Lil Wayne is undoubtedly one of the biggest draws in hip-hop and pop culture. While he was serving out his sentence for attempted gun possesion at New York's Rikers Island, the New Orleans MC's star burned brightly. Now that he's a free man, the rapper has to follow up the commercial success of his recent albums Rebirth and I Am Not A Human Being.
Wayne was strategizing his next moves in the studio before leaving prison, requesting beats from Young Money president Mack Maine shortly before his release.
And DJ Khaled is confident Wayne will thrive on his upcoming releases, saying that the Cash Money superstar's release rivals that of Tupac Shakur's exit from prison years ago in terms of importance. Shakur's 1996 album All Eyez on Me went multiplatinum, and he made headlines daily through his alliance with Death Row.
"Ain't nobody have that impact since Tupac," Khaled told Sway via Skype when he called into "RapFix Live" this week. "Wayne is a genius and he's a great person. He's always showed love to everybody. You can't say anything bad about Wayne. So when he was on vacation, it didn't feel like he was gone. He dropped the album and it went #1. ... He was in every video. It was just as big. Now he's home. When he was on vacation, he was that powerful. Imagine what he's about to do."
Bookmark weezywatch.mtv.com for MTV News' complete, round-the-clock coverage of Lil Wayne's prison release and the ensuing homecoming celebrations.
Weezy is expected to stop in Arizona on Friday to speak to the judge who sentenced him to probation following an arrest in Yuma. On Sunday, he's set to attend a fete in his honor in Miami.
In an interview with MTV News earlier this month, Drake hinted at Wayne joining him for the finale of his "Light Dreams and Nightmares" tour in Las Vegas. It would be a fitting stop, since, as Khaled noted in his interview with Sway, "[Wayne] was on Drake's album, one of Drake's singles, that went #1" while he was in prison.
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.