Lil Wayne, the most recent of the many “Lil’s” in the hip-hop music industry, is a formidable opponent. Even his least popular album, “Tha Block is Hot” (1999), was certified as gold upon release by the Recording Industry Association of America. His debut album, “Tha Block is Hot,” achieved double platinum at release (RIAA). Despite his success in the music business, Lil Wayne’s early life was far from ideal, just like that of many other rap and hip hop artists.
Lil Wayne was forced to say goodbye to his father, who abandoned him and his mother soon after he was born, when he was born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. on September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana, to Dwayne Michael Turner and Jacinda Carter, who was then 19 years old. He and his mother were left to fend for themselves during that period in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans, which was full with criminals.
Luckily, his mother soon met Reginald “Rabbit” McDonald, who would later become his stepfather. Years later, his stepfather relocated the family from Hollygrove, which was in squalor, to East New Orleans. At that point, Lil Wayne had started to grow interested in rap and hip-hop music.
He started rapping at block parties after being influenced by Cash Money Recording artists like Pimp Daddy and U.N.L.V. Lil Slim, a Cash Money rapper, was impressed by his performance at one of the events. Lil Wayne first connected with Cash Money Records founders Brian “Baby” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams through the recording artist. Despite making a lasting impression on the two business moguls with his freestyling skills, Lil Wayne did not sign with Cash Money until he repeatedly left freestyle recordings on Baby’s answering machine.
Lil Wayne, the Records’ youngest rapper, finally received his opportunity to sign with Cash Money when he was just 11 years old. Following the contract’s signing, Lil Wayne was involved in an incident that nearly cost him his life. With his stepfather’s gun, he accidently shot himself in the chest, putting him on life support for two weeks.
After getting over his encounter, Lil Wayne continued on to his first performance, where he joined forces with another newbie, Lil’ Doggie, who would later become known by the stage name B.G., to form the rap group The B.G.’z. The young rapper only collaborated on and released one album with this group, “True Story” (1995), which did not do as well as anticipated.
He was compelled to leave the 10th grade during this period. Reginae Carter, his daughter with Antonia, his high school sweetheart, was never allowed to meet her father. However, after the early 1997 passing of his stepfather, things swiftly took a turn for the better. He left his stories of failure behind after obtaining permission to collaborate with Baby once more, and in 1997 he set out to create a new group dubbed “The Hot Boys” with Juvenile, Turk, and B.G.
He and his band quickly started recording “Get It How You Live” (1997), then “Guerilla Warfare” (1999). Both albums brought them modest success in the South and Midwest. Despite the fact that the group had a lot of success, Lil Wayne and his friends formally split up in 2001.
Although Lil Wayne was well-known in a number of states by 1999, it wasn’t until he released his solo album, “Tha Block Is Hot,” that he really made a name for himself and became well-known nationwide. His solo album received a nod for the 2000 Source Award for New Artist of the Year, Solo, and peaked at number three on the Billboard album list and number one on the Billboard Top R’n’B/Hip-Hop Albums.
The rapper from the 17th Ward of New Orleans released “Lights Out” in 2000 and “500 Degreez” in 2002, although neither of those albums was as successful as his landmark debut, only earning gold certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Juvenile’s multi-platinum album “400 Degreez” served as inspiration for his “500 Degreez” record (1998). It was planned that the album would surpass Juvenile’s sales mark when Juvenile left Cash Money. Only 536,000 copies of the album were sold in the United States and 900,000 copies were sold globally, which was disappointing.
This young American musician’s most well-known album, “Tha Carter,” which peaked at number two on Billboard Top R’n’B/Hip-Hop Albums and at number five on the Billboard 200, was released in June 2004. Around this period, he worked on the well-known Destiny’s Child song “Soldier” with T.I. and Destiny’s Child, which resulted in him receiving notable accolades, including 2005 BET Award for Best Collaboration and 2006 Grammy Award for Best Rap/Sung Collaboration.
In 2005, he released “Tha Carter II,” which debuted at number two on Billboard’s album chart and had the smash single “Fireman,” which peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100. This followed the success of the album “Tha Carter” and the collaborative single “Soldier.” The rapper garnered major nominations for the 2006 Billboard Music Award, the 2006 BET Hip-Hop Award, and the 2007 BET Award. He also received favorable reviews.
His mixtapes “Dedication” (2006) and “Dedication 2” (2006) helped him get more admirers from 2006 to 2007. In 2007, he also recorded “Tha Carter III,” an album with the same name that will be released on February 12, 2008, and he won his first award, the 2007 BET Hip-Hop Award for MVP of the Year.
His career kept shining as each of the albums he released during the ensuing years sold well and rose to prominent positions on the charts. Although “Rebirth” received negative reviews in 2010, it was given a gold certification. The next year, “I Am Not a Human Being” performed better because, in addition to charting in the top 10 of the Hot 200 like many of his earlier works, it also helped him regain the respect of music critics.
When he released the fourth chapter of “Tha Carter” in 2011, he returned at his peak, selling 964,000 copies in its first week. He achieved the highest sales week for a male solo artist ever with “Tha Charter IV,” surpassing Usher’s “Confessions” (1.10 million) and Garth Brooks’ “Double Live” (1.09 million).
Before Justin Timberlake interrupted with “The 20/20 Experience,” which propelled “Tha Carter IV” to the fifth spot on the list, he held the third and fourth positions simultaneously with “Tha Charter III,” which contributed to his first greatest sales week.
Weezy returned in 2013 with the second episode of “I Am Not a Human Being” after taking a break from album releases. Based on one-day forecasts, he could easily debut at No. 1 on the Hot 200 with “I Am Not a Human Being II” by selling between 190,000 and 210,000 copies in its first week.
He created a stir online prior to the album’s release when he was admitted to the hospital for seizures. Rumors said he was high, but he later clarified that he was epileptic and had previously experienced several seizures without the public being aware of them.
After leaving the hospital, Weezy resumed his job. On September 1, he released “Dedication 5”, the fifth mixtape in his “Dedication” series. The set, which had 29 songs, featured The Weekend and Chance the Rapper among others as guests.
The following year, Weezy declared that his new album, “Tha Carter V,” will be available in December. But he later released a statement explaining that he had to delay its release because he didn’t like Birdman, the head of Cash Money Records. Even though the record was finished, Weezy refused to release it.
On January 20, 2015, he released a self-release mixtape titled “Sorry 4 the Wait 2” to make up for the album’s delay. He promised to release the “Free Weezy Album” before the fifth chapter of his well-liked album series as a further gift to his followers. On July 4, 2015, the album was released exclusively through TIDAL after Weezy and Jay-Z collaborated on the song “Glory.”
After it was revealed that he was in a relationship with Christina Milan, his personal life came under the limelight. However, their union didn’t last long. After working together on numerous tracks, videos, and live performances, the two parted up at the end of 2015.
The next year, Weezy only had a guest appearance on 2 Chainz’s “Back on That Bulls**t”; no new tracks were released by him. Weezy released “Like a Man,” his first song with the record company, on August 8 after joining Roc Nation in 2017.
2018 saw Weezy make the announcement that he had left Cash Money Records and that he would be releasing “Tha Varter V” through Universal Records. On September 28, the album was officially available for purchase. His fourth No. 1 album on the list, it debuted at the top of the Billboard 200 chart with 480,000 album units.