Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), better known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper from New Orleans, Louisiana, known for his prolific output and his unique vocals and delivery, of which primarily about humorous and wordplay-heavy rhymes and lyrics and the huge influence he has on many modern day rappers and rap culture in general.
Born and raised in the crime-riddled areas of New Orleans, he was a straight-A student but never felt his true intelligence was expressed through any kind of report card. He found music was the best way to express himself, and after taking the name Gangsta D, he began writing rhymes. Combining a strong work ethic with aggressive self-promotion, the 11-year-old convinced Birdman, co-founder and CEO of Cash Money Records, to take him on, even if it was just for odd jobs around the office. A year later, in-house producer Mannie Fresh partnered him with the 14-year-old B.G. and dubbed the duo the B.G.'z. Although only B.G.'s name appeared on the cover, the 1995 album True Story has since been accepted as the B.G.'z debut album both by fans and the Cash Money label. The 1997 album Chopper City was supposed to be the follow-up, but when Wayne shot himself in the chest with a 9mm pistol in a failed suicide attempt, it became a solo B.G. release.
He later officially took the moniker Lil Wayne, dropping the "D" from his first name in order to separate himself from an absent father. He joined B.G., Juvenile, and Young Turk for another Fresh project, the teen hardcore rap group the Hot Boys, who released their debut album, Get It How U Live!, in 1997. In 1999, Wayne embarked on a successful solo career and the rest is history.
He has released twelve studio albums so far, the most famous being his trademark Tha Carter series, with the Grammy-winning Tha Carter III being the most iconic. Prior to Tha Carter III, he released a slew of mix tapes, most notably his Dedication series, Da Drought 3, and No Ceilings, against the wishes of his record label Cash Money. They ended up boosting his popularity underground, and Tha Carter III sold more than a million copies in its first week, being on the few albums in the 21st-century and the only four rap albums (the other three being Eminem's The Marshall Mathers LP and The Eminem Show and 50 Cent's The Massacre) to be certified platinum first-week.
In 2005, during the time were his popularity began to grow, he founded Young Money Entertainment, a imprint of Cash Money where he would release his mixtapes and find new talent. The most famous artists to come from Young Money being Nicki Minaj and Drake, the latter of whom surpassed Wayne in both popularity and sales and being of the most profitable artists of all time.
After years of being the face of Cash Money and seeing label-head Birdman as an father figure, Wayne's relationship with both the label and Birdman began to fall during the development of Tha Carter V. Originally planned to be released in 2014, Tha Carter V experienced several delays as a result of contractual disputes between Lil Wayne and Cash Money Records, as well as his numerous personal disputes with label-head, Birdman. Following a lengthy legal battle while releasing mixtapes and a Tidal-exclusive album in order to appease fans and to not fall into irrelevance, Lil Wayne was confirmed to have been released from his contract with Cash Money in June 2018 and released the album in September amidst many delays to positive reviews and high sales-figures.
Well liked by critics, especially during 2005-2008, with Rolling Stone in particular has even hailed him as the "greatest rapper alive", although that statement proved to be rather controversial by the rap community. (He has hailed himself as the greatest rapper alive, too.) He is definitely One of Us, as he loves skateboarding and is a gamer, at one point owning a modded Xbox. Lil' Wayne is also known for his attacks on George W. Bush and his administration for his response to Hurricane Katrina (Wayne is a native from Louisiana), and for appearing on half the rap singles on the radio during his peak in the late 2000s/early 2010s (even appearing on non-rap singles).
