Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known by his stage name Lil Wayne /ˌlɪl ˈweɪn/, is an American hip hop recording artist from New Orleans, Louisiana. In 1991, at the age of nine, Lil Wayne joined Cash Money Records as the youngest member of the label, and half of the duo, The B.G.’z, with fellow New Orleans-based rapperB.G.. In 1996, Lil Wayne joined Southern hip hop group Hot Boys, which also included rappers Juvenile, B.G., and Young Turk. Hot Boys debuted with Get It How U Live! that same year. Lil Wayne gained most of his success with the group’s major selling albumGuerrilla Warfare (1999).
Lil Wayne’s debut studio album, Tha Block Is Hot (1999), was certified platinum by theRecording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His next albums, Lights Out (2000) and500 Degreez (2002), were certified gold. He reached higher popularity with Tha Carter(2004), which included the single « Go D.J. », also appearing on Destiny’s Child’s top ten single « Soldier » that year. The album was followed by Tha Carter II (2005) and several mixtapes and collaborations throughout 2006 and 2007. Tha Carter III (2008) became Lil Wayne’s most successful album to date, with first-week sales of over 1 million copies in the United States. It included the number-one single « Lollipop », as well as « A Milli » and « Got Money », and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album.
Lil Wayne’s debut rock album, Rebirth (2010), was certified gold despite a generally negative critical response. In March 2010, Lil Wayne began serving an 8-month prison sentence in New York after being convicted of criminal possession of a weapon stemming from an incident in July 2007. I Am Not a Human Being (2010) was released during his prison sentence. His ninth album and first since his release, Tha Carter IV (2011), sold 964,000 copies in its first week of availability in the U.S. It featured « 6 Foot 7 Foot », « How to Love », and « She Will ». On September 27, 2012, Lil Wayne passed Elvis Presley as the male with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 chart with 109 songs.