• New Orleanian Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., better known to the world at large as Lil Wayne, has jammed a couple of lifetimes into his first 30 years, but that’s bound to happen when you sign a music contract at age 9. That’s when Wayne linked up with rapper B.G. to form the duo the B.G.’z and became part of the renowned Cash Money roster.
His solo effort, Tha Carter, in 2004 vaulted Wayne into the musical stratosphere, exposing him to wider mainstream audiences and made him a Rap superstar.
In 2008, Wayne dropped Tha Carter III, which had first-week sales in excess of one million (it ultimately sold more than three million).
In 2010, Wayne’s debut Rock album Rebirth was critically panned (but sold enough to go Gold) and he was sentenced to a year in prison for a 2007 gun charge. I Am Not a Human Being was released while Wayne was incarcerated, debuting at No.
After his release from prison, Wayne finished Tha Carter IV, which became his third No. 1 album, and this year saw the release of I Am Not a Human Being II. Wayne has maintained that he’ll retire at 35 and that the imminent Tha Carter V will be his last album. Last chance to see Weezy? Never say never with Lil Wayne in the mix. (BB)
• The strains of an anonymous woman aside, the first thing you hear on “Fuckin’ Problems,” A$AP Rocky’s late 2012 banger, is neither Rocky nor guests Drake or Kendrick Lamar, but 2 Chainz, who gets to deliver the hook: “I love bad bitches, that’s my fuckin’ problem/And yeah, I like to fuck/I got a fuckin’ problem.” The passage is simultaneously shallow, stupid and weirdly brilliant in its own way, making Tauheed Epps (aka 2 Chainz) perfect for the job.
Epps, the College Park, Ga.,-based MC formerly known as Tity Boi, has a hype man’s aura despite building a real sturdy career for himself. He has scored multiple mainstream hits (not the least of which is “Birthday Song,” which includes the genius turn of phrase, “She got a big booty, so I call her Big Booty”), but his mass appeal is rooted in his role as a guy who visits (or throws) big, dumb parties while spending a lot of time flanked by his friends in high places. In 2012, he worked alongside Nicki Minaj, Tyga and French Montana, while this year has seen collaborations with B.o.B., Major Lazer, Sean Paul and Young Jeezy. If you want a rapper who is loud and over-the-top enough to pull off a line like, “When I die, bury me in the Gucci store,” while keeping it light on the irony, 2 Chainz is your man.
LIL WAYNE, 2 CHAINZ and T.I. play Riverbend Tuesday. Go here for more information.