Rapper Lil’ Wayne released from prison
If you found yourself sleeping easier last night, perhaps it was because Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Carter was released from prison and is now free to proceed ball-hogging the pop charts.
The dreadlocked emcee emerged from New York’s Rikers Island on Thursday after serving roughly eight months stemming from a weapons charge in 2007.
Wayne wasn’t just in prison lifting weights or reading. He managed to stay relevant with songs in constant radio rotation and plenty of headlines to keep fans curious.
In May, it was reported that he had been moved from general population to solitary confinement when prison officials discovered contraband in his cell. The prohibited items were an MP3 player, headphones and a charger.
How appropriate that the incarcerated artist can’t help but sneak in an iPod to pass his time? While he was punished for it, fans couldn’t help but admire Weezy’s bind of just wanting some music to listen to.
On Sept. 27, Wayne released “I Am Not A Human Being” which rocketed to number one on the Bilboard 200, and has sold over 350,000 units in the U.S. alone. He was only the second artist in history to have a number one album while locked up. The late Tupac Shakur did it with his 1995 album “Me Against the World” while he was serving time on an assault charge.
Wayne found himself imprisoned for possessing one pistol. But fellow rapper Clifford “T.I.” Harris served essentially the same sentence after he attempted to purchase an arsenal of high-powered weapons from an FBI cooperative.
T.I. had a show on MTV called “T.I.’s Road to Redemption,” where he would advise youngsters to avoid a life of crime. He also completed over 1,000 hours of community service. For his deeds, his prison sentence was drastically shortened and he was released March 26.
But he couldn’t stay out of trouble for very long. T.I. and his wife were arrested Sept. 1 in Los Angeles on drug charges. An obvious violation of the conditions of his probation, T.I. is consequently back in the pen for another 11 months.
“My road to redemption has no GPS,” T.I. said in his new song “Get Back Up” that was recorded prior to his second prison stint.
His new album was supposed to be titled “King Uncaged” but he has since changed the name to “No Mercy.” Personally, “King Re-caged” sounds like the most appropriate.
Wayne did not participate in any community service or make any pleas to shorten his sentence like T.I. However, he has a chance to avoid this recidivism by using better judgment. Hopefully he can set a better example to his legions of fans around the world by staying out of trouble.
While it is doubtful Wayne is headed for the straight and narrow, (his surrogate father Bryan “Birdman Williams” and friends are reported to be throwing a welcome-back party for him at his Miami home) he can improve upon his decision-making.
We’ll see if all the time spent alone enhances his creativity as an artist and — more importantly — if he can stay out of reach of the long arm of the law.