- The Block is Hot (1999)
- Lights Out (2000)
- 500 Degreez (2002)
- Tha Carter (2004)
- Tha Carter II (2005)
- Like Father, Like Son (with Birdman) (2006)
- Tha Carter III (2008)
- We Are Young Money (with Young Money) (2009)
- Rebirth (2010)
- I Am Not A Human Being (2010)
- Tha Carter IV (2011)
- I Am Not A Human Being II (2013)
- Rich Gang (with Rich Gang) note (2013)
- Rise of an Empire (with Young Money) (2014)
- Free Weezy Album (2015) (a Tidal-exclusive release)
- Tha Carter V (2018)
- Funeral (2020)
- The Leak (2007)
- In Tune We Trust (2017)
- The Dedication (2005)
- Dedication 2 (2006)
- Da Drought 3 (2007)
- Dedication 3 (2008)
- No Ceilings (2009)
- Sorry 4 The Wait (2011)
- Dedication 4 (2012)
- Dedication 5 (2013)
- Sorry 4 The Wait 2 (2015)
- No Ceilings 2 (2015)
- T-Wayne (with T-Pain) (2017)
- Dedication 6 (2017)
- No Ceilings 3 (2020)
- We Are Young Money (with Young Money) (2009)
- Rich Gang (with YMCMB) (2006)
- Young Money: Rise of an Empire (with Young Money) (2014)
"Pick the trope up and I'ma drop it on yo fuckin' head":
- Abusive Parents: His father. He was once asked in an interview with Katie Couric why he goes by the name of Lil Wayne instead to his given name (which is course Dwayne), he explained that his father was not part of his life so he doesn't need to carry his name. When Couric asked if his father knows this, he smiled and said "he does now".
- All Girls Want Bad Boys: "Lollipop" features the hook "Shorty wants a thug."
- Ambiguously Bi: Despite the rampant homophobia and the amount of times he loves bitches in many of his songs, he kisses Birdman on the lips on a regular basis. In a 106 & Park interview, he says that he is the only one that Birdman kisses.
- Artifact Title: He was not even a teenager when he started rapping. It only fits if it's "lil" as in "short" (he's only 5ft 5in/166 cm).
- Auto-Tune: Primarily during 2008-2014, on songs and projects like "Lollipop", "I Ain't Nervous", "Staring at the World", the entirety of 'Rebirth', Drake's "Uptown", The Game's "My Life" and "Red Nation", the remix of Future's "Turn on the Lights", "How to Love".
- Badass Boast: Even by rap's standards, Wayne frequently says over-the-top and hyperbolic statements of his fame, with the chorus to "Drop the World" being about as over-the-top as it gets:"Pick the world up and I'ma DROP it on yo' fuckin head, yeah
Bitch I'ma pick the world up and I'ma DROP it on yo' fuckin head, yeah
And I could die now, rebirth motherfucker
Hop up in my spaceship and leave Earth motherfucker
I'm gone.. motherfucker I'm gone"
- The Big Easy: Wayne's upbringing in New Orleans has had a strong influence on his lyrics, as he makes several references that are specific to that city. Wayne's devotion to his home city only increased in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during which time he was an outspoken proponent of the relief effort and strongly criticized George W. Bush for not doing enough to help. As he put it in "I Told Y'all":Why would a nigga go to New Orleans?
This is Katrina-land
The President flew over and he ain't even land!
- Boastful Rap: A lot of his songs.
- Broken Record: Done for emphasis in his verse on "Deep" by Big Sean, though downplayed since he only repeats himself once:
- Bungled Suicide: In "Let It All Work Out", Wayne reveals that he attempted suicide when he was 12 years old. He originally dismissed these claims as an accident."I found my mommas pistol where she always hide it
I cried, put it to my head, and thought about it
Nobody was home to stop me, so I called my auntie
Hung up, then put the gun up to my heart and pondered
Too much was on my conscience to be smart about it
Too torn apart about it, I aimed where my heart was pounding
I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me
Its mine, I didnt die, but as I was dying
God came to my side and we talked about it
He sold me another life and he made a profit"
- Cardboard Prison: In the music video for "Go DJ", he and the other prisoners have no problem eliminating the security, seducing the female guards, and simply walking out at the end.
- Catchphrase: "Young Moolah, baby!"
