Update: This post has been edited to fix an error regarding the venue Lil Wayne is scheduled to perform at next week.
Perma-stoned New Orleans rapper Lil Wayne has been hip-hop's eccentric golden boy for five years now. On the heels of his magnificent breakthrough album Tha Carter II, Wayne went apeshit, releasing mixtape after groundbreaking mixtape. Some of them, like 2006's Dedication 2 and Lil Weezyana, were distinctly lyrical. Others (most notably 2007's Da Drought 3) were experimental to the point of feeling hallucinatory.
Wayne's music was indulgent and often inaccessible, yet somehow he logged tons of radio spins; not since Jay-Z had a rapper attained pop stardom completely on their own terms.
Released in summer 2008, Tha Carter III was a critical smash and sold three million copies. Its songs were bizarre, full of dreamlike imagery, as if they'd been recorded during a weeks-long Ambien binge.
Wayne's drugs of choice were actually weed, Xanax, and prescription cough syrup, though. Thankfully for his health, the 29-year-old got sober shortly before beginning an eight-month prison sentence for gun possession in 2010.
These days Wayne plays both CEO and MC. He famously signed Drake and Nicki Minaj to his Young Money imprint two years ago, and the two have made a serious commercial splash.
Tracks like "6 Foot 7 Foot" and "She Will," singles from the upcoming Tha Carter IV, slated for release on August 29, suggest the album may fare better than last year's hysterically overwrought Rebirth, and the spotty I Am Not a Human Being.
Lil Wayne is scheduled to perform Wednesday, August 24, at Ashley Furniture HomeStore Pavilion.