BIO: Real Name: Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.
Date Of Birth: September 27, 1982
Birthplace: New Orleans, Louisiana, United States
Labels: Young Money Ent/Cash Money Records/Universal Motown
Nicknames: Best Rapper Alive, Birdman Jr., Dr. Carter, Gangsta D, Mr. Carter, Nino Brown, President Carter, Rapper Eater, Tune, Tunechi Lionchess, Weezy F Baby, Wizzle
A game-changing artist and an impervious celebrity, Lil Wayne began as his career as a near-novelty — a preteen delivering hardcore hip-hop — but through years of maturation and reinventing the mixtape game, he developed into a million-selling rapper with a massive body of work, one so inventive and cunning that it makes his famous claim of being the “best rapper alive” worth considering. Born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. and raised in the infamous New Orleans neighborhood of Hollygrove, he was a straight-A student but never felt his true intelligence was expressed through any kind of report card. He found music was the best way to express himself, and after taking the name Gangsta D he began writing rhymes. Combining a strong work ethic with aggressive self-promotion, the 11-year-old convinced the Cash Money label to take him on, even if it was just of odd jobs around the office. A year later, in-house producer Mannie Fresh partnered him with the 14-year-old B.G. and dubbed the duo the B.G.’z. Although only B.G.’s name appeared on the cover, the 1995 album True Story has since been accepted as the B.G.’z debut album both by fans and the Cash Money label. The 1997 album Chopper City was supposed to be the follow-up, but when Wayne accidentally shot himself in the chest with a .44, it became a solo B.G. release.
That same year, he officially took the moniker Lil Wayne, dropping the “D” from his first name in order to separate himself from an absent father. He joined B.G., Juvenile, and Young Turk for another Fresh project, the teen hardcore rap group the Hot Boys, who released their debut album, Get It How U Live!, in 1997. Two years later, Cash Money would sign a distribution deal with the major-label Universal. Mainstream distribution would help that year’s Hot Boys album Guerrilla Warfare to reach the number one spot on Billboard’s Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. In 1998, Lil Wayne would appear on Juvenile’s hit single “Back That Thing Up,” or “Back That Azz Up” as it appeared on Juvie’s album 400 Degreez. Wayne would launch his solo career a year later with the album Tha Block Is Hot, featuring the hit single title track. It went double platinum but the rapper was still unknown to Middle America, since his hardcore rhymes and the rough Cash Money sound had not yet crossed over. His second album, Lights Out (2000), failed to match the success of its predecessor but it did go gold, and with an appearance on the Big Tymers’ hit single “#1 Stunna,” his audience was certainly growing. While Fresh was primarily responsible for launching his career, Wayne was now much closer to Fresh’s fellow Big Tymer and Cash Money CEO Birdman. When Juvenile left the label, Wayne — or “Birdman Jr.” as he was calling himself — showed his allegiance to his CEO by releasing an album with a title much hotter than Juvie’s breakthrough effort. 500 Degreez landed in 2002 and while it went gold, rumors began flying about Cash Money’s financial troubles and possible demise. The rest of the Hot Boys had defected and Wayne’s planned 2003 album was scrapped, coming out instead as an underground mixtape called Da Drought.
Wayne became enamored with the mixtape world after Da Drought drew so much attention from the hip-hop press. He used these underground releases to drum up anticipation for his next official album, the breakthrough effort Tha Carter. Released in 2004, the album seemed familiar on one hand with Mannie Fresh’s production, but the Wayne on the cover was a dreadlocked surprise, and the rhymes he laid on the tracks showed significant growth. His marketing skills had become sharper, too, and it was no mistake that the album’s hit single, “Go DJ,” mentioned hip-hop’s greatest tastemakers right in the title. It reached number five on the singles chart, and with a guest shot on Destiny’s Child’s number three single, “Soldier,” Wayne had officially crossed over. On the flip side, his street cred was supported by a slew of mixtapes released in 2005, including the popular titles Dedication with DJ Drama and Tha Suffix with DJ Khaled. Cash Money’s future was no longer in doubt and traditional music business rules no longer seemed to apply, as tracks would be leaked onto the Internet and various DJ’s mixtapes. “Get Something” was another bold move, as a Universal-funded video was made without the track ever seeing official release.
