Dwayne Michael Carter, 27 September 1982, New Orleans, Louisiana, USA. This US rapper is a leading member of the New Orleans, Louisiana-based Cash Money Records label. Lil Wayne first appeared in 1997 as a member of the Hot Boy$, his distinctive nasal rapping complementing the varied styles of the more experienced members, B.G. , Juvenile and Turk. The quartet released Get It How U Live It!! in 1997, racking up sales of over 400, 000 units without any national exposure. Cash Moneys national distribution contract with Universal Records the following year helped expose the Hot Boy$ second album, Guerrilla Warfare, to a wider audience. The album reached the US Top 5 in August 1999 as southern hip-hop, also represented by New Orleans other success story, No Limit Records, broke into the mainstream in a big way. There was no better time, then, to release Lil Waynes solo debut, which debuted at number 3 in November. Tha Block Is Hot featured the usual in-house production job by Mannie Fresh and guest appearances by label mates, and was a precociously talented set that honed Cash Moneys distinctive bounce sound to a fine art, while glorifying New Orleans adherence to the gangsta/playa lifestyle.
Lil Waynes second album Lights Out was less successful, but unlike his Hot Boy$ compadres the rapper remained with Cash Money. 500 Degreez provided the label with a welcome hit in 2002, boosted by the infectious radio hit Way Of Life. Lil Wayne and Cash Money stalwart Mannie Fresh teamed up for a fourth time on 2004s Tha Carter. Both this album and the second and third instalments, released in 2005 and 2008, were major hits in the USA. In 2008, he enjoyed his first mainstream number 1 single when Lollipop (featuring Static Major) reached the top of the charts in April. Lil Wayne also recorded albums with his stepfather Bryan Williams aka Birdman, and has released a string of popular mixtapes.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.