Weezy F. Baby, and the F is for a bunch of shit
- Also, for a relatively short span of time, "Weezy F. Baby, and the F is for [insert random word, usually starting with F]"...to the point that he lampshades it in his featured verse on Nicki Minaj's "Go Hard":
Red drank, blue pill, white dust...yes, I love my country, biiiiiiitch!
- Child Popstar: He has released works dating back to when he was twelve—he started writing even earlier than then.
- Cloudcuckoolander: He plays the role of an very outlandish individual with a quirky and offbeat sense of humor.
- "We are not the same, I am a martian"
- Cluster F-Bomb: Almost all of his songs, as expected from a rapper. "How To Love" appears to be the only song from him were the F-word or any other explicit profanity isn't used.
- Distaff Counterpart: To Nicki Minaj, who is under his label Young Money.`
- Double Entendre: A huge chunk of his lyrics are this.
- Double Standard: Rape, Female on Male: His mentor Birdman aka Baby made him have sex with an older woman even though he didn't want to when he was eleven. What did people do when he came out about it? Laugh.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Wayne's unique lyrical style wouldn't be present until the release of Tha Carter, and especially during 2005-2007.
- Even Bad Men Love Their Mamas: Despite his gangsta appearance (he's was part of the bloods gang) and being raised in a terrible neighborhood, Wayne adores and respects his mother endearingly, something he repeatedly states in interviews and on songs, primarily from Tha Carter series of albums.
And mama don't cry, ya son can handle his
- From "3 Peat":
I got her out the hood and put her in the hills
Yeah when I was fourteen I told my mom we will see better days
And sure enough I got Miss Cita in a better place
- Fair Cop: "Mrs. Officer" is about an affair with a policewoman, and redefines N.W.A's "Fuck The Police."
- Freestyle Version: His Dedication series of mixtapes uses this trope almost exclusively, freestyling over the most popular songs and hardest beats whenever the mixtape is released, as does his Da Drought series, and almost every other mixtape he's ever released.
- Gangsta Rap: A solid Type 2; he delves into drugs and violence quite a bit in his lyrics, but theyre commercialized enough to be palatable to mainstream audiences.
- Hashtag Rap: One of the major users of this style, as mentioned above. Arguably perfected the form on "6 Foot 7 Foot," as almost every line is an example of the flow, and many of them are double entendres.
- Intercourse with You: Very commonly.
- "She said he so sweet she wanna lick the wrapper, so I let her lick the rapper"
- "I transform smaller and she puts me in her pants!"
- Just Like Robin Hood: The music video for "Got Money" has Wayne and his buddies staging a bank robbery to fund the relief effort for Hurricane Katrina. In the end, Wayne gets arrested, but his friends get away with the loot.
- The Kirk: In his Power Trio with Drake and Nicki Minaj. Drake is The Spock, Minaj The Mccoy.
- The Mentor: To Drake and Nicki Minaj.
- Misogyny Song: He's been criticized numerous times for sexist lyrics in the past, but "Love Me" stands out for how cartoonishly callous it is to women - especially as the song is about how his "bitches" love him. Choice lyrics include:She said "I never want to make you mad, I just want to make you proud"
I said "Baby, just make me cum, then don't make a sound"
These hoes got pussies like craters
Can't treat these hoes like ladies, man
All my bitches love me and I love all my bitches
But it's like soon as I cum, I come to my senses
- Mysterious Middle Initial: Weezy F. Baby and the F is for....all these things.
- Near-Death Experience: Accidentally shot himself when he was twelve. Or so he originally claimed...
- New Sound Album: He decided to venture away from rap for a Rap Rock album - Rebirth.
- Obfuscating Stupidity: Despite his street-smart mentality and appearance and his outlandish behavior and lyrics, he's actually an fairly intellectual individual. Hell, he was a straight-A student and briefly went to college before dropping out in order to pursue his rap career.
- Platonic Life-Partners: With Nicki Minaj and his ex-girlfriend Trina.
- Ragin' Cajun: As a gangsta rapper from New Orleans, he has to be.
