American rapper Lil Wayne’s net worth in 2018 is estimated at $150.0 million! He was featured on Forbes’ list of World’s Highest-Paid Hip-Hop Artists at No. 17 last year. Wayne has Cash Money Records to thank for it all, and probably his early life in New Orleans, too!
|About Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.|
|Known As||Lil Wayne|
|Birth||September 27, 1982 New Orleans, Louisiana, U.S.|
|Height||5 feet 4 inches|
|Spouse||Antonia Wright (m. 2004; div. 2006)|
|Children||Reginae Carter, Cameron Carter, Dwayne Carter III, Neal Carter|
|Parents||Dwayne Michael Turner, Father, Jacida Carter, Mother, Reginald "Rabbit" McDonald, Step Father|
|Address||Hollygrove, New Orleans|
|Job||Rapper, Singer, Songwriter, Record executive , Entrepreneur|
|Affiliation||Young Money, Cash Money, Republic|
|Awards||American Music Awards, BET Awards, Grammy Awards, MOBO Awards|
Early Bird Gets the Record Deal
Lil Wayne inspired millions through his music, making him one of the best rappers the industry today. However, it wasn’t a smooth ride to the top.
With a teen mom and a clueless life ahead, it’s safe to say that the rapper has done great for himself today.
Before the Fame
Born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. on September 27, 1982, Lil Wayne’s age is 35.
Wayne’s father abandoned the family when he was just two years old. So, his 19-year-old mother, who worked as a cook, was left to fend for herself and her baby. This is what prompted the rapper to remove the “D” from his name to become Lil Wayne.
However, things weren’t all that bleak in the Carter household. His mother remarried, and Reginald “Rabbit” McDonald became his stepfather, who raised the rapper as his own.
Coming from a frisky neighborhood in Louisiana, this talented boy was a star since his time in elementary school.
Wayne started rapping at the age of eight. And when he wasn’t dealing crack or accidentally shooting himself with his mother’s gun, he was writing songs and making rhythms.
He met Bryan Williams aka Birdman in the summer of ’91. And the rest, as they say, is history!
Birdman mentored the young Wayne and allowed him to perform under his wing at a very young age. They had a father-son-like bond, and it wasn’t long before their partnership became the most celebrated in the hip-hop world.
Signing Deals for a Golden Future
Lil Wayne was all of nine when he was signed as an artist under Cash Money Records, becoming one the youngest to have gotten a deal. At the time, Cash Money itself was a new venture, with a nitro boost attached to their engines!
The record label wanted to do something different in the world of Backstreet Boys, and the music they made proved them right.
A young Wayne began collaborating with B.G. for their first album, True Story, under the hip-hop duo known as The B.G.’z. It sold around 20,000 copies, putting him on the map.
The duo then joined Juvenile and Turk to form a group called Hot Boys. Although they were not as well-known nationally at the time, they were Cash Money Records’ most recognized artists.
Lil Wayne’s Earnings
Lil Wayne’s debut album, The Block Is Hot, was released in 1999 through Cash Money and Universal Music.
In the first week of its release, the album sold close to 230,000 copies. This means that even if it sold at $15.00 a pop at the time, the album earned a cool $34.5 million in the very first week!
It was reported that as of 2012, the album went Platinum and sold over 1.4 million copies.
The Block Is Hot was the stepping stone to success for Lil Wayne. He was then approached by many magazines for interviews, as he featured on their “Best New Artist” lists!
It is estimated that he earned $1.7 million through this first studio album. And more and more of Lil Wayne’s songs and albums went platinum in no time!
The release of his 2004 signature album, Tha Carter, was huge among hip-hop lovers. It sold over 870,000 copies in the U.S. and became Lil Wayne’s very own trademark in hip-hop.
It is estimated that he earned $1.7 million through Tha Carter.
The rapper is approximated to have earned more than $15.0 million in singles as well as a featured artist. However, his concert tours have earned the artist some big cash, too.
Forbes estimated that Lil Wayne earned a cool $600,000 per night for the 50 or so shows he did in 2012. This amounts to $30.0 million in earnings for that year in concerts alone!
It was also reported that he earned a cool $110,000 for a 15-minute performance at clubs and other gigs in 2015.
Reportedly, the rapper sold an estimated 3.5 million copies in worldwide sales of the album Tha Carter IV. But his highest grossing album is 2008’s Tha Carter III with worldwide sales of 5.29 million copies.
His YouTube channel has over one million subscribers and receives some two million views on average. His channel seems to be earning him $2.0 million easily.
At the end of 2016, Lil Wayne’s total estimated earnings through his 17 studio albums (including EP’s) and 25 mixtapes amounted to more than $21.0 million!
Lil Wayne’s Endorsements
A rapper this big is sure to have a long line of brands flocking to him for a deal with them. But Wayne has always been selective about his endorsements.
Be it his multimillion-dollar Mountain Dew endorsement with beverage conglomerate Pepsi or his endorsements on social media, he has made an impact on his fans.
