Lil' Wayne was born as the only child his mother ever had in
the poverty and crime ridden Hollygrove section of New Orleans,
which is part of the 17th Ward. His biological father left him
when he was a little infant, and until the age of twelve
Reginald "Rabbit" Carter was his stepfather. Despite his
unpleasant surroundings, he struggled off the streets and to
stay in school. Wayne's first contact with hip-hop was listening
to local Cash Money artists such as Pimp Daddy and U.N.L.V.,
whom he also credited as his earliest influences.
At first Lil' Wayne started rapping at the block parties; his performance at one of them caught the ear of UNLV members, who soon after the show gave him their phone numbers. He went on an autograph signing session with UNLV, where at the first time he met Cash Money Records owners, Brian "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. His freestyling abilities impressed the Williams brothers, but they didn't sign him at first. 11-year old Wayne started to record freestyles on Baby's answering machine and haunted Cash Money offices nearly every day. When Baby saw so much engagement in the young rapper, he soon signed him and hooked up with another newcomer Lil' Doogie (who would later become famous as B.G.) to form group The B.G.'z. Group released their first and only album, True Story, in 1995. At the age of 16, Wayne would drop out of school to fully pursue a rap career.
It should be noted that Wayne didn't rap about adolescent issues, unlike most child rappers who perform bubblegum rap until their late teens. He did, however, refrain from swearing in his rhymes at the behest of his mother.
In 1997, Lil' Wayne formed the Hot Boys along with Juvenile, Turk, and B.G., and they dropped their seminal debut CD Get It How You Live. The record's success earned the young teenagers fans throughout the south and midwest. He further distinguished himself on the Hot Boys' platinum selling Universal debut Guerilla Warfare released in 1998, followed by their 2003 release Let Em Burn.
In 1999, at age 20, Lil' Wayne launched his solo career with the release of Tha Block Is Hot. This was followed by Lights Out in 2000 and 500 Degreez in 2002, an allusion to Juvenile's 400 Degreez.
In 2004, Wayne Carter released Tha Carter. This album is marked as a personal milestone as he claimed to have finally perfected his trade. It was also Tha Carter that finally earned Wayne mass notability outside the south as a lyricist because at that time (and even still today), southern rappers are stereotyped with little to no lyrical ability. He however proves the stereotype a dud as his lyrics are never written, contrary to the way most lyricists produce their rhymes. He is self-proclaimed to be second to only Jay-Z as one of the best freestyle artists in the world.
On December 6, 2005 Wayne released Tha Carter II which further solidified his spot as a contemporary rapper, noticeably producing the album without the prominent beats of DJ Manny Fresh. Tha Carter II sold more than 238,000 copies debuting at no. 2 on the Billboard Top 200 albums chart and has been certified platinum. The lead single off the album, "Fireman", became a hit in the US, peaking at 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. The second single, "Grown Man", was solicited to urban radios in January of 2006 in hopes of spreading to Top 40 Mainstream and then to the Hot 100, but failed to do so and failed to receive any attention due to lack of promotion and no video. The third single "Hustler Muzik" received a video and gained minor attention also. "Hustler Muzik" reached #87 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Recently Wayne was recruited by the Boyz N Da Hood as their fourth member after Young Jeezy left the group to engage in his solo career. Due to scheduling conflicts involving the promotion of Tha Carter II, he would never be formally named an active member of Boyz N Da Hood but maintains a very good relationship with the group recording new tracks with them often. Florida rapper Rick Ross was rumored to then replace Wayne and in essence, Young Jeezy but he also has denied that he will be an official member of the group.Lil Wayne will also be featured on Roman Verone's up coming mix cd and LP due out soon. Roman Verone was asked about this and stated "Lil Wayne is a legend, I came up on that Hot Boys s---. He is the best rapper Alive!""
In 2006 Lil Wayne released his critically acclaimed sequel to
his Dedication mixtape with DJ Drama called Dedication pt. 2. On
it, he included an outro track entitled "Georgia....Bush" on
which he addresses the problems surrounding the government's
response to Hurricane Katrina in his native New Orleans,
Lousiana and also places a large amount of blame on President
George W. Bush. Throughout the track, he claims that theories of
the government sabotoging the levees of New Orleans' Lower Ninth
Ward were indeed true. The track was recorded on the beat to
Ludacris' single "Georgia" which sampled the Ray Charles track
"Georgia On My Mind." At the end of the track, and in silence,
DJ Drama says "oh yea, u thought we was done?.....nah..."
followed by the instrumental to the 2Pac track "Ambitionz Az A
Ridah" plays with Wayne flowing over it for at least the next
three minutes. This was actually a freestyle Lil Wayne had
previously done on Rap City promoting the release of tha Carter
Lil' Wayne is set to release two collaboration LP's this year. Originally, the mixtape 'I Can't Feel My Face' with Juelz Santana was supposed to be released over the summer, but now there are rumors of it becoming a major-label commercial release. Also, Wayne is working on a collabo with Baby called 'Stuntin' Like My Daddy' in Miami, where he is also beginning to record The Carter III.
Lil' Wayne has been linked to female rapper Trina ever since around the time of the 2005 NBA All-Star Game at the Pepsi Center in Denver. They later recorded a single, Don't Trip, which appeared on her album Glamorest Life. After that rumors started flying around about what was going on between the two. There were rumors that the two were dating or even engaged. On a radio interview, Trina said that the relationship was more of a "brother-sister" relationship. Later, on BET's RapBasement, Lil Wayne said he knew nothing of the rumors.
Both would later retract that statement. In an issue of Sister 2 Sister magazine, Trina would later say that she made a huge understatement at that radio interview, and that "He's one of the sweetest people I've ever met...I have so much love for him!" However, she just burst out in huge giggles when further questions were asked, and she said "We're both happy. That's all the world needs to know." In the March 2006 issue of VIBE magazine, Lil Wayne said that this relationship was better than his past ones because "She's (also) a rapper, so we understand each other." When asked about the ring, he smiled and said, "She just likes rings. I saw a nice one, so I got it for her."
Lil' Wayne has one daughter, Reginae Carter, by his stylist.
On August 14, 2006, Lil' Wayne was arrested on charges of possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and possession of a controlled substance. Police claim the rapper was in possession of several unlabeled bottles — one containing 60 pills of Alprazolama, a generic form of Xanax that is used to treat anxiety disorders and panic attacks; another containing 59 hydrocodone pills — along with "two small burnt joints of marijuana," the report read. A second man, Derrick Lawrence, 37, was also charged with possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana. He was released from Georgia's Fulton County Jail on $11,000 bond following his arrest.
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