One of the greatest rappers of all time turns 41 years old today. To celebrate the legacy of Lil Wayne, check out a gallery of some of our favorite photos of him over the years.
Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. His parents divorced when he was just two years old. Carter was enrolled in the gifted program at Lafayette Elementary School. Tunechi wrote his first rap song when he was eight. In the summer of 1991, he met rapper and Cash Money Records co-founder Birdman, who encouraged his love and passion for hip-hop. He then spent two years at Eleanor McMain Secondary School, where he was an honor student and a member of the drama club. At the age of 14, he dropped out of Marion Abramson Senior High School to focus on his music career.
In 1997, Wayne joined the Hot Boys (a group comprised of Juvenile, B.G. and Turk). The group released their debut album Get It How U Live! the same year. Two years later, they released Guerilla Warfare. Their major-label debut album reached number one on the Billboard Top R&B/Hip-Hop Albums chart and number five on the Billboard 200. Carter released his first two solo albums, Tha Block Is Hot (1999) and Lights Out (2000), before the group disbanded in 2001. 500 Degreez, his third solo album, was released in 2002. The latter two failed to reach the success of the first album but were still certified gold (Tha Block Is Hot was certified platinum).
Critics and fans alike began to notice the advancement in Wayne’s rapping style and lyrical themes when he released Tha Carter in 2004. He then went on to release Tha Carter II and Like Father, Like Son (with Birdman) the following two years. After going on an insane feature and mixtape run, he released his most commercially successful album of his career, Tha Carter III. The album sold over one million copies in its first week and eventually earned Wayne three Grammy Awards (Best Rap Solo Performance for A Milli, Best Rap Song for Lollipop and Best Rap Album). Since then, Weezy F. Baby has released seven studio albums, countless mixtapes and an endless amount of fire features. Wayne has sold over 200 million records worldwide, making him one of the world’s best-selling music artists. He is considered one of the most influential artists of the 21st century and one the best rappers of not just of his generation…but all time. His musical style and usage of auto-tune influenced modern sound of hip-hop music and its subgenres, especially development of trap. To this day, Wayne is still very active in the game and never misses a chance to show that he is still just as good as he’s always been. To celebrate his greatness, check out a gallery of some of our favorite photos of him over the years. HAPPY 41ST BIRTHDAY LIL WAYNE!!!