- 10:45 AM, Jan 21
The newest addition to the many "Lil's" in the hip hop music industry, Lil Wayne, is a force to be reckoned with. His debut album, "Tha Block is Hot" (1999), went double platinum upon its release and even his lowest selling album is still certified as gold upon the album release by Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). Despite his success in the music industry, Lil Wayne's childhood experiences, like many other rap and hip hop singers, were far from perfect.
Born as Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. on September 27, 1982 in New Orleans, Louisiana to Dwayne Michael Turner and Jacinda Carter, who was then 19 years old, Lil Wayne was forced to bid goodbye to his father who abandoned him and his mother right after he was born. During that time, he and his mother were forced to survive by themselves in the criminal-infested community at Hollygrove division of New Orleans.
Fortunate enough, soon afterwards, his mother met Reginald "Rabbit" McDonald, who eventually became his stepfather. Years later, his stepfather moved the family out from the poverty-stricken Hollygrove to East New Orleans. By that time, Lil Wayne had begun to develop his interest in hip hop and rap music.
Influenced by Cash Money Recording artists like Pimp Daddy and U.N.L.V., he began rapping at block parties. His performance at one of the parties caught the attention of Lil Slim, a Cash Money rapper. Through the recording artist, Lil Wayne met the Cash Money Records moguls, Brian "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. Though his free styling talent left strong impressions on the two tycoons, Lil Wayne did not get a contract with Cash Money until he repeatedly left freestyles recording on Baby's answering machine.
At the tender age of 11 years old, Lil Wayne at last got his shot to sign up with Cash Money, being the Records' youngest rapper. A year after signing the contract, Lil Wayne caught in an incident that almost took his life. He accidentally shot himself in chest with his stepfather gun, putting him on life support for two weeks.
Recovering from his incident, Lil Wayne marched on to welcome his first gig, in which he was hooked up with another newcomer, Lil' Doggie, later more well-known as B.G., to form a rap group The B.G.'z. With this group, the young rapper only recorded and released one album, "True Story" (1995), which did not sell