A is for Advice
In the spring, VH1's Web site debuted a series of videos called "Ask Weezy," in which Lil Wayne answered viewers' intimate questions about sex, romance and relationships. It's as entertaining as it sounds — for us and for him, judging by the monster grin on his face as he plays Dr. Ruth. It's still viewable at blog.vh1.com.
B is for Best Rapper Alive
Weezy claimed the title "Best Rapper Alive" in 2005 in lyrics on Tha Carter II, the album that started the Weezy snowball rolling downhill. It has caused a flood of commentary over the past three years, particularly before the explosion of the double-platinum-selling Tha Carter III. Weezy hasn't clarified or commented on the claim, but in more recent lyrics, he also announced that he was both a Cajun and a Martian, so he may soon claim Emperor of the Universe as well.
C is for Cash Money
The seminal New Orleans label was founded in 1991 by brothers Ronald "Slim" and Bryan "Baby" aka "Birdman" Williams, where Wayne cut his teeth as a teen rapper. For Weezy, loyalty counts — he re-signed with the label earlier this fall.
D is for Daddy
Daddy is Bryan Williams, Cash Money's CEO. Williams has rapped solo as B32 and Birdman, and had a No. 1 record — Hood Rich (2002) — with star producer Mannie Fresh as the duo the Big Tymers. The imposing label head recorded a gold-selling record in 2006 with Lil Wayne, Like Father, Like Son, announcing to the world that Weezy was his de facto adopted heir.
E is for Every damn body, whom he's collaborating with.
Wayne's signature stoner rasp has shown up on everything from the No. 1 Usher hit "Love in This Club" to the indie-rock/hip-hop group Gym Class Heroes to a recently announced joint with emo stars Fall Out Boy and Blondie. One gets the sense that he spends his days being shuttled from studio to studio in a very fast car.
F is for Fireman
Another title claim from Tha Carter II — but he's not putting the fire out. He's bringing it.
G is for Guitar
Remember when Madonna started playing the guitar? And Eddie Vedder? After you can pack a stadium with 20,000-plus fans by being really good at singing (or rapping), you can probably afford a really nice guitar and lessons. But to be kind to your fans, why not wait till you can actually play the thing before you break it out — seconds too late to sync up to a prerecorded track — on a Saturday Night Live gig?
H is for Hot Boys
The all-star quartet debuted by Cash Money in 1997 featured 15-year-old Lil Wayne and equally youthful members B.G., Turk and Juvenile, who had already had some solo success. A Hot Boys reunion has been a dangling carrot for local rap fans for at least a year. Recently, Juvenile and Lil Wayne both appeared on "Ya Heard Me," the first single to be released from B.G.'s upcoming Atlantic Records debut, Too Hood 2 B Hollywood, making it three out of four. Turk, the remaining Hot Boy, is still in jail following a 2004 drug conviction. (H is also for Hollygrove, the neighborhood Weezy still gives shout-outs to on wax and at awards shows.)
I is for "I am music."
The latest of many tattoos, "I am music" recently showed up over Weezy's eyebrow in red ink.
J is for Jay-Z
First Weezy seemed to diss the rap-business legend, with the ambiguously styled kill-your-idol lyrics ('You old-ass rappers better stay on tour/ You like 44/ I got a .44/ I'm 24/ I could murk (murder) you and come out when I'm 44") causing much buzzing and parsing. Then, on Tha Carter III, Hova joined Weezy on a track called "Mr. Carter" (Jay-Z's given surname is also Carter) that seemed to quash the static and offer a blessing: "I share mic time with my heir/ Young Carter/ Go farther/ Go further/ Go harder."
K is for Kanye
The petulant, unclassifiable Louis Vuitton Don remixed "Lollipop" and produced two tracks on Tha Carter III, though Wayne said it could have been more. He told an interviewer, "The first time, Kanye came and brought me five joints. The next time he came and gave me a CD with 15 joints on it. I had to tell him, hold on, please stop."
