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Happy Birthday (And New Release Day) Lil Wayne!

Today will not be an ordinary day for rapper Lil Wayne in Jail, because today is his Birthday!

It’s something of a bittersweet birthday for Lil Wayne today, as he turns 28 years old while still confined to a cell at Rikers Island. Still, there is a silver lining, as he is nearing his release date (he only has about a month left before he breathes free air again) and today also marks the release of his latest album I Am Not a Human Being (the digital release is out today, while the physical version will be out on October 12).

If Weezy’s age seems surprisingly low, it’s only because he has been in the music business since he was 15 years old (when he appeared alongside Juvenile, Turk and B.G. on the Hot Boys‘ debut album Get It How U Live! in 1997). In the 13 years hence, Weezy has rarely been off the radar. His early work with the Cash Money crew was promising (especially his 1999 solo debut Tha Block Is Hot), but it wasn’t until he expanded his sound on 2005’s Tha Carter II that he really started to blossom into the staggering lyrical superstar we know him as today (owing mostly to the fact that Cash Money’s in-house producer Mannie Fresh had exited the label). With a new sonic palette at his disposal, Weezy began to let his style wander into bold new territories, and his passion for trying new things has lead to an incredible cycle of output over the past few years. Some of Wayne’s mixtapes are among the best music made in the past decade (most notably 2006’s Dedication 2 and 2007’s Da Drought 3).

I Am Not a Human Being represents Weezy’s best work since his 2008 album Tha Carter III. With an impeccable selection of beats, a great roster of guest stars (including several drop-ins by Drake) and Wayne’s greatest lyrical focus in a while (the pressure of checking into Rikers clearly got his adrenaline flowing), I Am Not a Human Being is destined to be in the pantheon of Weezy’s greatest work and is among the finest hip-hop releases of the year.

In honor of Wayne’s big day, check out the (strangely literal) clip for “I’m Single,” from his 2009 mixtape No Ceilings.

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-DJ Dimepiece “The Mixin’ Vixen”

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