[artist id="510062"]Lil Wayne[/artist] (born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr.) was in a New York courtroom Tuesday (December 15), where a judge set a February 9 sentencing date in the rapper's gun case. According to Wayne's lawyer, Stacey Richman, he is likely to be sentenced and report to prison on the same day, just a week after the scheduled release of his frequently delayed next album, Rebirth, on February 1.
Wayne, who pleaded guilty in October to attempted criminal possession of a weapon in the second degree, was in court Tuesday in Manhattan but did not speak during the brief appearance. The sentence stems from a July 2007 incident in which police boarded Wayne's tour bus following the rapper's first headlining show in New York and alleged that they found a gun on the vehicle.
The charge carries a one-year sentence, of which Wayne is expected to serve at least eight months. At the time of the plea, Richman told MTV News that the gun police found on the bus was a .40-caliber handgun that was purchased by Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant, who had a legal permit to carry the weapon in Mississippi. Wayne's plea centered on a definition of possession called "dominion or control," which refers to an item being available for immediate use. The plea allowed Wayne to avoid stating that the gun was in his hand or immediate possession at the time of the arrest.
Had the case gone to trial and ended in conviction, Wayne could have faced a minimum of three and a half years in prison. It has not yet been announced where the rapper will serve his time.
The court appearance came just hours after a ferocious duet with Eminem leaked on the Internet called "Drop the World." On the bleak, hard-hitting track, Wayne speaks of his inner fortitude while facing hard times.
"I got ice in my veins/ Blood in my eyes/ Hate in my heart/ Love on my mind," he raps. "I seen nights full of pain/ Days of the same/ You keep the sunshine/ Save me the rain."