Happy Birthday, Lil Wayne!
Today, Sept. 27, is the birthday of one of hip-hop's greatest Southern superstars, New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne. Weezy F now turns 36.
With hilarious analogies, a larger than life personality and a rap career that started before he even hit puberty, Lil Wayne has made himself into one of hip-hop's most recognizable figures. Hollegrove-raised Dwayne Carter Jr. was signed to Bryan "Baby" William's label Cash Money at the age of 10, first appearing in the group Hot Boys with Juvenile, B.G., and Turk. Their major label debut Guerilla Warfare! reached No. 1 on the Billboard 200. They weren't kidding when they said "Cash Money Records taking over the '99 and the 2000's."
By 17, Wayne had dropped his solo debut, 1999's The Block Is Hot, propelled by a gritty infectious song of the same title. The debut peaked at No. 3 on the charts followed by two more strong releases, Lights Out (2000) and 500 Degreez (2002). But it wasn't until 2004 when Wayne really hit his musical stride by introducing Tha Carter series. From 2004 to 2008, the dread-headed grill-grinning rapper became a household name thanks to radio hits and platinum plaques. 2008's Tha Carter III spawned some of Wayne's biggest singles to date, "A Milli," "Got Money" and "Lollipop" and automatically debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200. The album is certified triple-platinum and scored Wayne his first Grammy for Best Rap Album in 2009.
Wayne has a proven track record of helping create stars as well. With a distributing deal from Republic Records, Wayne started his Cash Money imprint called Young Money Entertainment in 2007. Since its launch, Young Money has fostered the talents of stars like Drake and Nicki Minaj.
Weezy has become somewhat of a living legend in the game and has subsequently sparked retirement rumors once in 2014 when he tweeted and publicly said in concert that he wanted off the label that raised him, Birdman's Cash Money. This would start a years-long Cash Money feud between Wayne and Baby that still isn't over to this day. Wayne has accused the Cash Money CEO of holding out on paying him rightfully earned royalties, has sued for $50 million and said “Fuck Cash Money” at numerous public occasions. As of today, fans still don't have Tha Carter V and until he has his money from Baby, Wayne won't have his peace.
Even though he hasn't been dropping a ton of his own music, Weezy dropped a quartet of songs this summer including an original remix to Playboi Carti's "Magnolia" and has assisted younger artists like Chance The Rapper and Ty Dolla $ign.
Tunechi, who has long-since battled with health issues, suffered another seizure during Labor Day Weekend 2017. The MC collapsed in Chicago and was rushed to a local hospital, but soon gave fans an update that he was doing fine and that the seizure was caused by his epilepsy. Weezy was back in the studio working a week later.
After dropping off two new mixtapes—Dedication 6 and Dedication 6: Reloaded—at the very end of 2017, Weezy secured a massive legal victory. In June 2018, Weezy finally settled his lengthy legal battle with Birdman, gaining the rights to Young Money. On Sept. 25, Wayne revealed that his eagerly awaited album, Tha Carter V, was set to be released on later on today—his birthday.
Happy Birthday, Weezy! Hope the Libra scales tilt in your favor this year.
See Photos of Lil Wayne's Different Looks Over the Years