I met Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. after the Billboard Music Awards in Las Vegas. He was a fresh faced kid with nary a tattoo on an eyelid or anywhere else (that I know of). My childhood friend was excited to meet him so I photographed the two of them in the lobby of the MGM Grand. The rapper who later came to be known as Weezy then hopped on his tour bus and proceeded on his incredible journey. Eleven years later he is hands down, the most prolific (and tattooed) pop star the planet has ever known. The young man I towered over in my heels, now hovers above most hip hop artists in both record sales and lyrical prowess. Lil’ Wayne’s gifts extend far beyond his verses. He is decisively fearless and crosses boundaries most performers won’t even approach. Perhaps Wayne does not recognize the borders that so many reside within. That is why he never ceases to amaze and entertain us. Welcome home Wayne. . .or maybe you have always been free.

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