Lil Wayne is an American hip hop recording artist and author from New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1991, at the 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, alongside fellow New Orleans-based rapper Lil’ Doogie.
Let’s find out more facts about him!
1. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was born September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana.
2. His mother, a cook, gave birth to him when she was 19 years old.
3. His parents divorced when he was 2, and his father permanently abandoned the family.
4. Although Wayne and Birdman have a father–son relationship and Birdman calls Carter his son, Wayne’s biological father and namesake (Dwayne Carter) is still alive.
5. Lil Wayne has also spoken about his deceased stepfather, Rabbit, who he has said he considers his real father.
6. Carter has a tattoo dedicated to Rabbit, who was murdered before Carter became a star.
7. Carter enrolled in the gifted program of Lafayette Elementary School and in the drama club of Eleanor McMain Secondary School.
8. Wayne attended McMain in the early 1990s for two years. He moved to the Marion Abramson Senior High School.
9. In a CBS interview with Katie Couric, Wayne described why he goes by the name of “Wayne” instead of his given name, Dwayne. Carter explained, “I dropped the D because I’m a junior and my father is living and he’s not in my life and he’s never been in my life. So I don’t want to be Dwayne, I’d rather be Wayne”. Couric asked Wayne if his father knew of this and Wayne replied with a smile, “He knows now.”
10. He wrote his first rap song at age eight.
11. In the summer of 1991, he met Bryan Williams, rapper and owner of Cash Money Records.
12. 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..
13. At the time, Carter was 11, and B.G. was 14, and was billed as “The B.G.’z”.
14. When he was 12, he played the part of the Tin Man in his middle school drama club’s production of The Wiz.
15. At age 12, he accidentally shot himself with a 9 mm handgun, and off-duty police officer Robert Hoobler drove him to the hospital.
16. At McMain Magnet School, Carter was an honors student, but he dropped out at the age of 14 to focus on a musical career.
17. In 1996, Carter joined the Hot Boys along with rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Turk. At age 15, Carter was the youngest member at the time. Hot Boys’ debut album Get It How U Live! was released the same year, followed in 1999 by the group’s major-label debut Guerrilla Warfare, which reached No. 1 on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 5 on the Billboard 200.
18. During their career, the Hot Boys had two charting singles, “We on Fire” from Get It How U Live! and “I Need a Hot Girl” from Guerrilla Warfare.
19. Carter was also featured on Juvenile’s single “Back That Azz Up”, which reached No. 18 on the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 5 on the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Singles & Tracks.
20. Let ‘Em Burn, a compilation album of unreleased tracks recorded during 1999 and 2000, came out in 2003, several years after the group disbanded. It reached No. 3 on the Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and No. 14 on the Billboard 200.
21. Carter’s debut solo album Tha Block Is Hot was released when he was 17 and featured significant contributions from the Hot Boys. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 and was later certified platinum by the RIAA.
22. The album earned Carter a 1999 Source magazine nomination for “Best New Artist”, and also became a Top Ten hit.
23. The lead single was “Tha Block Is Hot”. After the release of Tha Block is Hot, Carter was featured on the single “Bling Bling”, with B.G., Juvenile, and Big Tymers. His verse appeared only on the radio version of the song, while on the album version he performed on the chorus.
24. His 2000 follow-up album Lights Out failed to attain the level of success achieved by his debut but was certified gold by RIAA. Critics noted the lack of coherent narratives in his verses as evidence that he had yet to mature to the level of his fellow Hot Boys
25. The lead single was “Get Off the Corner”, which was noticed for an improvement in its lyrical content and style. The second single, which received less attention, was “Shine” featuring the Hot Boys. Near the release of Lights Out, Lil Wayne was featured on the single, “Number One Stunna” with Big Tymers and Juvenile, which peaked at No. 24 on the Hot Rap Tracks chart.
26. 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 being certified gold like its predecessor, it also failed to match the success of his debut.
27. The title was a reference to the recently estranged Hot Boys member Juvenile’s recording, 400 Degreez.
28. The lead single was “Way of Life” which failed to match the success of his previous singles. After the release of 500 Degreez, Wayne was featured on the single “Neva Get Enuf” by 3LW.
29. In the summer of 2004, Wayne’s album Tha Carter was released, marking what critics considered advancement in his rapping style and lyrical themes. In addition, the album’s cover art featured the debut of Wayne’s now-signature dreadlocks.