- Rap Rock: Rebirth. Let's just say that he should stick to rapping.
- Really Gets Around: How else do you have three children with three separate women in a thirteen month time span?
- Rhyming with Itself: Frequently, especially the N-word with itself.
- "And what I make up, will fuck up your skin/ I pick buck up and buck-buck then buck-buck again/ I will butt-fuck your friend/ Then suck up her twin/ I put the buck-up to him/ Then buck-buck and buck-buck and buck-buck again/ Suck nut you duck, fuck your unloving kin/ Now don't rub it in ... Might fly to L.A and just fuck Corinne/ Nahh fuck Corinne/ Let's get bucks again, and fuckin' spend/ Them bucks and then, just fuck Corinne."
- "I Ain't Nervous" rhymes "nervous" 3 times with itself, and does the same with "Jewish" twice.
- From his remix of "We Takin' Over":Me, me, it's all about me
If the girl got a voice, then she talk about me, me
He say, she say, I say me
- Running Gag: "Weezy F. Baby, and the F is for..."
- Stealth Pun: A clever one in "6 Foot 7 Foot":Bitch, real G's move in silence like lasagna.note
- Surprisingly Gentle Song: "How to Love".
- 10-Minute Retirement: Subverted. Like how artists like Jay Z make claims about retiring in order to promote an album only to come back rapping at the last minute, Wayne was dropping hints that he might retire after Tha Carter IV, but shortly after the release of the album, headlines flocked out about him considering a sequel to Rebirth and I Am Not A Human Being. (Only the latter has seen a sequel as of yet, however.)
- Third Eye: Crossed with a Shout-Out, from "My Homies Still":"I gotta put a patch over my third eye, Slick Rick."
- Tiny Guy, Huge Girl: Alongside the noticeably taller Porcelain Black in her video for "This Is What Rock N Roll Looks Like"; it doesn't help that she's wearing heels. Also an example of A Wild Rapper Appears!
- Toilet Humor: He loves to refer himself as "I'm the shit" and add a line on this kind of comedy.
- In "A Milli": I be the shit, now you got loose bowels.
- In "Steady Mobbin'": "Big house; long hallways / Got ten bathrooms — I could shit all day!"
- True Companions: Considers his mentor, Birdman, to be his father before the whole Tha Carter V debacle.
- Wolverine Publicity: Oh God. This is not helped by the fact that he is one of those rappers who seems to guest on every other song on the radio around the time of his peak. It's all part of his plan to collaborate with everyone in music. With his appearance on "We Are The World 2010", he has officially collaborated with Brian Wilson, Barbara Streisand, Justin Bieber, Jeff Bridges, and other such unlikely candidates all in one fell swoop.
- Visual Pun: The video for "6 Foot 7 Foot" has this in spades. For instance, when he says "Young Money running shit, and you niggas just runner ups," we see Wayne winning a footrace.
- Vulgar Humor:
"Call me what you want bitch call me on my Sidekick
- From "A Milli":
Never answer when it's private, damn I hate a shy bitch
Don't, you hate a shy bitch
Yeah, I ate a shy bitch
She ain't shy no more she changed her name to "my bitch"
Yeah, nigga that's my bitch
So when she ask for the Money when you through don't be surprised, BITCH!"
"And what I make up, will fuck up your skin
- From Drake ft. Lil Wayne's "Ransom":
I pick buck up and buck-buck then buck-buck again
I will butt-fuck your friend
Then suck up her twin
I put the buck-up to him
Then buck-buck and buck-buck and buck-buck again
Suck nut you duck, fuck your unloving kin
Now don't rub it in ... Might fly to L.A and just fuck Corinne
Nahh fuck Corinne
Let's get bucks again, and fuckin' spend
Them bucks and then, just fuck Corinne."
- Xtreme Kool Letterz: His first solo album, Tha Block is Hot and his third, "500 Degreez", as well as his Tha Carter series of albums and the Da Drought series of mixtapes, and Sorry 4 The Wait and its sequel.