Back in 2008, Lil Wayne posed for a Strapped Condoms ad, and it was everywhere. He signed a deal with J. Prince of Rap-A-Lot Records, who also owned the condom company.
The company was trying to spread awareness among the youth about HIV at the time. And Lil Wayne was the perfect candidate for the campaign.
But the ad failed to promote the Strapped 4 Life campaign properly. It showed the rapper being cuffed by the police with condoms in his pockets, which suggested homosexuality.
He can also be seen promoting rum brand Bumbu on his official Instagram account. We’re sure the company has poured a few million into Wayne’s bank account, along with some quality rum!
Skating is Lil Wayne’s second passion after rap. Although he might not have done this for money or as an endorsement, he has tattooed some skateboard brand logos on his face!
It seems the artist reached out to the head of Baker Skateboards to ask their okay on his tattoo idea.
Wayne, who already had a 5Boro Skateboards logo near his ear, went ahead with getting Baker and Shake Junt ones, too.
In 2012, Supra Footwear and Lil Wayne collaborated for athletic men’s shoes. The kicks cost a cool $125.00 a pop, which went on to become his signature footwear.
The Samsung Galaxy S7 phone was heavily promoted by Lil Wayne. The Internet broke when he was seen pouring champagne on the phone to showcase its waterproof abilities.
The promotion went viral on social media with more than 10 million views and shares added to the marketing of the product.
We’re sure he’s pocketed millions for the endorsement deal.
Lil Wayne’s Record Labels
After becoming the head of Cash Money Records and then severing ties with the label, Wayne started his own label called Young Money back in 2005.
He signed on artists like Drake and Nicki Minaj, who made it big in the industry. Young Money has produced hundreds of albums and singles over the course of the last decade and released 12 No. 1 albums in the U.S.
Lil Wayne’s Brands
Lil Wayne owns a clothing line called Trukfit. With the merchandise costing between $30.00 to $70.00 a pop, the fashion wear brand has become a rubber stamp in the celebrity-owned brand world.
Speaking of celebrity-owned merch, Lil Wayne also had his own edition of Beats by Dr. Dre headphones called Tunechi Beats. The device came in different color combinations, but it looked like the glossy red and black ones sold the most.
Like a true-blue skater, the rapper also has his own app called FREE WEEZY, Lil Wayne’s Sqvad Up game. The video game is available on the app store for free, but it looks like there are in-app purchases.
He also owns a sports agency in the same name as his record label.
Young Money AAPA Sports is into basketball, football, and boxing. The rapper was also soccer star Cristiano Ronaldo’s agent after he signed him on through the company.
Lil Wayne’s passion for grass (the other kind) probably led to the idea of launching his very own brand of cigarillos called Bogey Cigars.
The flavorful cigarillos are manufactured in the Dominican Republic and can be yours for around $17.00 a pop. The company also sells Lil Wayne lighters at $10.00 per lighter for your fancy.
Lil Wayne collaborated with French watch brand Wize and Ope for some limited edition Lil Wayne watches and t-shirts.
His Personal Prison Journal
Lil Wayne penned down a book titled Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island, which was published in 2016. It retails at around $15.00 on Amazon.com.
The entire book looks like a personal journal with the outer cover mimicking the composition notebooks. Meanwhile, the inside pages are filled with handwritten entries of his time in prison.
Many positive reviews flooded the Lil Wayne empire after his book was released. Readers could immediately connect to the rapper and sympathize with him being in prison for eight months.
“Transfixing…[Wayne’s] prison diary is, above all, a testament to the irrepressibility of his charisma—his is a force that can never go dormant, even when it’s not plainly on display.” – The New Yorker
Lil Wayne’s Assets
Lil Wayne loves to live the spoiled life. And, this rapper can!
Along with buying some really exclusive art pieces and a set of fast wheels, the producer/singer also owns some very impressive homes (with skate parks in them, of course)!
Lil Wayne Says He Created the Word, “Bling”
Unlike many other rappers, Lil Wayne doesn’t seem to be very keen on “bling.” However, he claims that he invented the word just like how Jay-Z popularized “swag.” But that’s another debatable piece altogether!
Wayne proudly owns a $17,500 working diamond skateboard pendant. Celebrity jewelry designer Avianne & Co created it especially for Lil Wayne.
Among his other “bling,” the rapper’s money bag necklace is also famous.
Meanwhile, his New York Yankees logo-inspired Young Money Entertainment necklace is valued at an estimated $50,000. And it’s probably his favorite.
In another video, Lil Wayne showed off an 11-carat diamond studded ring and mentioned that he paid a cool $138,000 for it. He could be seen wearing a couple more rings and some chains along with a mesh bracelet in the video, too.
If calculations are right, he was probably showing off some $500,000 worth of bling right there!
Lil Wayne also flaunted his customized Beats headphones a while back. This diamond-studded beauty in white cost the rapper a whopping $1.0 million!
