He Is Music: Lil Wayne's Rise (Tha Carter Era)

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He Is Music: Lil Wayne's Rise to Super-Stardom

Lil Wayne is one of the best and most successful MCs to ever touch the mic. But it didn't have to be that way. He first met success with the Hot Boys in the late '90s, overshadowed in many ways by  Juvenile and B.G. After the Hot Boys dissolved, Wayne released 2002's 500 Degreez to middling acclaim and commercial success. The other members of the HBs began to fade from the spotlight for the most part, and there wasn't anything to suggest that Wayne wouldn't follow in their footsteps. But it all turned around with 2004's Tha Carter. That landmark album was the start of Weezy's meteoric rise from mere Hot Boys supporting member to "superstar." Here, in honor of Lil Wayne's big 30th birthday (he's not so little anymore) today, September 27, BET.com breaks down Wayne's journey from Tha Carter to the top. —Alex Gale

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