We take a look at the Net Worth of Lil Wayne, Top Quotes, Real Estate, Assets, Controversies & More. Find out how Lil Wayne made his money. Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. or “Lil Wayne” is one of the biggest legends in the rap game. He’s up there with icons like Jay-Z, Snoop Dogg, and Dr. Dre, and he’s the biggest artist out of the New Orleans rap scene. With a net worth of $170 million, Lil Wayne is also one of the wealthiest rappers in America. Lil Wayne adopted many monikers during his career, going by Young Tune, Birdman Jr., Dr. Carter, Tunechi, Weezyana, and many more. Regardless of how you want to label the man, he’s one of the most successful artists in the country, with a huge global following.
The rapper’s sold more than 100 million records and won several awards. The rapper is also the first to pass Elvis Presley’s record for the most songs on the Billboard Top 100. His success enabled the rapper to start his record label, Young Money Entertainment. Lil Wayne’s career breakout was with his 1999 debut mixtape, ‘Tha Block Is Hot,’ which peaked at number three on the Billboard 200. His first number one single was ‘Lollipop,’ featured on his 2008 studio album ‘Tha Carter Three.’ During his career, Lil Wayne discovered several top-selling artists, including Nicki Minaj.
Lil Wayne – The Early Years
Born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. in 1982, Lil Wayne grew up in Hollygrove in New Orleans, a low-income neighborhood. Dwayne attended elementary school, where she showed academic talent. As a result, he ended up in the school’s gifted program and was a drama club member.Lil Wayne wrote his first rap song at the tender age of eight, drawing the attention of ‘The Birdman,’ Bryan Williams. Williams was the owner of Cash Money Records and Wayne’s ticket to the big time. Wayne was relentless with his pursuit of the Birdman. He recounts leaving freestyles on his answering machine until the Birdman cracked and gave him a chance.
After appearing on featured tracks with Cash Money artists, Lil Wayne experienced a tragedy that almost ended his career. At age 12, Wayne accidentally shot himself in the chest with a pistol. An off-duty police officer rushed Wayne to the emergency room for immediate treatment, saving his life. The rapper later admitted the shot was a suicide attempt. Wayne was involved in an argument with his mother about his rap career and shot himself because his mother failed to support his career. The pair have since made amends, and Wayne purchased his mother her home from his rap career earnings.
Lil Wayne – Career
While Lil Wayne was on the path to success from an early age, the rapper would only break through to the big time in 1997 after joining the group ‘The Hot Boys.’ The collective experienced huge success with their work, reaching the top spot on the R&B/Hip-Hop Billboard several times.
The rapper was ready to pursue a solo career in the game when he was 17 years old, releasing his debut studio album, ‘Tha Block is Hot’ in 1999. While his first album was a smash hit, the next two records, ‘Lights Out’ and ‘500 Degreez,’ were less than impressive. In 2003, he released a solo mixtape, ‘Da Drought,’ which saw decent success, but it was his 2004 record, ‘Tha Carter,’ was a huge success, reaching number five on the Billboard 200. The hit single, ‘Go, DJ,’ was a resounding success, earning Wayne his respect in the industry and in the hip hop community.
Lil Wayne collaborated on Destiny’s Child’s single ‘Soldier’ in 2004 before releasing the follow-up to ‘Tha Carter’ in ‘Tha Carter II’ in 2005. This record was Wayne’s first commercial success, going platinum. Wayne followed up with ‘Tha Carter III’ in 2008, with the album going platinum in the first week and selling more than 2.8-million copies by the end of the year.
The singles’ Lollipop’ and ‘A Milli’ were huge hits, with ‘Tha Carter III’ becoming the hip hop genre’s most successful album of the year. Wayne took home several Grammy Awards in February 2009. Including the best rap song, best rap album, best solo performance, and best rap performance by a duo or group. Lil Wayne won the collaborative award for his work with Jay-Z, T.I., and Kanye West on the track, ‘Swagga Like Us.’
Lil Wayne released the hit single’ 6 Foot 7 Foot’ in 2010, just months before embarking on his North American tour with Rick Ross and Nicki Minaj. Wayne delayed the release of his next album several times, even releasing a mixtape, ‘Sorry 4 the Wait,’ to appease his fans. After appearing at the 2011 music awards, Lil Wayne released ‘Tha Carter IV,’ featuring collaborations with industry giants like Busta Rhymes, John Legend, and Andre 3000. He followed up with the release of ‘I Am Not a Human Being II’ in 2013.
At this stage of his career, industry critics started to say Wayne had reached his creative peak. However, Lil Wayne proved them wrong with the release of ‘Tha Carter V’ in late 2018. The album was a commercial success, and Wayne followed up with the release of ‘Funeral’ in 2020, with the album debuting at the top of the Billboard 200. He pleaded guilty to illegally transporting a firearm and ammunition on a private plane in 2020, with the rapper expected to serve up to ten years in prison for the offense. However, the rapper received a pardon from former President Trump in 2020, along with Kodak Black, another rapper set to go to jail for firearms-related crimes.
