts, followed by the well-received single "Drop the World," featuring Eminem. He later released his next full-length album I Am Not a Human Being (2010) on his birthday, which sold more than 953,000 copies and debuted the single "Right Above It" at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Ensuing an eight month prison sentence at Rikers Island prison for illegal possession of a semiautomatic pistol discovered on his tour bus in 2007, Lil' Wayne's pushed the release date of his next album Tha Carter IV several times before releasing it on August 28, 2011. Despite mix reviews from critics, the album sold over 2 million copies in the U.S., topped the US Billboard 200 and was certified double platinum by November 16, 2011.
Lil' Wayne was planning on releasing his next album I Am Not a Human Being II on December 11, 20102, but recently pushed the date to an undisclosed month in 2013.
November 5, 2010: Famed rapper Lil' Wayne is released from Rikers Island after serving an eight-month sentence for gun-possession charges stemming from a run in with the New York Police Department in 2007.
July 22, 2007: Lil' Wayne arrives at New York City's Beacon Theatre to find a crowded front entrance comprised mostly of New York City's "finest." After being physically ushered inside, Lil' Wayne was immediately sent through a metal detector and patted down before being given permission to enter the building of his headlining show.
Wearing a vintage Run-DMC t-shirt, Lil' Wayne took the stage in the midst of a thundering sold out crowd. Bothered by his initial reception by the police, he yelled out to the crowd, "I just went through the worst f----in' feelin ever with y'all police. This may be one of the only times you see me because of how they treated me."
Ensuing his monumental performance, Lil' Wayne's tour bus was pulled over a few blocks away from the theater by Police who claimed they smelled marijuana coming from the bus. The police proceeded to Lil Wayne's room in the back of the bus, claiming they watched him chuck a Louis Vuitton bag carrying a .40 caliber gun.