What Does Jail Time Mean for Lil Wayne's Career?
By PopEater Staff Posted Mar 2nd 2010 08:00AM
Lil Wayne will start serving a year-long prison sentence for a criminal weapons possession charge. While the media speculates about the treatment the 27-year-old rap megastar will receive in jail, we have to wonder: How's the time behind bars going to affect the career of the prolific artist, who recorded his first hit at age 15 and released the bestselling album of 2008, 'Tha Carter III'?
Better Than Ever
Lil Wayne is renowned for nonstop recording and an endless torrent of ideas -- he tours with a recording studio on wheels and has delayed record releases due to hot new tracks he's psyched about. Being unable to record for months on end should crystallize the rapper's ideas and result in some of his strongest, most put-together material to date. Also consider Lil Wayne doesn't write down his lyrics -- "ain't got time," he explained on 'A Milli' -- making it a safe bet that whatever lines Weezy stores in his brain for a year will become hard-hitting songs that put the infectious 'Lollipop' to shame.
"I am a gangsta. I don't take nothing from no one," Lil Wayne told Katie Couric in 2009. "I do what I wanna do. And I'm gonna do that until the day I die, and if I can't do that, then I'll just die." Adhering to the authority and regimented schedule of prison life (outlined Monday on MTV.com) will either reform this rebel sentiment or compound it. Either way, facing authority and dealing with massive amounts of alone time will indubitably tweak Weezy's perspective. Will it be on par with David Bowie's turn as Ziggy Stardust or Bob Dylan's Christian phase? Time will tell.
Weezy's latest album, the rock-tinged 'Rebirth,' has paled in critical comparison to 2008's 'Tha Carter III,' the Grammy winner for Best Rap Album and a nominee for Album of the Year. Wayne intends to release the hotly-anticipated 'Tha Carter IV' shortly after his release in early 2011. His prison stint will pique media curiosity -- Paris Hilton did 23 days and we all remember that Larry King interview -- and fans new and old will be dying to hear how Weezy sets the experience to sound.
As PopEater previously reported, Wayne shot nine music videos in 48 hours last week, setting himself up to remain in the spotlight, and maybe even rack up a major hit or two, while behind bars. Regardless of what happens in the next 12 months, one thing is certain, Weezy isn't really going anywhere -- and he may emerge bigger than ever.
UPDATE: First Lil Wayne postponed his jail time for extensive dental work, now his sentence has been delayed a second time due to a fire in the Manhattan courthouse where Weezy's sentencing was set to occur. The New York Times reports that the fire was extinguished in 45 minutes, but the building was closed for the remainder of the day. A court official told TMZ Lil Wayne will be sentenced tomorrow, "unless the hand of God comes down and saves him yet again."
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