Lil Wayne Biography
A Lil Wayne biography would often start with his date of birth, but it can also start with trivia that would seem unusual for most rappers who seek recognition: he decided not to curse in the first album, “Tha Block Is Hot”, although it had a standard RIAA explicit-lyrics sticker. Lil Wayne was born on September 27, 1982 as Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. in New Orleans, Louisiana. He grew up in Hollygrove, one of the most destitute neighborhoods of New Orleans. He started rapping at the tender age of eight. Lil Wayne’s talent did not go unnoticed as the Cash Money founders, Bryan and Slim Williams, were so impressed by his rapping prowess that they handed him their business card.
Lil Wayne was ambitious and persistent. He kept calling the Williams’ brothers until they finally gave him an opportunity to hang around the Cash Money offices. In 1993, Lil Wayne finally got a break when Cash Money had him record “True Stories”, on which he collaborated with another talented rapper, B.G. The recording was under the name BGs. Despite his break into the music industry, Lil Wayne sold illegal drugs when he wasn’t in the studios. He also shot himself by accident in the chest with his mother’s gun as he related in a “Rolling Stone” article in 2008. The bullet did not lodge in his body and he was back on the scene two weeks later.
He moved on to become a member of the Hot Boys, which was composed of Cash Money’s talents such as Juvenile, Turk, B.G. and Lil Wayne himself. The first album they released as a group, “Get It How U Live”, sold more than 400,000 copies. The following album, “Guerilla Warfare”, released in 1999, was even more successful, selling more than a million copies. Lil Wayne was only sixteen years old when his musical career took off. During that same year, Lil Wayne launched his solo career.
Wayne’s first album features many artists such as the members of Hot Boys as well as the Big Tymers, which is composed of Brian Williams and Mannie Fresh. The recording earned double platinum status. Mannie Fresh was also Wayne’s producer for the recording. His next two albums, “Lights Out” released in 2000 and “500 Degreez” released in 2002, were not as successful as the first. Wayne decided to break away from traditional albums and went on to release his first collection from his underground mixtapes with the album “Da Drought” in 2003. Wayne’s mixtape tracks commonly feature beats influenced by other artists and lyrics that he penned.
He earned another big break in 2004 when he released “Tha Carter”, which became a huge hit and solidified his reputation as one of the top performers in the rap industry. His single “Go D.J." stayed on the hip hop, rap and pop charts. A second release immediately followed in December 2004 with the album “Tha Carter, Vol. 2”, which debuted at the second spot on the Billboard pop charts. The album was well-praised by critics and his popularity increased with his cameo appearance in Destiny’s Child “Soldier”. His mixtape recordings include the critically acclaimed “Dedication, Vol. 2”, which was made in collaboration with DJ Drama. In the same year, he collaborated with his Cash Money mentor Bryan Williams a.k.a “Baby” for the album “Like Father, Like Son”.