How many people can say that they were getting recognition as a rapper before even losing all of their baby teeth? Dwayne Michael Carter can say that, as he got his rap career started when he was nine years old. Carter adopted the stage name of Lil’ Wayne, dropping the D from his name because it was his father’s name, and he abandoned Carter at a young age.
Still, Wayne was able to cash in big when he signed with Cash Money Records in 1991 and was paired with Lil’ Doogie in the duo B.G.’z. A few years later, Wayne was part of Hot Boys with Juvenile, Young Turk and B.G. Ever since the early 2000’s, Wayne has been one of the most popular rappers in the world, releasing his first solo album in 1999, and he has released 13 total.
Out of his 13 studio albums, all of them have reached either number one or number two on the R&B and Rap Charts. Wayne has also been a part of 200 singles released to the radio, with eight of them reaching the Top 10 on the mainstream charts. Wayne has been versatile because he is not only good in front of the mic, but also working behind the scenes.
Wayne started his own record label, Young Money Entertainment, in 2005 that has acts such as Drake, Nicki Minaj, Tyga and more signed to the label. Because of his long term success, Wayne has made a fortune and it’s estimated that he is worth between $150 and $160 million. For the first half of the millennium’s first decade, Wayne was making a couple of million dollars off of album sales, but the money didn’t start pouring in until the second half.
Starting his own label took some time to get off the ground, but he started to become a money making machine in 2008 with $15 million in income off of record sales from his label. The next year, Wayne went on tour twice. Wayne’s solo tour was the “I Am Music Tour” and his label had the “America’s Most Wanted Tour”. That year, Wayne’s tours pulled in $42 million, with Wayne himself taking home $20 million.
Instead of going on his own tour in 2010, Wayne made a fortune off of appearing at random shows and other singers’ concerts. Wayne made $500,000 per appearance, earning $23 million for the year. In 2011, Wayne’s biggest album, “Tha Carter IV” was released, and sold nearly 1 million copies in the first week alone. The album sales and the “I Am Still Music Tour” brought in another $47 million, with Wayne getting an estimated $18 million to take home.
Wayne was able to increase his appearance fee the next year, bumping it up to $600,000 in 2012. After realizing that the touring life isn’t as nice as making big bucks for sporadic appearances, Wayne has been holding off from full worldwide tours and his record label is doing just fine.
Aside from his label and appearances, Wayne has been making money off of his clothing line, Trukfit, which is aimed at skateboarders. It might come as a bit of a surprise, but Wayne doesn’t have that many endorsements to fall back on like some celebrities or athletes do. However, Wayne did sign a multi-million dollar deal with Pepsi for their Mountain Dew brand, but was dropped within a year after making an Emmett Till reference in his lyrics.
Without the endorsement, Lil’ Wayne is still filthy rich, and has owned mansions in New Orleans, Miami and more that were estimated at around $30 million total. Another big asset, Wayne has a car collection that includes a Bugatti Veyron, Porsche Boxster and a Mercedes-Benz SLS AMG. It’s quite the display that Wayne has, and it’s worth a fortune.
Even if he never releases another solo album, Lil’ Wayne’s net worth won’t take a big hit since he still has his label and plenty of assets. Wayne is in the top 10 in all-time rappers when it comes to net worth, and it looks like he has a chance to make his way up the rankings a little more through the next few years.