Solo With Solove: Mr. Weezy Goes to Prison

| Cadenza Reporter

Lil Wayne performs during the “Lil Wayne: I Am Music Tour World Tour” at Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C., Jan. 2, 2009. Lil Wayne will be spending the next year in prision for a weapon possession. (Jeff Siner | Charlotte Observer | MCT)

Hip-hop artist Lil Wayne will be taking a vacation from his breakneck rockstar lifestyle, beginning tomorrow, as he kicks off his latest tour of the jail cell that he will be spending the next year in. Dwayne Carter Jr., or “Weezy F. Baby” as he is known to his fans, among countless other nicknames, will be trading in all of it­—the nonstop sex, marijuana blunts, recreational cough syrup use and endless hours in a recording studio—for a more subdued existence of prison pajamas and contemplation while doing his time for a weapon possession conviction. Undoubtedly, one of the hardest parts of the jail time for Wayne will be being forced to stop moving for a second, to slow down his lifestyle and take a breath for the first time in years. And while his prison sentence seems unremarkable in this era when the story of a celebrity spending time in prison is the norm, expect to feel Wayne’s absence from the world of pop culture, as he has become an American icon in the past few years and possesses more space in the world of popular culture than any other musician today.

Above his right eye, Wayne sports a tattoo of the words “I AM MUSIC,” and in a sense he is correct about this self-perception. In the past few years, the self-proclaimed “greatest rapper alive” has revitalized the music industry by breathing new life into the rap genre with his enormous catalogue of tracks, covering every musical style from dance club beats to classic soul. His clownish antics and quotable one-liners have made following the rap scene fun again. Regardless of whether or not you consider yourself a rap fan, there is a Lil Wayne song out there for everyone, and if you’re not a Wayne fan you simply haven’t found your song yet. Wayne has taken rap to new heights as well as new lows; he has released such a vast array of different songs that any fan of music can find something to love about his tracks, whether his hypnotic lyrical wordplay, innovative backing tracks or his patented Lil Wayne giggle found on almost every song.

There is something empowering about Lil Wayne’s music. It’s impossible not to feel good about yourself while listening to Wayne get in your face with a song like “I’m Me,” a simple but powerful declaration of his existence on this planet and on the positive inertia that he carries with him wherever he goes. His favorite subject to rap about is how good he is at living life, but he does it in such a way that brings a listener in and inspires him or her try to attain the same pride in his or her unique qualities in order to develop the same level of swagger. And to all of the haters who try to criticize Wayne for just being Weezy, he has a clear message, as told to news anchor Katie Couric: “You worry about yours, and let them worry about theirs, cause I got mine.” In a world of celebrities who pander to the press and are more concerned about their public persona than the quality of their work, Wayne’s cavalier gunslinger style is a welcome refresher.

Wayne’s presence in the music scene will be sorely missed in the upcoming months. Things simply won’t be as interesting without him around, and music lovers should anticipate feeling like there is a huge irreplaceable void in their lives that only Weezy’s release from prison can fill. Luckily for us fans, this isn’t the day “the music” died; it’s simply the day he went to jail. Wayne will be back in no time, bringing the most highly anticipated rap album of the recent times, “Tha Carter IV,” on the heels of his release. In the mean time, all we can do is wait, and let Weezy pay the price for being him.

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