L is for Leak
Weezy is now infamous for flooding the underground market with mixtape-only releases and tracks for DJs to remix to their hearts' content, assuring almost daily new material with his stamp on it.
M is for "A Milli"
The red-hot, second single off of Tha Carter III and also, literally, Lil Wayne's 26th birthday present: a suitcase filled with $1 million in crisp bills courtesy of Bryan "Birdman" Williams, gifted to Weezy at his blowout party in Miami in the first week of October. (M is also for McMain High School, the alma mater of both Wayne and his manager, Cortez Bryant.)
N is for Nikki Minaj
The super-foxy, baby-voiced recent Young Money signee from Queens appears on one of the better (and most X-rated) remixes of the exhaustively remixed single "Lollipop." Her name is also a semi-intentional semi-anagram for "ninja," as you can tell from a YouTube video of her swinging a samurai sword in her bathrobe.
O is for (Mrs.) Officer
On the delightfully dirty last single off of Tha Carter III, Weezy deftly turns the defiant declaration "F*** tha police" into a soft-core giggle.
P is for President
In 2005, Lil Wayne was named president of Cash Money Records. He stepped down in 2007, stating, "I am the president of me. I am me! I run nobody, I live in a different world with different laws."
Q is for Q-93 FM
Between all the hot singles Weezy has released and the tracks he's guested on, this local ClearChannel hip-hop station is pretty much all Lil Wayne, all the time. And you should hear the all-request hour at lunchtime.
R is for the Rev. Al Sharpton
On the track "DontGetIt" on Tha Carter III, a ruminative Lil Wayne took Sharpton to task over the course of several verses, calling him "inhuman," a "nobody" and "No MLK, no Jesse Jackson, just Don King with a perm." In June 2008, Sharpton released a response, pointing out that he had a 50 percent approval rating among African Americans: "So why dignify a response to one rap artist who doesn't even say anything substantive."
S is for Static Major, R.I.P.
The Kentucky rapper who appeared on "Lollipop," the first single off of Tha Carter III, died of complications in surgery in February 2008, almost a month before the song was released and later hit No. 1 on the charts.
T is for Teeth
Lil Wayne's sparkly grill was the subject of speculation in August, when the rapper missed two court dates — in Arizona and New York City — on the medical advice of his dentist.
U is for Universal
The humungous Universal Music Group inked a distribution and publishing deal with Cash Money in 1998. So Weezy (and other Cash Money/Young Money artists) have the cachet of the homegrown imprint, combined with the reach of the monster conglomerate label.
V is for Violence
As rappers go, Wayne's not really one for the lyrical shoot "em up, but in March, he was forced to halt a London concert when fans began rioting and launching empty Champagne bottles onto the stage.
W is for Weezy F. Baby
Wayne's favorite alias gives props to his adopted "father," Bryan "Birdman" Williams.
X is for the rating fans are giving the famous kiss on the lips with Baby.
The hip-hop community erupted when a photo of the two kissing (briefly) on the lips while promoting their 2006 album Like Father, Like Son emerged. The blogs buzzed, but both artists insisted in interviews that their love was purely filial, and the furor died down quickly.
Y is for Young Money Entertainment
In 2003, Lil Wayne started this subsidiary of Cash Money. Wayne handed over stewardship of the label, which handles local rappers like Dizzy (aka Raw DI) and Mack Maine and out-of-town performers like New York-based Nikki Minaj, to his manager and former McMain classmate Cortez Bryant in 2007.
Z is for the siZZurp
A cocktail based on codeine-heavy, prescription cough syrup (sometimes mixed with Sprite and garnished with Jolly Ranchers) is a popular tipple among Southern rappers, made famous by the Three 6 Mafia (featuring UGK) track, "Sippin' on some Syrup." In the video for "A Milli," Lil Wayne's Styrofoam cup, presumably filled with syrup, is blocked by a "censored" bar.