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Why The Incarceration of Lil Wayne May Be Worth More Than His Freedom

February 5, 2010

Why The Incarceration of Lil Wayne May Be Worth More Than His Freedom

By Matthew Newton

On Tuesday, New Orleans rap phenom Lil Wayne (born Dwayne Carter) will report to New York’s Rikers Island prison to begin serving a 12-month sentence for weapons possession. The sentence begins just one week after the release of Rebirth, the rapper’s oft-delayed/much-anticipated new album. Wayne, who originally pleaded not guilty to weapons possession, changed his plea to guilty back in October 2009 in exchange for a reduced sentence. The felony charge stems from a July 2007 arrest in New York City, when police found a .40-caliber handgun in his tour bus.

But what does a 12-month prison sentence mean for Lil Wayne? The answer is simple: More fame. More money. One step closer to pop-culture immortality.

Read full story

(via Annals of Americus)

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The Ballast is very pleased to announce a new contributor, Matthew Newton.

Matthew Newton is a writer, editor, and blogger who lives and works in the once-decaying heart of America’s Rust Belt (i.e. Pittsburgh, PA). His work focuses on subculture, crime, mental health, race, class, and creativity.

His writing regularly appears in Spin, Good, XLR8R, Next American City, RaceWire, and Swindle, among other print and online publications. He has reported on the decline of sampling in hip-hop; interviewed artists and musicians who survived Cambodia’s killing fields; investigated the struggles of U.S. military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder; and shadowed graffiti writers, coaxing candid confessions about their obsession with illegal art.

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