“For as long as you live, pray to God you never know the feeling of having to kiss your mama goodbye in a court room while police take you away to prison. It hurts worse than any pain you can ever imagine.”
With pain in his eyes and anger in his voice, one my best friends told me the words quoted above some five years ago on what would be my first visit of many to see him behind bars. Today, February 9, a date he has alluded to in his music, Dwayne Carter, will have no choice but to bid farewell to his loved ones as he is whisked away to his new residency for the next year, Rikers Island.
But that’s not even a long time, why are people tripping like he’s doing Max B numbers? Not exactly. Anyone who has ever been locked up (even for a night) can tell you jail/prison isn’t where you want to find yourself. Having someone tell you when to eat, sleep and shit is just as demoralizing as it is frustrating. The walls begin closing in and all sense of time is lost. Days feel like weeks. Weeks like months. Months like years. And years like generations. That and Rikers isn’t exactly the softest institution in the world either. But ultimately, this will serve as the first time Hip-Hop will be without the youngest Hot Boy since 1998. Granted, new music will inevitably find its way to the public in the coming months. As is with most cases in life though, memories are never able to recreate the physical’s legacy.
Liking Lil Wayne, the person? That’s subjective, and another topic altogether. What’s not up for debate, however, is how he transformed himself into a polarizing figure whose love for music, women, sports and weed was only overpowered by his will to work. While others toyed with the idea of “retirement,” Wayne punched in studio time at rate comparable only to Tupac. And while others take breaks in between albums, Wayne’s guerilla-style approach to releasing product allows him to remain relevant in this new age of music.
Perhaps the biggest and most important area of Wayne’s grind are the near futures of his Young Money understudies, primarily Drake and Nicki Minaj. If they hold their weight, Cash Money’s five year business plan looks mighty lucrative. Fail and Wayne is in the position he HAS drop 50 his first game back (the equivalent to selling a milli in a week…again).
For Weezy, his time away from music may prove to work wonders for his creative process. Understanding and accepting your situation is the most difficult battle one encounters in prison. Some go their entire sentence struggling in a tug-of-war between their heart and mind. In his latest interview with Rolling Stone and with Rikers only hours away, the man whose life resembles that of a motion picture finally found a sense of peace. With prison. With his life. And, most importantly, with God.
“I look at things as everything is meant to be. I know it’s an experience that I need to have if God’s putting me through it. So I don’t look at it as wrong, I just…I damn sure don’t look at it as right, that’s all.
Below, MTV’s coverage of Wayne’s upcoming jail stint and the type of treatment he can expect to face at Riker’s.