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Lil’ Wayne

Then & Now

2010 Rebirth

The wait is over for Lil' Wayne's newest album, Rebirth, releasing on February 2. Check out two new videos from the rapper's upcoming rock album, "On Fire" and "Prom Queen."


2008 Tha Carter III

Preceded by the number one hit "Lollipop," Tha Carter III arrived in May of 2008, selling more than a million copies in its first week of release. Wayne began getting involved with rock music by playing guitar at the Country Music Awards with Kid Rock, signing Kevin Rudolf to Cash Money and appearing on his massive hit "Let It Rock."


2006 Like Father, Like Son

Lil' Wayne collaborated with Birdman for the Like Father, Like Son album featuring the hit single "Stuntin' Like My Daddy." Numerous collaborative tracks came out soon after including "Gimme That" by Chris Brown, "Make It Rain" by Fat Joe and "Duffle Bag Boy" by Playaz Circle.


2005 Tha Carter II

Wayne's success of releasing underground mixtapes between major releases led to other alternative marketing strategies like leaking tracks to the internet and the Universal-funded video "Get Something," without the track ever seeing official release. Tha Carter II was a major event, selling over a quarter-million copies the week of its release.


2004 Tha Carter

Juvenile, B.G. and Young Turk defected from Cash Money, which dismantled Wayne's rap group the Hot Boys. His 2003 album was scrapped and he released it instead as an underground mixtape called Da Drought which received a great deal of attention from the hip-hop press. Wayne began to release mixtapes to build anticipation for his next official album, Tha Carter. His popularity grew as he crossed over on the Destiny's Child track "Soldier."


2002 500 Degreez

When Juvenile left Cash Money, Wayne--or Birdman Jr. as he was calling himself--showed his allegiance to his CEO, Birdman, by releasing an album with a title much hotter than Juvie's 400 Degreez—naming it 500 Degreez.


2000 Lights Out

Wayne appeared on Juvenile's hit single "Back That Azz Up," from the album 400 Degreez in 1998 and launched his solo career the year later with the double platinum Tha Block Is Hot. He followed the album with 2000's Lights Out and an appearance on the Big Tymers' hit single "#1 Stunna."


1997 The Hot Boys

Dwayne Michael Carter officially took the moniker Lil' Wayne (dropping the "D" from his first name in order to separate himself from his father Dwayne Michael Turner) and joined B.G., Juvenile and Young Turk for the teen hardcore rap group the Hot Boys. They released Get It How You Live! in 1997 and after Cash Money signed a distribution deal with Universal, reached number one on Billboard's Top R&B/Hip-Hop chart with Guerilla Warfare.


1995 True Story

Cash Money in-house producer Mannie Fresh paired 12-year-old Carter with 14-year-old B.G. and named the duo the B.G.'z, releasing True Story in 1995. The follow up, 1997's Chopper City became a solo release for B.G. when Carter accidentally shot himself in the chest with a .44 caliber gun. He dropped out of school shortly after.


1982 Birth

Dwayne Michael Carter was born on September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in the Hollygrove neighborhood, earning straight-A's in school. He gave himself the name Gangsta D, began writing rhymes and convinced the Cash Money label to let him do odd jobs around the office at only 11 years old.

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