The biography for Lil Wayne is the story of a fascinating musician who has been performing since before he was a teenager. By the late 2000s, Lil Wayne had risen to become one of the best selling entertainers of all time. His versatile music style and charisma have made him a favorite of fans of many different genres of music.
Biography for Lil Wayne - Early Years and Cash Money Crew
Lil Wayne - real name Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr - was born in New Orleans, Louisiana in September 1982. His promised showed at an early age. He was tracked into the academically gifted program in his elementary school and was active in the drama club. By age eight, he was already writing raps.
In addition to having the talent, Lil Wayne also had the ambition to back it up. At the ripe old age of 11, Lil Wayne met New Orleans rap star and label owner Bryan Williams. Williams owned Cash Money Records, a label that was hugely influential in the Southern hip hop scene. Lil Wayne wanted to join the Cash Money Crew, and although he was initially dismissed by Williams, Lil Wayne persistently phoned him and rapped on his answering machine. Recognizing his talent, Williams eventually brought Lil Wayne into the crew and mentored him. Lil Wayne had little use for school once he was a part of the Cash Money collective and left school for good at age 14.
Not long after leaving school, Lil Wayne formed his first rap group, The Hot Boys. Fellow rappers Juvenile, Turk and B.G. made up the rest of the group, who released their music on Cash Money Records. Initially, The Hot Boys only achieved regional success, but they attracted major label attention. When their sophomore album, Guerilla Warfare, was released on the major, it climbed to the top of the Billboard R&B charts. They also had a number one single from that album, I Need a Hot Girl.
An album of unreleased Hot Boys tracks followed Guerilla Wafare and received a warm welcome from fans, but the members were ready to move on with their solo careers. By 2003, the Hot Boys were no more.
Biography for Lil Wayne - Solo Career
Lil Wayne's solo career actually got started while The Hot Boys were still active. He released his debut solo album Tha Block Is Hot in 1999. That same year, he was nominated for a Source Award for Best New Artist and the album made it into the top ten of the R&B charts.
He followed up the release quickly with 2000's Lights Out, but that album was both a critical and commercial failure for Lil Wayne. Eventually, this album achieved Gold status, but critics panned it as showing a lack of lyrical maturity.
His third album, 500 Degreez, also failed to match the success of his debut release (although also eventually achieved Gold status).
Things began to turn around for Lil Wayne in 2004, with the release of Tha Carter. This album moved over one million units and two of the songs went into the top ten of the mainstream charts. The follow-up, Tha Carter II, debuted at number two, and by the time the Tha Carter III was released in summer 2008, it was one of the most heavily anticipated albums of all time. The release date had been delayed several times due to leaks, and anticipation was at a fever pitch. The album went straight to the top of the charts and was one of the biggest selling albums of the year.
In 2009, his rock album, Rebirth, was slated for a June release.
Lil Wayne has always remained connected to his hometown of New Orleans, and in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, he became heavily involved in the relief effort. Years after the storm, he continues to try and raise awareness of the continuing difficulties facing the city. At the 2009 Grammy Awards, he performed a song about the storm and the aftermath.