Weezy Week: Six odd facts about Lil Wayne, from his tattoos to Paris Hilton to his love of rock 'n' roll
(All week, Soundcheck is paying tribute to the unusual life and career of Lil Wayne with a series of features we’re calling Weezy Week.)
If you compiled a list of weird facts about Lil Wayne, you could easily fill a book. Or maybe an encyclopedia. Because away from the mic, Lil Wayne’s divergent interests have led him down some unusual paths. A few of our favorite bizarre facts from his life:
He once shot himself in the chest. At age 12, a young Dwayne Carter Jr. found a 9mm handgun in his apartment’s master bedroom. While playing with it, he accidentally shot himself in the chest, narrowly missing his heart. An off-duty cop responded to his 911 call and saved his life.
He’s a Cougar. A Houston Cougar, that is. Weezy didn’t graduate high school (he has a GED) but in 2005, he enrolled at the University of Houston, taking classes in political science. “I’m not going back to school,” he told MTV News. “I’m really going to school for the first time.” He later said he switched to online classes through the University of Phoenix.
His face is a canvas. Tattoos nearly cover Lil Wayne’s entire body, but his face is especially expressive. According to the fan site LilWayneHQ.com, more than 30 tattoos adorn his head and neck, including the words “fear” and “god” on his eyelids, the word “baked” on his forehead and a series of stars made with black-light ink.
Beneath those dreads beats the heart of a rocker. In the buildup to his 2010 album Rebirth, Lil Wayne, a self-professed fan of Nirvana, developed a infatuation with rock music. He collaborated with Fall Out Boy album, played guitar with Kid Rock at the 2008 Country Music Association Awards and ended a Saturday Night Live performance of Lollipop with what VH1.com called “undoubtedly the worst/best/worst-again guitar solo in known human history.”
He loves Rafael Nadal. In 2010, Sports Illustrated asked Weezy, then incarcerated in Rikers Island, for his thoughts on tennis. “One of the main reasons I enjoy the sport so much is because when I actually tried to play, it was unbelievably difficult,” he wrote. “So ever since I’ve been drawn to the great talents of the game. Not to mention Andre Agassi was like a pop star when I was a kid. I love the Williams sisters, I simply adore Maria Sharapova, and I’m a huge Nadal fan! … He simply plays with pure passion and leaves it all out there on the court.”
He’s buds with Paris Hilton. Earlier this year, Hilton confirmed that her second album will be released on Cash Money; Lil Wayne is reportedly involved. He’s already appeared on Hilton’s dance single Last Night (I Wanna Bang You), which leaked last fall. And Hilton once interviewed Weezy for Interview magazine. “She has fun, and I like that,” he said. “I like people that enjoy life, ’cause I do the same.”
-- Jay Cridlin