Thursday, August 4, 2011
Dwayne Michael Carter aka Lil Wayne grew up in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. Carter was born when his mother was 19 years old. His parents were divorced when he was 2, and his father permanently abandoned the family. Carter enrolled in the gifted program of Lafayette Elementary School and in the drama club of Eleanor McMain Secondary School.
When he was eight years old he wrote his first rap song. In the summer of 1991, he met Bryan Williams, rapper and owner of Cash Money Records. Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label. Carter recorded freestyle raps on Williams's answering machine, leading him to mentor the young Carter and include him in Cash Money distributed songs. He also recorded his first ever collaboration album True Story with rapper B.G. When he was 12, he played the part of the Tin Man in his middle school drama club's production of The Wiz. At age 13, he accidentally shot himself with a 9 mm handgun, and off-duty police officer Robert Hoobler drove him to the hospital. At McMain Magnet School, Carter was an honor student, but he dropped out at the age of 14 to focus on a musical career.
His most successful album, Tha Carter III, was released in 2008 and sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. its first week of release. It included the number-one single named Lollipop and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Rock album, Rebirth was released in 2010 to primarily negative reception from critics. The album eventually went gold. In March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an 8-month prison sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007. While in prison he released another album entitled I Am Not a Human Being in September 2010, featuring Young Money artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Twist. His upcoming 9th studio album, and first since being released from prison, Tha Carter IV, is due to be released on August 29, 2011.