With his alternative marketing scheme working in overdrive, the 2005 landing of Tha Carter II was a major event, selling over a quarter-million copies the week of its release. “Fireman” and “Shooter” with Robin Thicke were released as singles, while the album — which for the first time featured no Mannie Fresh productions — went platinum. A year later he collaborated with Birdman for the Like Father, Like Son album, featuring the hit single “Stuntin’ Like My Daddy.” His mixtapes were still flooding the underground, including the stunning Dedication 2, which came with an iconic image of the rapper on the cover plus the much talked-about track “Georgia…Bush,” a venomous response to President George W. Bush’s handling of the Katrina disaster. With no official follow-up to Tha Carter II in sight, numerous collaborative tracks kept the rapper in the mainstream with “Gimme That” by Chris Brown, “Make It Rain” by Fat Joe, and “Duffle Bag Boy” by Playaz Circle becoming three of the biggest hits.
Tha Carter III was promised for 2007 but didn’t arrive until a year later, setting off Wayne’s infamous reputation of delayed releases. Part of the problem became unauthorized leaks of the album’s tracks, something combated by the official, downloadable EP The Leak released that same year. Preceded by the number one hit “Lollipop,” Tha Carter III arrived in May of 2008, selling more than a million copies in its first week of release. An appearance on Saturday Night Live and four Grammy awards — including Best Rap Album — spoke to Wayne’s mainstream acceptance. He also performed at that year’s Country Music Awards with Kid Rock, but rather than rap, he played guitar. The guitar playing was part of Wayne’s new involvement with rock music, including his help in signing Kevin Rudolf to Cash Money plus an appearance on Rudolf’s massive hit “Let It Rock.” His planned rock album was previewed with the 2009 single “Prom Queen,” but when the album failed to meet its promised April release, the music press began to portray the rapper as the king of missed street dates. Unconcerned, Wayne forged ahead with his Young Money crew, releasing the aboveground single “Every Girl,” plus the official album We Are Young Money that same year. His rock album, Rebirth, would finally see the light of day in early 2010, which coincided with Wayne being sentenced to a nine-month prison term for criminal possession of a weapon. The rapper may have been behind bars on Riker’s Island, but that didn’t stop his ten-song EP I Am Not a Human Being from seeing the light of day in September 2010. Tha Carter IV was finally released in 2011 along with its lead-off single “6 Foot 7 Foot”. The album reached the top spot in Billboard’s Top 200.
“Control The World” @24kGoldn ft Me OUT NOW!!!!!!
Don’t miss #SpaceJamMovie in theaters and streaming on HBO a Ma… https://t.co/70QzgE5shN
Love Ghost & Rico Nasty Release 'Wolfsbane'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - July 16, 2021
Produced by Mike Summers (Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, Lil Wayne, Tech N9ne, Mac Miller, Wiz Khalifa and others), “Wolfsbane,” is a hyper-expressive song about releasing the beast within when someone tries to bring you down. ...
Rico Nasty Joins LOVE GHOST on 'Wolfsbane'
by TV News Desk - July 07, 2021
Love Ghost is known for their hyper-expressive songs. With “Wolfsbane ft. Rico Nasty,” the quintet continues their crusade to break generic genre molds by adding another to the catalogue. ...
Pop Singer-Songwriter Kendra Erika Recently Released New Single 'Gemini'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - June 07, 2021
'Gemini'- co-written by Kendra Erika & Chris Garcia (Lana Del Rey, Dua Lipa, Katy Perry, Dido, Demi Lavato, Santana) and produced by Chris Garcia is the perfect follow up to Kendra’s recent single “Pure Love” just in time for the Gemini season....
BET Awards 2021 Announces Official Nominations
by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 27, 2021
This year’s nominees reflect an abundance of creative expression and Black excellence across music, television, film, and sports. ...
Scoop: Coming Up on the Season Finale of THE MASKED SINGER on FOX - Wednesday, May 26, 2021
by TV Scoop - May 17, 2021
Find out what's happening on Coming Up on the Season Finale of THE MASKED SINGER and if it's a new episode, airing on FOX on Wednesday, May 26, 2021!...
Travis Scott's Astroworld Festival Sells Out In Under One Hour
by Sarah Jae Leiber - May 05, 2021
Tickets for the music festival went on sale earlier today at 10:00 am CT but in less than 60 minutes, the entire weekend event was sold out without a music performance lineup attached....
2021 Billboard Music Awards Finalists Revealed
by Chloe Rabinowitz - April 29, 2021
dick clark productions and NBC today announced the finalists for the “2021 Billboard Music Awards”, which honor the year’s most successful artists in 51 categories across all genres of music. The BBMAs will broadcast live from the Microsoft Theater in Los Angeles on Sunday, May 23 at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p...
Scoop: Coming Up on a New Episode of THE MASKED SINGER on FOX - Wednesday, April 7, 2021
by TV Scoop - March 29, 2021
Find out what's happening on Coming Up on a New Episode of THE MASKED SINGER and if it's a new episode, airing on FOX on Wednesday, April 7, 2021!...
