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Lil' Wayne
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Tha Carter, Vol. 2

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Tha Carter

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As a member of the platinum supergroup the Hot Boys, Lil Wayne has already made his mark as one of the world's youngest top talents. No one can match his quick wit, lyrical dexterity or down-home Southern charm. He is one of the few hardcore reality-rappers that can write rhymes without profanity. When he blesses the microphone, Lil Wheezy, as he is affectionately know in New Orleans, drops words so full of game and street wisdom, that he makes a person wonder how a young boy learned so muchgame. "I look at life like an older person," explains the 16-year-old rapper. "I think five or ten years older because of who I've been with all my life." Born and reared in the 17th Ward community of Hollygrove, a place riddled with violence and poverty, Wayne struggled to do right, but increasingly found himself attracted to the lure of street life.

He listened religiously to local rappers like UNLV and Pimp Daddy-both of whom were signed to Cash Money Records at one point. But Wayne did more than just listen to his favorite rappers, he was constantly penning his own rhymes, dreaming that someday he would make it. His day came sooner than expected when a friend introduced him to Cash Money Co-CEOs and founders Bryan "Baby" Williams and Ronald "Slim" Williams. "Cash Money had a rapper named Lil' Slim from Hollygrove," recalls Wayne. "He used to say, 'I'm goin' to tell Baby and Slim about you.'" One day Lil' Slim had an autograph session and Lil Wayne met them. "Baby told me to rap and I did. He gave me a card with his numbers, I started blowing up his pager and calling his office everyday until Baby saw that I really wanted to be down and he put me on."

Lil Wayne made his first appearance as a member of the short-lived group The B.G.'z, featuring another young talent named Lil' Doogie, now known as B.G., and later appeared on B.G.'s underground album, "True Story" in 1993.In 1997, Wayne joined forces with Juvenile, B.G. and Young Turk to form the Hot Boys, and dropped their blazing debut, "Get It How U Live," which sold over 400,000 copies in the South and helped Cash Money secure a distribution deal with Universal Records. Lil Wayne made a series of guest appearances on the Big Tymers' "How U Love That?" Volumes I and II, Juvenile's triple platinum selling "400 Degreez" and B.G.'s gold-certified "Chopper City In The Ghetto." Currently, the country is reeling from his stellar performance on the Hot Boys' gold-certified sophomore album, "Guerrilla Warfare." Now Lil Wayne drops his debut solo project, Tha Block Is Hot- easily one of the best albums of the year. "Basically, I'm giving my fans more of what they want," says Wayne. "My records still goin' to have the Big Tymers, B.G., Juv and Turk on there, but it's goin' to feature me rapping more, so fans can get an idea of what I'm about."

Produced by Cash Money's resident beat maestro Mannie Fresh, "Tha Block Is Hot" rocks some of the hit-making producer's most creative work yet. On the title track, which is the lead single and features B.G. and Juvenile trading lyrical shots with Lil Wheezy; Fresh drops an eerie set of strings over a bubbling syncopated beat and a funky bass vamp that'll have heads bobbing from New Orleans to New York. "High Beaming" is a jazzy track with a strong beat featuring a terse snare, jingling sleigh bells and accented by funky timbales. In addition, the keyboards and jazzy guitar riff provide the perfect soundscape for Wayne and B.G. to flow over. Another stand-out track is the future chart-buster, "Latin Respect," which features a beat inspired by the rich and complex poly-rhythms of salsa combined with a touch of New Orleans' Mardi Gras party music. One of New Orleans' most beloved lyricists has finally stepped to the plate, and judging from the sound of Tha Block Is Hot, he's packing serious heat for the Y2K.

--- from the official Lil' Wayne website