Lil Wayne’s Cars Are to Die For
For a rapper this popular, there has to be a car collection in Lil Wayne’s garage that will make you go weak in the knees!
The hip-hop mogul is the proud owner of a Bugatti Veyron (one of the fastest cars in the world). It cost him $1.8 million!
He is very passionate about this particular car. And in a video, he explains the reason he bought it was because it cost a million bucks!
Along with the prized possession, he also owns a Rolls Royce Phantom Drophead Coupe, which costs between $550,000 and $650,000.
When he was 19, the rapper already was spoiled with a Plymouth Prowler ($43,000), a Cadillac Escalade (current price $74,695 to $99,795), a Lexus limo, a Maybach (current price $170,000 to $200,000), and a Porsche Boxter (current price $70,000).
Some of those cars can be seen in his garage even today!
Lil Wayne’s Mansions
Lil Wayne bought a mansion in New Orleans, Louisiana, for an estimated 1.9 million. The 10,000-square-foot, five-bedroom, seven-bathroom property is in the same vicinity as Birdman’s home! Talk about having a beef with your neighbors!
The property was purchased because it contains a marble staircase, a mini theater, a four-car garage, an entertainment bar, a skate park, a pool, a salon, a fitness room, and the master bedroom comes complete with a steam room and sauna!
The property was listed for sale around 2012. However, Lil Wayne decided to keep this jewel for himself later.
As the rapper’s popularity increased, so did his love for everything luxury. He purchased an $18.0 million home on the shores of Miami, Florida.
Lil Wayne’s house is a modern marvel, with a glass facade and glass elevators. Willy Wonka much?
The beachfront 15,000-square-foot mansion comes complete with nine bedrooms, a rooftop skate park (of course), a huge pool, and a three-bedroom guest house.
Lil Wayne’s a Lover of Art
The cops raided Lil Wayne’s home in Miami after he failed to pay his debt a private jet company. Experts there estimated the worth of his art collection to be close to $30.0 million.
It is undisclosed as to what kind of art was seized from his home or which artists and sculptors’ work the rapper fancies. But the raid was a result of his $55,000 per month outstanding private jet payments to the Signature Group.
He owed the company a total of $2.0 million in backlogged payments!
Lil Wayne’s Arrests
Lil Wayne is notoriously known for doing drugs and possessing weapons. And this is exactly what landed him behind bars in the first place.
The rapper’s arrest back in 2007 was a result of him possessing a loaded weapon. The cops searched his tour bus and allegedly found marijuana, too.
It was reported that Wayne was trying to hide his .40-caliber gun but denied owning it. He was arrested after his concert in New York.
In March 2010, Wayne pled guilty to felony gun possession after a string of courtroom appearances. He was sentenced to one year in prison at Rikers Island.
He was released in November 2010, after having served eight months of the one-year sentence. We’re sure he has had to let go of thousands of dollars in the case.
Lil Wayne’s Legal Battles
Lil Wayne lost a lawsuit battle against Quincy Jones III over the documentary on Wayne. He was ordered by the court to pay Jones a staggering $2.19 million for wrongfully blocking the release of the documentary.
Another prominent legal battle Lil Wayne has had to deal with was the $51.0 million lawsuit he filed against Cash Money Records and Birdman.
Wayne claims that he was not paid his $8.0 million advance payment for the hard work he put into the album, Tha Carter V. Birdman had the cash but was withholding the payments.
He also claims that he was to receive an additional $2.0 million after the completion of the album. But Wayne has been waiting since 2013 for the same.
Along with the $51.0 million, the rapper also requested the judge to let him off the contract and deal with Cash Money. He wants the court to name him the joint copyright owner of Young Money.
Even Lil Wayne Can’t Run from the IRS
After being threatened of seizing his $18.0 million Miami mansion, Lil Wayne got some sense knocked into him. The IRS (Internal Revenue Services) went knocking at Wayne’s door after he had failed to pay his taxes, which amounted to more than $12.0 million.
It dates to 2008, when Wayne owed the government a reported $3.35 million. He also didn’t pay the $2.25 million in taxes he owed the following year.
By this time, he was neck deep in tax debt amounting to over $7.0 million. And he owed some $5.8 million in taxes in 2011.
Lil Wayne’s tax backlog seems to have been cleared by 2012.
|2009||$20.0 million (in ticket sales and Young Money earnings)||$70.0 million|
|2010||$23.0 million (rate per show $500,000, album sales)||$80.0 million|
|2011||$18.0 million (including sales of Tha Carter IV)||$95.0 million|
|2013||$46.0 million ($100,000 increase in fees, album sales)||$110.0 million|
|2015||$15.0 million||$120.0 million|
Here’s how much Lil Wayne is worth compared to his contemporaries:
|Hip-Hop Artist||Net Worth (estimated)|
|Lil Wayne||$150.0 million|
|Sean Combs||$825.0 million|
|Dr. Dre||$800.0 million|
|Kayne West||$160.0 million|
|Snoop Dogg||$135.0 million|