Lil Wayne smiling

Lil Wayne

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About

Lil Wayne, also known as Lil Tunechi, Weezy, or Dwayne Carter, is an American rapper and record company mogul from New Orleans, Louisiana. Lil Wayne rose to international stardom based on the success of his breakout records in the early 2000s, and continues to be an important part of the American hip hop landscape.

History

Music Career

Lil Wayne started recording music in 1996 at the age of 15, after dropping out of primary school to join a group called the Hot Boys. The Hot Boy's debut record Guerrilla Warfare was released in 1999 and reached number one on the Billboard R&B/Hip Hop charts and number five on the Billboard Top 200. Also in 1999, Lil Wayne released his plantinum-selling debut record, Tha Block Is Hot, between 2000 and 2005 he released three more albums, some of which reached gold status. Between 2005 and 2008, Wayne released many mixtapes and collaborations. After Tha Carter III, he released three more records and several mixtapes, but in the mid-2010s he has focused on his record executive career, where he is known for the recruitment and mentorship of Nicki Minaj, Drake, and many other popular rappers as a representative of Cash Money and Young Money records. In 2011, he claimed that he would retire at the age of 35, which is in 2018.


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Lil Wayne (left) with his first group, Hot Boys

Tha Carter III

For his fifth studio album, Lil Wayne reportedly recorded over 300 songs, and some of them began to leak on the Internet before the album was to be released, in 2007, causing Wayne to assemble some of the leaked tracks and some other tracks onto a digital album called The Leak. Tha Carter III release was scheduled for June 10, 2008, but the week before, the entirety of the album leaked online and was distributed widely via download services; at the time, it was calculated that Lil Wayne was the most illegally downloaded artist of all time. Despite the thoroughness of the leaks, Tha Carter III was a blockbuster hit for sales, selling over a million copies in its first week and becoming the biggest record of 2008. It was nominated for eight Grammy awards.[2][3][4]



Online Presence

Lil Wayne maintains profiles on Facebook,[5] which has over 51 million likes as of August 2015, Twitter, where he has 23.9 million followers as of August 2015, and Instagram, where he has 2.1 million followers as of August 2015. His Instagram and Twitter profiles often feature short videos of him skateboarding, and both use derivations on his alternate pseudonym, Lil Tunechi as the account handle.[6][7][8] There are many fan sites devoted to Lil Wayne, including Lil Wayne HQ, Young Money HQ, and ThaLilWayne.com.[8][9][10] Lil Wayne is a co-owner of Tidal.[11]

Personal Life

Wayne has four children; his oldest, Reginae, was born when he was 15 years old. Reginae is famous in her own right; she has a large social media following on Twitter and Instagram for her glamorous lifestyle.[12][13] In March 2015, Lil Wayne's home in Florida was swatted in one of the most high-profile instances of the prank ever; the star wasn't home at the time.[14]

Death Rumors

Lil Wayne has several times been the subject of death hoaxes, which have spread easily, especially after he was hospitalized several times. In 2011, a rumor circulated that he had overdosed on PCP; this same rumor resurfaced in late 2013 on Twitter and elsewhere.[15][16] In 2013, after a bout of epileptic seizures had hospitalized the musician several times, he was hospitalized again at LA's Cedars-Sinai, and rumored to be in a medically-induced coma. His family, however, claimed that he was not in critical condition, and he was released shortly after.[17]

Birdman Feud and Assassination Attempt

Lil Wayne's newest album, Tha Carter V, was initially scheduled to come out in 2014 via Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne's longtime label, which is run by his mentor since youth, the rapper Birdman. When it didn't due to disagreements between Wayne and Birdman, Lil Wayne released a mixtape entitled Sorry 4 Tha Wait 2, which insulted Birdman and Cash Money Records throughout.[1] In July of 2015, Wayne released Free Weezy Album via the music streaming service Tidal, which caused Birdman to sue him for $50 million dollars for breach of contract. Wayne countersued for $51 million, accusing Cash Money of shelving his record without his consent.

On July 16th, 2015, TMZ reported that Birdman and another Cash Money recording artist named Young Thug were connected to a plot to shoot at Lil Wayne's tour bus; Young Thug was later arrested for an unrelated shooting and also indicted on conspiracy to kill Lil Wayne.[18][19] On July 28th, 2015, Birdman told Angie Martinez, a radio DJ, that “Wayne is forever my son. I think that what’s going on is just some business."[20]

No Homo

No Homo is a slang term meaning “not in a homosexual way.” The expression is typically used with a statement that could potentially be interpreted as either seductive or homoerotic, in order to avoid any confusion or skepticism of others regarding one’s sexuality. Lil Wayne helped to popularize the term by using it frequently in his lyrics.


NO H---

YOLO

YOLO is an acronym for the phrase “you only live once”, which is often used as a hashtag on Twitter to bring attention to exciting events or excuse irresponsible behaviors. The acronym was popularized in 2011 after being featured in the hip hop single “The Motto” by Drake featuring Lil Wayne. In November 2012, the Oxford American Dictionaries included the slang term “YOLO” in its shortlist for the 2012 English Word of the Year.



Purple Drank

Purple Drank, also known as “syrup” or “sizzurp,” is a slang term for an illegal recreational beverage that is most popularly used in the southern hip hop community of the United States. The drink consists of prescription-strength cough syrup containing codeine and promethazine, which is typically mixed with a soft drink prior to ingestion. The name “Purple Drank” is derived from the purple color dyes used in codeine-based cough syrups.

On March 15th, 2013, the celebrity news blog TMZ published an article claiming that rapper Lil Wayne had been hospitalized and was in critical condition after overdosing on purple drank. The hospital reportedly found large amounts of codeine in the rapper’s system and had to pump his stomach three times. The following day, Lil Wayne tweeted that he was doing well and thanked his fans.



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