30. Tha Carter gained Wayne significant recognition, selling 878,000 copies in the United States, while the single “Go DJ” became a Top 5 Hit on the R&B/Hip-Hop chart.
31. After the release of Tha Carter, Lil Wayne was featured in Destiny’s Child’s single “Soldier” with T.I., which peaked at No. 3 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs charts.
32. Tha Carter II, the follow-up to the original Tha Carter album, was released in December 2005, this time without production by longtime Cash Money Records producer Mannie Fresh, who had since left the label. Tha Carter II sold more than 238,000 copies in its first week of release, debuting at No. 2 on the Billboard 200 albums chart, and went on to sell 2,000,000 copies worldwide.
33. Wayne gained more prominence with his sixth album Tha Carter III (2008), which became his most successful album to date, with first-week sales of over one million copies in the United States. The album won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album and includes the hit singles “Lollipop”, “A Milli” and “Got Money”.
34. Following the success of Tha Carter III, Wayne decided to record a rock-esque album titled Rebirth. The album, released in 2010, was certified gold by the RIAA, despite a generally negative critical response.
35. In March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an 8-month jail sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007.
36. Wayne’s eighth album I Am Not a Human Being (2010), was released during his incarceration. His 2011 album and first following his release, Tha Carter IV, sold 964,000 copies in its first week of availability in the United States.
37. It includes the singles “6 Foot 7 Foot”, “How to Love” and “She Will”.
38. On September 27, 2012, Lil Wayne passed Elvis Presley as the male with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart, with 109 songs.
39. Lil Wayne’s thirteenth studio album, Tha Carter V has been delayed multiple times and has no scheduled release date.
40. Lil Wayne has sold over 100 million records worldwide, including sold more than 15 million albums and 37 million digital tracks in United States, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time.
41. Lil Wayne has four children. His first child, daughter Reginae, was born when he was 16, to his high school sweetheart Antonia “Toya” Carter.
42. They married on Valentine’s Day 2004 and divorced in 2006.
43. Internet rumors started circulating in August 2008 that Wayne’s daughter had died in a car crash, which however he quickly cleared up as false saying “Please allow me to dispel any rumors or speculations and report that my daughter is alive, healthy and surrounded by family who care and love her dearly. The rumors are completely false and unfounded. Νeither Reginae nor any other member of my family has been involved in any car accident.”
44. His second child, Dwayne III, was born on October 22, 2008, at The Christ Hospital in Cincinnati to radio broadcaster Sarah Vivan.
45. His third child, Cameron Carter, was born to actress Lauren London on September 9, 2009.
46. His fourth child, Neal, was born on November 30, 2009, to singer Nivea.
47. He also got rapper Trina pregnant but she suffered a miscarriage.
In July 2014, it was rumored he was dating singer Christina Milian whom he attended the ESPY Awards with. They later confirmed their relationship in mid-2015 after which they received criticism from their interconnected exes, singer Nivea and songwriter The-Dream. They split at the end of 2015 after collaborating on various singles, videos, and concert dates.
48. His first album is almost completely curse-free because of his mother’s wishes.
49. He has “Lucky Me” tattooed on his neck as an homage to the Jay-Z song. He also has an entire verse from the song tattooed on his leg.
50. He says that he stopped listening to other artists’ music after Jay-Z’s The Black Album.
51. He met manager Cortez Bryant when he joined his high school band’s cymbal section, which Bryant led.
52. His mom encouraged him to have a daughter at 15 because she was lonely while he was on tour with Cash Money.
53. He claims that his tour bus was shot up by angry groupies who he wouldn’t sleep with.
54. He admitted to having crabs once, and called it “the worst.”
55. He identifies as Roman Catholic.
56. He’s had one tattoo teardrop removed, at his mother’s request.
57. Despite his frequent raps about selling cocaine, he says, “I haven’t sold a brick. I haven’t had to see one unless I wanted to snort it.”
58. He says that he stopped doing cocaine because it causes acne and he’s a “pretty boy.”
59. His favorite song is reportedly “Cause I Love You” by Lenny Williams.
60. He lost his virginity at age 11. In some accounts, he was playing “Win, Lose or Draw” and a 13-year-old girl wrote “F— me” on the board.
61. Ηe’s said that his favorite guest verse of his own is on Destiny Child’s “Soldier.”
62. His second tattoo was “Cash Money,” which he got across his stomach because he “wanted to be like 2Pac.”