The highlight of Lil Wayne’s career came in 2017 when the rapper was nominated for an American Music Award. The rapper performed his hot track, ‘I’m the One,’ on stage at the show, alongside Quavo, Chance the Rapper, and DJ Khaled. Lil Wayne went on to win the award for the Best Rap/Hip-Hop Song at the AMAs that year.Lil Wayne experienced massive success during his career. He’s one of the biggest names to come out of the New Orleans scene, with a slew of hit records and singles and more awards than we can mention in a single article about the rapper.
While Wayne is incredibly successful in his own right, he’s also responsible for launching the careers of some of the biggest names in hip hop. Through his Young Money Entertainment label, Lil Wayne signed Drake and Nicki Minaj when they were starting their careers. Minaj became one of the most successful female rappers of all time, taking out Aretha Franklin’s record for the female artists with the most singles on the Billboard charts. Drake went on to earn the moniker of ‘The biggest rap star in the world.’ Both artists owe their success to Lil Wayne.
In July 2020, Lil Wayne sold all the masters in the Young Money collection to Universal Music in a deal worth $100 million. Lil Wayne earned the bulk of his fortune from record sales and touring. He grossed more than $21 million from Eps, compilation albums, and mixtapes. Industry insiders claim the artist commands $600,000 per show, and he performs at least 50 times during the year. While details on earnings from recent tours are hazy, the artist earned $42 million from his ‘Tha Carter III’ tour from 2008 to 2009.
Lil Wayne – Personal Life
Lil Wayne has four children with different women. The rapper married Toya Johnson, the mother of his first child, in 2005, and the couple divorced a year later in 2006. The rapper had a son ‘Dwayne III’ in 2008, with the boy’s mother being a radio broadcaster.
He had another child with Lauren London in 2009 and another son in the same year with the singer Nivea. The rapper also has a generous streak, and he’s taken part in the annual Cash Money Records turkey giveaway in New Orleans. While Wayne had a successful career, he almost ended it after finding himself addicted to ‘Lean.’ Lean is a drink with a prescription cough mixture mixed with lemonade. The cough syrup is a source of codeine, a powerful opiate with a high propensity for addiction in users.
The rapper was addicted to the drink for years, with health scares involving seizures and hospitalization. The rapper had two seizures in quick succession in 2017, causing him to give up the drug for good. The rapper claims the seizures were not a result of his drug use, but seizures are a listed side effect of codeine withdrawal.
Lil Wayne – Controversy
Lil Wayne experienced plenty of controversy during his career. The rapper had several arrests throughout the years, including a possession charge for marijuana and criminal possession of a weapon in 2007.
The rapper escaped serious penalties for his first offense, but the second run-in with the law was much more severe. Arizona Border Patrol pulled over his tour bus, finding large quantities of illegal drugs in the vehicle. The rapper ended up receiving an intent to distribute charge instead of possession.Once again, the rapper escaped serious penalties for the office. However, in 2010, the rapper was set to leave for Rikers Island to serve a year for a weapons charge. His lawyer managed to turn the sentence into 36 months of probation. In the end, he only served eight months of the sentence.
Lil Wayne has been accused of copyright infringement in several of his songs. He’s also failed to pay royalties to record labels and canceled appearances after being paid to perform. The rapper also stirred up several beefs between himself and other top artists like Young Buck, Juvenile, Jay-Z, and Pusha T.
Lil Wayne – Real Estate Portfolio
Lil Wayne also has a sizable real estate portfolio. The rapper spent $11.6 million on his 20,857 square-foot waterfront home in Miami in 2009. After moving in, the rapper started blowing millions of dollars on renovations to the home.However, the rapper listed the property for $18 million in 2015 before eventually settling on an offer for $10 million in June 2017. As a result, he ended up taking a huge financial loss from the sale. Some insiders say he spent nearly $5 million on the renovations, taking a hit of close to $8 million after its eventual sale.
Wayne paid $17 million in December 2018 for a new island home in Miami. He followed up this purchase by paying $14.5 million for a mansion in Hidden Hills, California, in April 2021. His real estate portfolio includes a 10,000-square-foot mansion in New Orleans and an apartment with a fitted recording studio worth $1.7 million.
Lil Wayne – Lifestyle and Spending
Lil Wayne loves flossing his lifestyle on Instagram. The rapper has a penchant for expensive jewelry and supercars. His fleet includes a $500,000 Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, a $300,000 Bentley Mulsanne, a $300,000 Aston Martin V12 Vanquish, and a $1.7 million Bugatti Veyron. His art collection is reportedly valued at $30 million.