Weezy F. Baby, you already know -- or maybe you don't. Lil Wayne has lived an action-packed life, and he's only 31. But for every fact you know about Weezy, there are five things you don't know about the New Orleans-bred rapper. Yeah, he shot himself, but with whose gun? Sure, he lost his virginity early, but how? He called himself Shrimp Daddy early on, but why?
We dug through videos, interviews and old magazine scans to dig up some little-known information on Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. If you're a Wayne fan, this stuff is gold. And if you're not, well, maybe you will be after you read this. These are 25 Facts You Probably Didn't Know About Lil Wayne.
Wayne first went by the name Shrimp Daddy.
His initial rap name was inspired by New Orleans bounce rapper Pimp Daddy, who had a hit single called 'Gots Ta Be Real' in the early-to-mid '90s.
The rapper met Birdman on Fri., May 13, 1993.
According to his very first cover story in Blaze Magazine from 2000, Lil' Slim, then a Cash Money artist, first heard Wayne when he was 9. He promised to get the kid a record deal with CM, but Wayne balked until coming to a Cash Money autograph session and spitting for Birdman and Slim right there in person.
Other accounts, however, claim Wayne left a barrage of freestyles on Baby's answering machine, prompting the Cash Money owners to sign the kid. Wayne has never corroborated that story, though, and in the video below, you can hear Weezy explain how he called Cash Money all the time after meeting Baby at the autograph session.
His first album was released when he was 11 years old.
The album was 'True Story' and it was by the B.G.'z, a group consisting of Lil Wayne, then known as Baby D, and B.G., who went by Lil' Doogie.
The Young Money leader started carrying a gun when he was also 11.
It was a .32 Derringer, and the bullets cost a quarter each.
Wayne was about to join Boyz N Da Hood in 2005.
In 2005, it was rumored he was replacing Young Jeezy in the group, and T.I. was even supposed to join Wayne. A year later, in an interview with Vibe, Wayne said the group would have been akin to a "Southern Wu-Tang," but Jeezy left and T.I. decided against it, so the group never formed.
From 1997 to 2012, Wayne recorded at least 597 guest features.
This stat, taken from a Lil Wayne message board that compiled every feature into a chronological spreadsheet, is probably lower than the actual figure.
He once pulled a cleaver knife on his mother's second husband, Terry.
He didn't end up using the knife, and Terry split soon after.
When he was 12, Wayne shot himself in the chest with his stepfather's gun.
His stepfather Rabbit let Wayne play with his .44 Taurus Magnum, and one day, he accidentally shot himself while playing with the gun. He was on life support for two weeks.
He says getting shot is the reason he writes.
The bullet was two inches away from his heart, and surviving the gun shot wound changed his life.
Wayne's mom didn't like Birdman and Slim when Wayne signed to Cash Money.
She had gone to school with Slim and knew Birdman had spent five years in jail.
Around 2003, Wayne dissed both 50 Cent and Nas.
When Vibe asked him about it, Wayne responded - "Uh, yeah...I was wildin' that night."
Prior to 'Tha Carter III,' Wayne's label didn't like his prolific run of guest appearances.
He relayed to Rolling Stone what his relationship with the label, Universal, was like at the time: "I said, ‘You never assign motherf---ers to my project. You're not going to treat me like your biggest artist, I must sell myself. If every artist has a thing, my thing is going to be my f---ing talent. That's the rarity. My niche, that you're going to sell for me, is that he's the talentedest n---- ever. It's not my face, not what I wear. You're going to sell that this n---- is great every time. Every song that comes through for clearance, you clear that motherf---er. Every mixtape you hear about, you shut up.'"
Wayne's stepfather Rabbit put up $700 for Mannie Fresh to record his first demo.
Upon forking out the loan, Rabbit told Wayne, "If this s--- don't work, I need my $700 back."
The 'A Milli' rhymer has never worked a day job.
Besides an unpaid gig at a summer camp, he's never punched a clock.
The last time he wrote down any rhymes was in 2002.
It was on the SQ7 mixtape, also known simply as '10,000 Bars.' In the recordings, you can hear him flipping pages as he reads from a notebook. From then on, he recorded verses without writing them down.
His grandmother nicknamed him Tune when he was young.
No one knows why.
At 14, Wayne's mom pulled him out of school.
She saw him putting a gun in his backpack and decided enough was enough.
Lauren London and Nivea were both pregnant by Weezy -- at the same time.
Toya Wright and Sarah Vivan also have little Lil Waynes. Hence the line “four baby mamas, no baby mama drama” on the 'No Lie' remix.
He lost his virginity at age 11.
In some accounts, he was playing “Win, Lose or Draw” and a 13-year-old girl wrote “F--- me” on the board. Other accounts, like the one below, put it a little... differently.
He had his first child, Reginae, at 16.
His girlfriend was 14 at the time.
Reginae is named after Wayne's stepfather, Rabbit.
Wayne considers Rabbit to be his "real" father, as he raised him after his biological dad skipped town. His real name is Reginald.
Jay-Z first threw shots at Wayne on T.I.'s 'Watch What You Say' in 2007.
After Wayne addressed Jigga in a '07 issue of Complex (“It’s not your house anymore and I’m better than you”), Jay took the bait and fired off some not-so subliminals. Wayne answered on Freekey Zekey's 'Beat Without Bass' -- "You old-ass rappers better stay on tour. You’re like 44, I got a .44, I’m 24. I could murk you and come home when I’m 44.”
In July of 2007, Lil Wayne performed his first ever solo show at Beacon Theatre in New York City.
After the show in New York City, police raided his tour bus and arrested him for possession of an unlicensed handgun. Three years later, he went to prison at Rikers Island for that charge.
Wayne doesn't think he can compete with Kendrick Lamar.
He said as much to journalist Elliott Wilson in his CRWN interview.
The MC has reunited with Mannie Fresh on 'Tha Carter V.'
Listen to a snippet of their collaboration below.