When he burst onto the music scene in 1997 as the youngest member of the Cash Money Records group Hot Boys Lil Wayne, then only 18 years old was already recognized as one of the best rappers to come out of New Orleans. Now, 11 years later, the Grammy nominated star will be joining multi platinum top R&B singer Keyshia Cole on International Night 1, Friday July 18, of Reggae Sumfest 2008.
Born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, but more commonly known to the world as Lil Wayne, he rose to stardom along with his fellow Louisiana native group members Juvenile, BG and Turk with the hit tracks “We on fire” and “I need a hot girl”. In 1999 Lil Wayne released his first solo album Tha Block is hot; not only did the album debut at number three on the Billboard charts but it blasted the rapper into mutli-platinum success. After the release of the album, Wayne and the rest of the boys reunited to collaborate with fellow Cash Money Records artist The Big Tymers to produce the internationally branded hit “Bling Bling”. Although his subsequent two albums failed to surpass the level of success of his first, both Lights out and 500 Degreez were certified gold in the United States. Known also as Lil Weezy, today, he is one of the most respected and sought after rappers in the Hip-Hop industry, known specifically for his edgy and distinctive underground mix tapes.
In the summer of 2004 Lil Wayne surprised the rap game when he released Tha Carter album, and soon thereafter was dubbed one of the best rappers alive by his peers. The album’s eclectic lyrics and classic beats were a big hit for the Cash Money millionaire. Following the success of both Tha Carter and Tha Carter II, 2008 would bring the record breaking Tha Carter III. The album’s first single “Lollipop” became Weezy’s first number one hit on the “Billboard charts” and broke records as it sold over a million copies in its first week alone, an accomplishment that hasn’t been made by any artist since 2005. Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter III is the perfect example of creativity at its finest and with already certified hits such as “Got Money” featuring fellow hip-hop mogul T-Pain and the lyrically intense “A Millie” it’s clear that there’s no stopping this ambitious twenty-five year old. In 2007, a MTV poll selected Lil Wayne as ‘Hottest MC in the Game.’ In that same year, he was also named one of the “Men of the year” in GQ Magazine and in 2008 he was given the title “Best Rock Star Alive” by Blender Magazine.
Although the young ‘money motivated’ artist has never graced the Reggae Sumfest stage before, his unique lyrical style separates him from the rest of his colleagues, making him a definite must see for this year’s festival, for what will be a ground breaking Reggae Sumfest 2008.