Calboy Releases New Single 'Miseducation'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - March 22, 2021
Written from the third person’s perspective, “Miseducation” describes the gun violence in the inner cities. In just the last year, Calboy has lost six close friends to gun violence, including KJ Balla....
Babygirl Release 'Nevermind' Single & Video
by Sarah Jae Leiber - March 19, 2021
“‘Nevermind’ is about being let down, and then pretending like you never cared to begin with,” says Babygirl....
'For The Crew' Event Announces Special Guest Artists
by Sarah Jae Leiber - March 03, 2021
Making for a special one-of-a-kind event, they’ll join the previously announced performers: Jeff Schroeder of The Smashing Pumpkins, Katie Cole, Kevin Rudolf and Tommy Marz....
Babygirl Release 'You Were In My Dream Last Night' Single & Video
by Sarah Jae Leiber - February 19, 2021
“’You Were in My Dream Last Night’ is about the experience of having a vivid dream where everything works out and then the cruel joke of waking up to realize that it doesn’t all work out,” says Babygirl....
Pandora's Thumbprint Radio Marks 5th Anniversary
by Sarah Jae Leiber - January 28, 2021
Pandora launched Thumbprint Radio five years ago as a new kind of hyper-personalized music station for Pandora users, one that’s based off the songs that each user has thumbed-up to let Pandora know which ones they love the most.
Jason Derulo Releases 'Lifestyle' Single
by Sarah Jae Leiber - January 21, 2021
Multi-platinum global superstar Jason Derulo has announced today’s release of his eagerly awaited new single. “Lifestyle (Feat. Adam Levine)” is available now via Future History/APG/Atlantic Records at all DSPs and streaming services....
44phantom Releases New Single 'sound off'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - January 21, 2021
Emerging alternative artist 44phantom, named an “artist to watch” for 2021, has released his new single “sound off” and announced his new EP, die sometime, it’s good for u, will be released February 19th....
Miles Releases Official Video for 'Desperados'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - January 19, 2021
Elektra Records singer-rapper MILES has released the official music video for his latest single “Desperados.”...
VIDEO: The Game Releases Video for 'A.I. With the Braids'
by Stage Tube - December 16, 2020
Today, Compton rapper The Game releases the anticipated music video for his hard-hitting latest single “A.I. With The Braids” featuring Lil Wayne that pays tribute to legendary NBA all-star and friend Allen Iverson....
VIDEO: Jack Harlow Taps Big Sean for 'Way Out' Video
by Stage Tube - December 09, 2020
Hailed by The FADER as a, “maverick rapper destined for legendary status,” 22-year-old, Louisville, KY native Jack Harlow has seen a meteoric rise since the release of his 3x-Platinum hit single....
JOSH X Releases New Single CREOLE LOVE PT.2
by Sarah Jae Leiber - November 27, 2020
CREOLE LOVE PT.2 was written by Josh X and produced by BMC Beats and Jean Max Valcourt and the visuals were directed by Wildrey....
VIDEO: Benny The Butcher Releases 'Famous'
by Chloe Rabinowitz - November 27, 2020
The Butcher Coming! There is no disputing that Benny The Butcher has arrived. With Burden Of Proof, an album that aligned the best rapper alive with the hottest producer (Hit-Boy) of 2020, Benny put a bow on his and Griselda’s genre-shifting year....
Listen to The Game's 'A.I. With The Braids,' Featuring Lil Wayne
by Sarah Jae Leiber - November 27, 2020
Today, Compton rapper The Game debuts a new single “A.I. With The Braids” featuring Lil Wayne. The Mike Zombie produced track is the first song from The Game following his critically-acclaimed album Born To Rap released in 2019.
Tisha Campbell & Tichina Arnold Will Host the 2020 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS
by Sarah Jae Leiber - November 11, 2020
Today BET announces the hosts and nominees for the '2020 SOUL TRAIN AWARDS' across 12 different categories....
VIDEO: Babygirl Releases 'EASY' Single & Video
by Stage Tube - October 23, 2020
Genre-blending pop rock band Babygirl have released their brand-new single “EASY.”
Snoop Dogg, T.I., Monica, Cordae Will Present at the HIP HOP AWARDS
by Sarah Jae Leiber - October 20, 2020
The 2020 BET 'HIP HOP AWARDS' is heating up with a newly announced lineup of presenters and performers....
VIDEO: Bhad Bhabie Releases New Visual For 'Do It Like Me'
by Sarah Jae Leiber - October 15, 2020
Platinum certified phenomenon Bhad Bhabie bounces back with her latest single “Do It Like Me,” produced by Pliznaya (Tyga, Meek Mill), alongside an incredible companion visual....