Lil Wayne may have been gone, but the Cash Money Records rapper was hardly forgotten.
We can thank his work ethic for that — he released a bevy of videos and an album, I Am Not a Human Being, while away — but Wayne also owes a debt of gratitude to two bloggers who helped him stay connected.
Through the WeezyThanxYou.com site, Wayne was able to communicate with fans who wrote to him while he was in prison. Webmasters Karen Civil (KarenCivil.com) and Karla Moy (AllThings-Fresh.net, Drake's fan site) worked with Wayne and his camp on the project.
"Going into it, given what his situation was, you weren't really thinking how we were going to keep him hot; everybody was sad he was going away," Civil told MTV News about the blog's origins.
"The first week in, he wanted his fans, more or less — it wasn't about commercial success for him — he just wanted fans to know he was still there and to keep the presence with them," Civil continued. "So, just brainstorming, we put it together. We created the site and then spoke with 'Tez [Wayne's manager, Cortez Bryant] as far as keeping his music out and having the 'Free Weezy' shirts and doing all this stuff."
On Tuesday (November 2), Wayne wrote his 10th and final letter to fans. Weezy thanked them for their support and prayers and relayed that he also prayed for his followers.
Bookmark weezywatch.mtv.com for MTV News' complete, round-the-clock coverage of Lil Wayne's prison release and the ensuing homecoming celebrations.
"I smiled like a child on Christmas," he wrote about receiving their letters. "But when I began to read them, my heart smiled."
"Imagine being imprisoned for eight months with the same routine every day," Moy told MTV News. "That's no fun at all. So besides Wayne's phone calls and visits, these fan letters brought life to him. I also believe it motivated him to stay positive throughout his sentence. I can't wait for Wayne to come home."
Did you follow Wayne on his WeezyThanxYou.com site? Tell us in the comments!
Stick with MTV News throughout the weekend for up-to-the-minute reports on Lil Wayne's prison release as we follow him from Rikers Island to his celebrations at home and beyond. Follow us on Twitter @MTVNews for instant updates and bookmark weezywatch.mtv.com for complete, round-the-clock coverage.