A rapper by profession and a philanthropist at heart, Lil Wayne is one of the most renowned rappers of the country. A multi Grammy Award winner, Wayne has produced several albums that attained gold and multi-platinum status. In 2012, Lil Wayne also broke Elvis Presley's record of having most albums on Billboard Hot 100, with his 109 songs on the chart.
Lil Wayne is considered one of the best rappers of all times. He has been in the rapping business since a very young age. Wayne met the founder brothers of Cash Money Records, Bryan and Slim Williams when he was eight only. They were impressed enough to leave their business cards with the ambitious kid. Wayne continued to call them until they took him under their label and allowed him around their offices.
The year 1993 brought Lil Wayne's first recording with Cash Money Records, titled ‘True Story'. Cash Money Records formed a group of several rising stars, called ‘Hot Boys'. Wayne was a part of that group and it is with them that he had his first major success. Their debut album, titled Get It How U Live! was a blockbuster hit and sold more than 400,000 copies. The next album by Hot Boys released in 1999, titled, Guerrilla Warfare became a bigger success by selling above a million copies. Lil Wayne, only sixteen by now, was already on his journey to stardom.
In 1999, Lil Wayne also proceeded with his first solo album, “Tha Block Is Hot”. The title track of the album was a huge success; it not only topped the hip-hop charts but also earned a double-platinum status. After two more successful albums, Wayne in 2003 released his first mix tape from his underground collection, ‘Da Drought'.
2004 saw another huge hit in the form of “Tha Carter”, which put him on the top of rappers' list. The album received acclaim from fans and critics alike. Following this success, Wayne released the sequel to this album, “Tha Carter II”. This second volume also earned Wayne huge success reaching no. 2 on Billboard pop charts.
On and off Lil Wayne also kept releasing his mix tape collections. “Tha Carter III” came out in 2007. Keeping the tradition alive, this third volume of the highly successful album series also climbed to the top of the charts. The album appeared on rap, hip-hop and pop charts, and sold above a million copies in only the first week of its release. This album also earned Wayne three Grammy Awards for best rap album, best rap song and best rap solo performance.
Not Just Music
Lil Wayne created his own record label Young Money Records, and along that he is also serving as the president for Cash Money Records. He has been working with other recording artists and doing projects to help underprivileged kids. Wayne established a charitable organization, the One Family Foundation, directed primarily to the betterment of urban youth. His organization also helps his old school in rebuilding athletic fields etc.
Despite the sky rocketing success, Lil Wayne still hasn't forgotten his roots. Even his songs sometimes hint at where he came from and what those places and people mean to him.