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Lil Wayne holds hometown farewell show for fans before heading to jail

NEW ORLEANS “” lil wayne has emerged as a top-selling rapper but like rappers before him, he’s staring down a year behind bars at the peak of his career.

The artist returned to his hometown of New Orleans for a performance Monday on what he’s calling his farewell tour. “I’m nothing without you,” he told the screaming crowd of thousand s of fans at the New Orleans Arena after opening the concert with “A Milli,” which last year earned him a Grammy for best rap solo. Dwayne Carter, 27 pleaded guilty in October to a weapons charge and will be sentenced Feb. 9. His plea deal calls for a year in jail.
The charge stemmed from a 2007 traffic stop of his tour bus in New York when authorities said they smelled , and as they approached, he tossed aside a bag with a loaded .40-calibre hand gun. In a separate case, he also faces trial in March on felony drug possession and weapons charges in the state of Arizona. More recently, he had to postpone a show one day after authorities stopped two of his buses in Texas and found marijuana. The case has been referred to the sheriff’s office.
As thousand s of fans filed through the New Orleans Arena doors Monday, many said they were disappointed with the rapper’s legal troubles.
“It’s kinda sad, the stereotype and that he fell into it,” said 19-year-old Lee Farrell of New Orleans.
lil wayne is set to follow some of rap music’s biggest names – from Tupac Shakur, Lil’ Kim, and Shyne to New Orleans natives Mystikal and C-Murder – who have served a few months to several years behind bars for crimes committed after they became famous.

Corey “C-Murder” Miller was convicted earlier this year of second-degree murder for the 2002 shooting of a fan during a nightclub brawl. He was sentenced to life in prison.

“I hope lil wayne will follow in T.I.’s footsteps,” said 32-year-old Jed Wright, who brought his 11-year-old stepson to the show as a Christmas present. “T.I. promised to turn his life around. lil wayne can do the same thing.” lil wayne has been rapping since he was a teenager. Over the past two years, his career has reached new heights with several Grammys and gold records. His “Tha Carter III” topped all album sales in 2008 with 2.8 million copies sold. The record had the No. 1 smash “Lollipop,” and last year he won a Grammy for best rap solo for “A Milli.”
“He’s very unique,” said 18-year-old April Nguyen. “He expand s his genre, even does rock music, and is constantly reinventing himself.”
’s next album, “Rebirth,” is due for release Feb. 1. After New Orleans, he is scheduled to play a couple of dates in Texas and another show in southern Louisiana.

via [source]

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