By Jim Schutze
By Rachel Watts
By Lauren Drewes Daniels
By Anna Merlan
By Lee Escobedo
By Alice Laussade
By Scott Reitz
Prior to serving 11 months on Riker's Island, the world knew (and loved) Lil Wayne for being a delightfully schizoid celeb, hypercompetitive workaholic and the Best Rapper Alive. He dictated the game, ate candy by the pound, sold a gazillion albums, guzzled promethazine-and-codeine cocktails like Diet Sprite and effortlessly tossed off mind-blowingly surreal, stream-of-consciousness gangsta poetry about safe sex, murder and Hooked on Phonics.
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But ever since getting out of prison on November 4, Weezy has been acting different. He's talking about dangerously mundane stuff like abstaining from alcohol, learning "how to love" and retirement. So has the Cash Money maniac gone soft? Maybe. These days, Lil Wayne doesn't drank. There's no booze backstage and the tour bus is totally dry. His recently issued Tha Carter IV, meanwhile, sold almost 900,000 copies in its first week of release. But it was greeted largely with critical jeers.
Is the run over? Probably not. Wayne's as big a name as there is in the genre, and he's touring the country with a cast of fellow big names and up-and-comers. Maybe we can forgive him for the small downturn for now. After all, dude just got out of jail.
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