Dwayne Carter, the twenty-four-year-old rapper from New Orleans known as Lil Wayne, hasn’t released an album or a single in months, though he has appeared as a guest on songs by other artists. But he is indisputably the rapper of the year. He has been recording songs constantly—sometimes three or four a night. Many are astonishingly good, and most eventually find their way onto the Internet, where they can be downloaded for free, apparently with his blessing. Among hip-hop fans, discussion has been dominated by talk of Lil Wayne—his place in the hip-hop canon, his romantic status, his sexual orientation, and the release date of his sixth album, “Tha Carter III.” Last week, MTV’s “hip-hop brain trust”—ten staffers—voted Lil Wayne the “hottest m.c. in the game.”
In four years, Lil Wayne has evolved from a fairly predictable Southern gangsta rapper into an artist who may actually deserve the bragging rights to “best rapper alive,” his current motto.
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