Dwayne Michael Carter was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana where he grew up in the criminal Hollygrove sector of town. He was born to Dwayne Michael Turner and Jacinda Carter, who was then 19 years old. Shortly after his birth, he and his mother were abandoned by his father. They were forced to fend for themselves in a particularly dangerous section of town. Fortunately, his mother soon married Reginald “Rabbit” McDonald who became Dwayne’s step father. He was in the gifted program at Lafayette Elementary School and was in the drama club in middle school.
Dwayne began rap at age 12 and became a regular rapper at neighborhood parties. It was at one of these parties that he was discovered by band members of U.N.V.L. They told him to contact them and perform a sample freestyle rap. His rap piece must have impressed them because it led to him being considered for a part in the Williams Brothers. During this time period, Lil Wayne called the rap label Cash Money Records every day and left samples of his freestyle on their answering machine. They soon gave in to his pressure and signed him on as the Record’s youngest rapper. He soon became so dedicated to his rap music that he ended up dropping out of school at age 14.
Still only 12 years old, Wayne became a part of the Williams Brother’s band. His mother, afraid that they would be a bad influence on her adolescent son because of their fearsome street reputation, pulled him out of Cash Money Records. However, he responded by running away for a week. After convincing his mom that his idea to run away was unrelated to the William’s brothers, she grudgingly allowed him to stay with the label and the band. He began his career as part of a group called Hot Boys which included the rappers Juvenile, Turk, and B.G.
It was a few years after this incident that tragedy struck in Lil Waynes’ life. One day when he was playing with a loaded gun, he accidently pulled the trigger and shot himself. He ended up almost bleeding to death as a result and had to be put on life support for two weeks. When the police came, they verified that the gun was unregistered and that it belonged to Wayne’s step dad “Rabbit” Carter. Rabbit was then sent to jail for half a year. Shortly after Wayne’s beloved step father was finally released from prison, he was abducted and murdered.
While most rap artists perform soft rap until they are well into their 20s, Lil Wayne started performing gangsta rap at a very early age. He coined the now popular slang terms “drop it like it is hot” and “bling-bling”. He is now studying Sports Management in the University of Houston.