Not to mention, when you move 1 million copies of an album in one week, it's pretty safe to say you've crossed over to the mainstream. Wayne most definitely was hip-hop in 2008, but he was pop culture too.
So considering all that — and after sifting through a year's worth of headlines, videos and reader comments — we've decided to crown Lil Wayne as MTV News' Man of the Year. From his epic Arizona drug bust in January to selling a million copies of Tha Carter III in June and, finally, nabbing eight Grammy nods in December, '08 has been anything but dull for Wayne ... and that's just skimming the surface. Below, for your perusal, we've compiled his entire 2008 résumé — a list of accomplishments truly befitting our Man of the Year.
But before we dive deeper into Weezy's achievements, a quick word about someone else who had a pretty impressive 2008: President-elect Barack Obama. Sure, you could probably make a fairly convincing argument for him being our Man of the Year — after all, GQ and Time already proclaimed him as such — and you'd probably be right. But for an explanation of why Obama didn't make the cut on our list, head to the Newsroom blog.
1. Lil Wayne
2008 Highlights: Rolled into '08 with the "Hottest MC in the Game" championship belt over his shoulder ... Promised his long-awaited Carter III album would be coming this year and touted the long list of cameos he recorded by dubbing himself "Featuring Lil Wayne" ... Arrested in Arizona when his tour bus is pulled over by border patrol agents who perform the aforementioned bust ... Facing felony drug and weapons charges, he pleads not guilty. The case is still pending ... Attempted to reunite the Hot Boyz at a concert during the NBA All-Star Weekend in New Orleans, but the event was canceled at the last minute due to shootings outside the venue ... Visited his old secondary school, promising Tha Carter would drop "in April" and being asked to the prom by a girl named Julie ... Showed up three hours late for a concert in New Jersey, did not apologize, ended show by donning a bathrobe, shouting "sexual f---ing chocolate has left the building, bi---" ... Discussed his drank of choice, syrup ... "Lollipop," the first single from Carter III, tops the Billboard Hot 100 ... Premiered the now-iconic Carter III cover, featuring a photo of him as a baby, complete with a pinkie ring and digitally added tattoos ... Refused to freak out when the album leaked two weeks early ... "Elated" when Carter III defies industry expectations and sells 1 million copies in a single week, the first album to do so since 50 Cent's The Massacre in 2005 ... Congratulated by 50, Kanye West and a host of others after accomplishing the feat ... Played a "modern-day Robin Hood" in the "Got Money" video ... Performed "A Milli" on the premiere of "FNMTV," smelled like "a mixture of stubbed-out Phillies Blunts and a gallon of cough syrup," proved that he possessed extrasensory perception like "the 'hood Yoda" ... Lost his pants during his performance at the Video Music Awards ... Hopped a plane immediately following the VMAs to make a court date in New York City ... Prepped Dedication 3 mixtape and Tha Carter IV ... Appeared on Fall Out Boy's Folie à Deux ... Appeared on Kanye West's 808s & Heartbreak ... Named MVP at the BET Hip-Hop Awards ... Announced plans to reissue Carter III, only with completely different songs ... Shared the stage with Jay-Z but did not actually perform with him ... Described the birth of his son as "nasty, but wonderful" ... Strapped on a guitar to back up Kid Rock at the CMA Awards, only vaguely playing said guitar ... Plotted I Am Music Tour with T-Pain, Gym Class Heroes and Keyshia Cole ... Nominated for eight Grammy Awards, more than any other artist ... "A Milli" is named "Best Song of 2008" in MTV's Bigger Than the Sound column ... "A Milli" is named "Hip-Hop Single of the Year" by our Mixtape Monday family ...Tha Carter III is named one of the "Best Albums of 2008" ... Seriously, he did all of that in 366 days — any doubts he's our Man of the Year?
This is just our opinion — what's yours? Share your lists by uploading a video to YouRHere.MTV.com or leaving a comment below.