Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982) in New Orleans, Louisiana, better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper. At age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.'z, with B.G.
In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Turk. Hot Boys would release three albums, “Get It How U Live!” in 1997, “Guerrilla Warfare” in 1999, and “Let 'Em Burn” in 2003. In 1998, Lil Wayne appeared on the hit single “Back That Azz Up” by fellow Hot Boys rapper Juvenile, which reached #18 on the Billboard Hot 100 Singles chart and #5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles chart.
Lil Wayne's debut solo album, 1999’s “Tha Block Is Hot” at age 17 featured significant contributions from the Hot Boys and was certified double platinum, debuting at #3 on the Billboard 200 Albums chart. It also went to #1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart. The lead single was “Tha Block Is Hot” which peaked at #24 on the Billboard R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart.
His 2000 follow-up album “Lights Out” failed to attain the level of success achieved by his debut but was certified gold by RIAA. The lead single was “Get Off The Corner” which was followed by the second single, “Shine” featuring Hot Boys.
Lil Wayne's third album “500 Degreez,” released in 2002, followed the format of his previous two, with significant contributions from the Hot Boys and Mannie Fresh. While certified Gold like its predecessor, it too failed to match the success of his debut.
Beginning in 2003, Lil Wayne began recording a series of mixtapes titled “Da Drought” that led up to his 2004 album “Tha Carter.” “Go D.J.,” the lead single from “Tha Carter,” reached #14 on the Billboard Hot 100. The album went on to peak at #5 on the Billboard 200 and #2 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums, eventually the album was certified gold by the RIAA. Lil Wayne also made a guest performance on another Top 10 single, 2004’s “Soldier” by Destiny's Child.
In 2005, “Tha Carter II” was released and debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and reached #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and Rap Albums charts. The lead single, “Fireman,” became a hit in the US, peaking at #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. Other singles included “Grown Man,” “Hustler Muzik” and “Shooter” featuring R&B singer Robin Thicke. Lil Wayne also appeared on a remix of Bobby Valentino's “Tell Me”, which rose to #13 on the U.S. R&B chart.
With rapper Birdman, Lil Wayne released the collaborative album, “Like Father, Like Son” in 2006. It included the single, “Stuntin' Like My Daddy,” which reached #21 on the Hot 100 and #5 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.
In 2006 and 2007, Lil Wayne focused on recording mixtapes, including the “Dedication” series hosted by DJ Drama and “Da Drought 3,” and guest performances for other artists. Many popular hip hop and R&B singles of those years featured Lil Wayne, including “Gimme That” by Chris Brown, “Make It Rain” by Fat Joe, “You” by Lloyd, “We Takin' Over” by DJ Khaled, “Sweetest Girl (Dollar Bill)” by Wyclef Jean and “Duffle Bag Boy” by Playaz Circle. All these singles charted within the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100, Hot Rap Tracks, and Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
Wayne also appeared on tracks from albums “Getback” by Little Brother, “American Gangster” by Jay-Z, “Graduation” by Kanye West and “Insomniac” by Enrique Iglesias. “Make it Rain”, a Scott Storch production that peaked at #13 on the Hot 100 and #2 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart, was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group for 2008.
In 2008, Lil Wayne released, “Tha Carter III,” which debuted at #1 on the Billboard 200. The album featured the #1 single “Lollipop,” a collaboration with Static Major, and other Top 20 singles “A Milli,” “Got Money” featuring T-Pain and “Mrs. Officer” featuring Bobby Valentino. Certified triple platinum by the RIAA, “Tha Carter III” won the Best Rap Album award at the 2009 Grammy Awards, “Lollipop” won the Best Rap Song award and “A Milli” won the Best Rap Solo Performance Award.
Lil Wayne founded record label Young Money Entertainment and released a collaborative album featuring rappers signed to the label, “We Are Young Money,” in 2009, followed by his debut rock music album “Rebirth” in 2010. “Rebirth” debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 and became Wayne's seventh Top 20 album in the United States. It also debuted at #1 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Albums and the Rap Albums charts. “Prom Queen” featuring Shanell was the lead single released from the album and it peaked at #15 on Billboard Hot 100. Other charting singles included “On Fire,” and “Drop the World” featuring Eminem.
In March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an eight month prison sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007.
While in jail he released an album entitled “I Am Not a Human Being” in September 2010, featuring Young Money artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Twist. The album debuted at #2 on the Billboard 200 chart and quickly rose to #1 becoming Lil Wayne’s second #1 album. Its lead single “Right Above It” debuted at #6 on the Billboard Hot 100, and at #1 on the Billboard Hot Digital Songs chart.
His ninth studio album, “Tha Carter IV,” was released in August 2011. The album's lead single, “6 Foot 7 Foot.” which featured Cory Gunz, was released in December 2010. It peaked at #9 on the Billboard Hot 100 and at #2 on both the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and Rap Songs chart. “John,” featuring Rick Ross, was released as the second single in March 2011 and debuted at #22 on the Hot 100. It also reached #19 on the R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and #12 on the Rap Songs chart.