Lil Wayne most successful album, Tha Carter III, was released in 2008 and sold over 1 million copies in the U.S. its first week of release. It included the number-one single "Lollipop" and won the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. Lil Wayne released his debut rock album, Rebirth, in 2010 to primarily negative reception from critics. The album eventually went gold. 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. While in prison he released another album entitled I Am Not a Human Being in September 2010, featuring Young Money artists such as Drake, Nicki Minaj and Lil Twist. His ninth studio album and first since being released from prison, Tha Carter IV, was released on August 29, 2011. It sold 964,000 copies in the U.S. its first week out.
Lil Wayne was born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. and grew up in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans, Louisiana. Carter was born when his mother, a chef, was 19 years old. His parents were divorced when he was 2, and his father permanently abandoned the family. Carter enrolled in the gifted program of Lafayette Elementary School and in the drama club of Eleanor McMain Secondary School.
Lil Wayne wrote his first rap song at age eight. In the summer of 1991, he met Bryan Williams, rapper and owner of Cash Money Records. Carter recorded freestyle raps on Williams's answering machine, leading him to mentor the young Carter and include him in Cash Money-distributed songs. He also recorded his first ever collaboration album True Story with rapper B.G.. At the time, Carter was 11, and B.G. was 14, and was billed as "The B.G.'z". When he was 12, he played the part of the Tin Man in his middle school drama club's production of The Wiz. At age 13, he accidentally shot himself with a 9 mm handgun, and off-duty police officer Robert Hoobler drove him to the hospital. At McMain Magnet School, Carter was an honor student, but he dropped out at the age of 14 to focus on a musical career.
Tha Carter IV (2008–present)
In an interview on MTV's Mixtape Monday, Lil Wayne asserted the possibility of the album Tha Carter IV. Following Tha Carter III's achievement of selling over 3 million copies, becoming 2008's best-selling record, Wayne re-signed with Cash Money Records for a multi-album deal. Wayne said Tha Carter IV will be released in 2009 just before the holidays. Birdman had previously stated that Tha Carter IV would be packaged with Rebirth as a double disc album. However, Wayne denied this idea saying that "Tha Carter IV deserves Tha Carter IV". He went on to say that We Are Young Money may be packaged with Rebirth. However, it was later confirmed that Rebirth and We Are Young Money will be released separately and that Tha Carter IV will be released during 2011. He started from scratch on Tha Carter IV since getting released from prison. He recorded his first track since being released from prison and it was described as being "a 2010 version of A Milli on steroids." The album is set to feature multiple guests, including Tech N9ne. The first single "6 Foot 7 Foot" featuring Cory Gunz was released on December 15, 2010. It was available for digital download on iTunes December 16, 2010. The song is produced by Bangladesh, who also produced Lil Wayne's single "A Milli" in 2008. On March 8, 2011, Weezy released another song called "We Back Soon." The song is produced by StreetRunner; It is more relaxed than "6 Foot 7 Foot" is, but will not be a track on Tha Carter IV.
Lil Wayne e also released a second single to Tha Carter IV called "John" on March 24, 2011, which features Rick Ross and is produced by Polow Da Don. On April 20, 2011, the official cover of Tha Carter IV was released. Tha Carter IV was scheduled to be released on May 16, 2011, but Mack Maine had confirmed that the forthcoming ninth studio album will be released in June 21, 2011 instead of May 16, 2011, because they need more time to make the album perfect and they'll have a "monster" single coming soon that will possibly be titled "Blows My Brains" or "She's Always In My Head". On May 26, the 3rd single, "How to Love" was released. Tha Carter IV was eventually pushed back to August 29, 2011. A song called "Dear Anne (Stan Part 2)" was released in June, when the snippet was released back in April. Lil Wayne said the song was throw away track for Tha Carter III. Lil Wayne said it was originally suppose to be on Tha Carter IV when it leaked, but decided not to put it one there. He said he's not a fan of the song since it was so old. Lil Wayne said that he that liked the beat, but not the lyrics, and was thinking about redoing "Dear Anne."
For preparation for Tha Carter IV, Lil Wayne released a mixtape titled, Sorry 4 the Wait. He named the mixtape so as an apology to his fans for the delay of the album. It consists of 13 with all the beats on the mixtape coming from other artists song, like his "No Ceilings" mixtape.
In July 2011, Lil Wayne confirmed in an interview with MTV that Tha Carter IV is finished.
The album debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 with 964,000 copies sold in its first week, making it Lil Wayne's third chart topping album of his career.
On March 12, 2011, rapper Fred Durst from Limp Bizkit tweeted that Lil Wayne will be featured on the song "Ready To Go" from Limp Bizkit's upcoming album Gold Cobra, although it was later revealed that the song did not make the final tracklist.
Lil Wayne has announced several possible upcoming projects, including a collaboration album I Can't Feel My Face with rapper Juelz Santana that has been in production for several years. And also working on Tionne "T-Boz" Watkins' album Still Cool in late 2011. He has discussed a possible R&B album titled Luv Sawngz, for which he will heavily rely on a vocoder. He has also talked with singer Lloyd about doing a collaboration album in the future. On June 19, 2008, Lil Wayne and T-Pain formed a duo called T-Wayne and planned to release an album. According to an interview with Drake in the December 2011 issue of XXL, plans for an upcoming album with Lil Wayne have been scrapped for the time being because of the Jay-Z and Kanye West collaboration "Watch the Throne". Lil Wayne and Baby will release a second Like Father, Like Son. It was announced by Mack Maine that Lil Wayne and Juelz Santana have gone back to working on their collaboration album I Can't Feel My Face which had been delayed for a few years due to "label politics".
In October 2011 it was reported that Lil Wayne is working on sequels to I Am Not a Human Being and Rebirth.
On March 29, 2011, in an interview with Hot 97's Angie Martinez, Lil Wayne announced that he would retire at age 35; saying "I have four kids," and that "I would feel selfish still going to the studio when it's such a vital point in their lives."
However, in an interview with XXL, Lil Wayne hinted that Tha Carter IV would be his last album.