About a week into his sentence, gossip columns, newsprints and the likes of all media published countless entries regarding Lil Wayne’s recent ban of signing autographs. It was reported that the Correction Officers’ Benevolent Association told TMZ that he does not have celebrity status while serving his time. Apparently, this “no-autograph mandate” sends the message that he is in fact just another inmate and has been ordered to “not publicize his celebrity.” In regards to their blatant attempts at controlling his status behind bars, I sure hope they’re providing the man with long sleeves and heavy concealer, because his body has been branded with fame. Even his face claims he is music.
Although it’s understandable that Wayne is expected to serve his time in an ordinary manner, this mandate is questionable. I’m not sure I have ever known of an incarcerated rapper who was denied the right to advertise his identity. The reasoning behind not treating him with celebrity status is logical, yet I don’t see why a mandate needs to be passed to prohibit him from writing his signature. T.I., DMX, and various other rappers have never been banned from giving their autographs (or at least it has not been advertised).
For those of you, not completely clued in on Mr. Carter’s run-in with the law…let’s review.
On Monday, March 8, 2008 rapper and lyricist Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., commonly known as Lil Wayne or Weezy commenced his year long sentence in New York’s notorious Rikers Island prison. Fans flocked to the Manhattan courthouse in hopes of catching a glimpse of the rap world’s idol for the last time (for at least the next eight months) as a free man. This long drawn-out case dates back to July 22, 2007 when Wayne was in possession of a loaded .40-caliber semiautomatic gun following a Manhattan concert. Originally his lawyer attempted to refute the DNA test tying him to the weapon…but that clearly did not go over so well.
Locking Lil Wayne up, apparently, is not as easy as it sounds.
Wayne pled guilty on October 22, 2009 for attempted criminal possession of a weapon and was due for sentencing in February 2010. On February 9, his attorney announced the sentencing would be postponed to March 2 because Wayne was to undergo dental surgery. The second hearing was then delayed because the courthouse reported a fire in the basement…hmm wonder if “the fireman” had anything to do with that…(kidding, of course). But finally on March 8, Weezy’s third time was not a charm.
Prior to abandoning his throne, Wayne expressed words of love on his twitter, alias liltunechi. He tweeted at 2:07 AM on March 8, “………nothing but love.” His final words (for the next eight months) at 8:01 AM, hours before his appearance at the courthouse, read, “Law is mind without reason……….I’ll return.” And that he will; autographs, fame and all.