Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. (born September 27, 1982), known by his stage name Lil Wayne, is an American rapper 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, alongside fellow New Orleans-based rapper Lil' Doogie. In 1996, Lil Wayne formed the Southern hip hop group Hot Boys, with his Cash Money label-mates Juvenile, Young Turk and Lil' Doogie (who now went by B.G.). 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 album Guerrilla Warfare (1999). Along with being the flagship artist of Cash Money Records, Lil Wayne is also the chief executive officer (CEO) of his own imprint, Young Money Entertainment, which he founded in 2005.
Lil Wayne's debut studio album Tha Block Is Hot (1999), was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). His following albums, Lights Out (2000) and 500 Degreez (2002), were certified gold. He reached higher popularity with Tha Carter (2004), which was led by the single "Go D.J.", also appearing on Destiny's Child's top ten single "Soldier", that same 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.
Following the success of Tha Carter III, Lil Wayne decided to record a rock album titled Rebirth, in which he is featured playing guitar and singing with the help of Auto-Tune. The album, released in 2010, was certified gold by the RIAA, 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. Wayne's eighth album I Am Not a Human Being (2010), was released during his prison sentence. His 2011 album and first following his release, Tha Carter IV, sold 964,000 copies in its first week of availability in the United States. It featured the singles "6 Foot 7 Foot", "How to Love" and "She Will". In January 2012, Birdman announced that he and Wayne had finished recording Like Father, Like Son 2. On November 22, 2012, he announced that Tha Carter V would be his final album. After numerous delays, I Am Not a Human Being II was released on March 26, 2013 debuting at #2 on the Billboard 200 selling 217,000 copies in its first week; "My Homies Still", "Love Me", and "No Worries" were released as singles prior to its release. The album was met with generally mixed reviews, with most critics noticing the declining quality of his releases. Lil Wayne toured North America with 2 Chainz and T.I. on the second Americas Most Wanted Festival.
On May 3, 2013, Pepsi dropped Lil Wayne, who was a spokesperson for Mountain Dew, due to offensive lyrics about about civil-rights icon Emmett Till.
On September 1, 2013, Lil Wayne released the fifth instalment of the "Dedication" mixtape series, with Dedication 5. The mixtape featured 29 tracks, with guest appearances from The Weeknd, Chance The Rapper, Jae Millz, Birdman, T.I., Vado, Kidd Kidd, and 2 Chainz among other members of Young Money.