A successful American artist, rapper, producer, and music executive, Lil Wayne rarely shies away from the spotlight. Whether he’s performing live, collaborating with fellow musicians, or opening up about his health struggles, the rapper knows how to keep the public informed and entertained. Moreover, he has been in the public’s eye for more than a decade, which means that he had plenty of time to build his fortune. If you’re interested in learning more about the Lil Wayne net worth, you’re in the right place. Read on as we take you through the rapper’s tumultuous career and give you the inside scoop on how he made his money.
Lil Wayne: Early Life
Lil Wayne grew up in one of the most impoverished neighborhoods in New Orleans, Louisiana, which makes his spectacular rise to fame that much more impressive. His real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr – but whether you call him Weezy F. Baby, Mr. Carter, or Lil Wayne, you have to admit that the artist managed to make a name for himself at a pretty early age. He wrote his first rap tune at age 8 and dropped out of school at 14 to focus on advancing his music career.
The young rapper was influenced by artists from Cash Money Records such as U.N.L.V. and Pimp Daddy and he started rapping at block parties. His performances caught the eye of a rapper called Lil Slim. Through him, Wayne met with the big shots at Cash Money Records, Ronald “Slim” Williams and Brian “Baby” Williams. Even though the two were quite impressed by Wayne’s style, he didn’t sign any contracts with the record company until he started to leave freestyle rap recordings on “Baby’s” answering machine.
Lil Wayne’s career started when he signed a contract with the record label at the age of 11, which made him the youngest rapper in the record company. Unfortunately, shortly after, Lil Wayne had an accident that almost cost him his life. He shot himself in the chest with the gun of his stepfather, which forced him to go on life support for two weeks.
After he recovered, Lil Wayne had his first gig and was grouped with another newcomer by the name of Lil’ Doggie. After releasing a failing album in 1995 and following the death of his stepfather in 1997, the rapper was given another chance to record an album with Baby. It was then that he formed the group The Hot Boys. He also debuted Block is Hot, a solo album that reached number 3 in the Billboard charts and went platinum.
His next two albums were not received as warmly. 500 Degreez was supposed to beat the sales of Juvenile’s multi-platinum album called 400 Degreez. The sales of Wayne’s album, however, were very disappointing. He sold only 900,000 copies worldwide and 536,000 in the United States.
Lil Wayne: Finding Success
One can’t utter the phrase Lil Wayne net worth without mentioning the artist’s many accomplishments. Despite numerous controversies and drawbacks, the rapper moved forward and eventually found his way back into the limelight. His fourth and fifth albums, Tha Carter and Tha Carter II, came as proof that the rapper finally found his style. He became the president of the record company Cash Money Records and founded an imprint called Young Money Entertainment in 2005.
For Tha Carter III (his sixth album released in 2008), the rapper was nominated for eight Grammy’s. He won four awards. Next, Lil Wayne released his first rock album called Rebirth in 2010 and was named by MTV as the second hottest MC behind Jay-Z. His album I Am Not a Human Being launched in the same year as Rebirth and earned the artist plenty of praise from fans and critics alike.
In 2009, Lil Wayne’s documentary The Carter was screened at the Sundance Film Festival. It documents Carter’s endeavors prior and immediately after the release of Tha Carter III. The doco earned plenty of praise from critics, who called it provocative and revealing. Another album, Tha Carter IV, was released in 2011.
Lil Wayne was hospitalized for seizures before the launch of his album I Am Not a Human Being II. There was plenty of speculation that the rapper was on drugs, but he later revealed that he has epilepsy and has kept with health condition private up to that point. The rapper continued to achieve massive success with his subsequent releases – Free Weezy Album and Tha Carter V.
Lil Wayne Net Worth: How Vast Is His Fortune?
Google Lil Wayne Net Worth and you’ll stumble upon several conflicting numbers. The best estimate, however, as of 2019 at least, is $120 million. Thanks to his successful music career, the bulk of the rapper’s fortune comes from album sales and tours. He also wrote a memoir, released in 2016, that focuses mainly on his experiences in prison. Lil Wayne flirted with entrepreneurship as well – he has a clothing line and he founded a record label, Young Money Entertainment. Plus, he collaborated with plenty of other artists throughout his career – colabs which certainly boosted the Lil Wayne net worth.
Lil Wayne: Personal Life
The rapper’s childhood wasn’t a particularly happy one. His mother had him when she was 19 and his father abandoned the family two years after. Lil Wayne’s stepfather Rabbit was murdered before Carter became a star. He revealed that he decided to drop the D from his given name when coming up with a stage name because he is named after his father. The artist isn’t willing to pay tribute to him in any way.
Lil Wayne has four children. The first one was born when he was only 16, to his high school sweetheart. The two got married but divorced shortly after. His other children were born to radio broadcaster Sarah Vivan, actress Lauren London, and singer Nivea. The rapper was arrested multiple times and served a one-year sentence in Rikers Island on weapons charges.
Lil Wayne: The Future
Lil Wayne hinted that he would like to retire at 35, but that doesn’t seem to be in the cards just yet. The Carter V was a massive success, making him one of the best-selling artists of all time. He’s also one of the richest rappers in the world, has a lucrative liquor deal with a rum label, is touring with Blink 182, and is working on a new album titled Funeral. While some are in awe of his success, others call him self-destructive. Whatever might be the case, you have to admit that the rapper’s work ethic is exemplary. He wouldn’t be where he is now without tons of hard work.
Image source: pitchfork.com