Today, Google turns 12 and Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. — aka Young Money founder Lil Wayne — celebrates his 28th birthday. While he may be spending time in the clink instead of out partying this year, his sentence is up in a little over a month, and he still managed to release an album today. In other words, the age of Weezy is about to begin all over again. As such, we’ve put together a list of 28 things you might not know about the prolific rapper. Check it out, after the jump.
1. When he was 8, Lil Wayne formed his first crew, K.W.A. — Kids With Attitude. He signed his first recording contract when he was 11 years old, as part of the rapping duo “The B.G.’z.”
2. Lil Wayne survived two shootings. The first was self-inflicted — a wound to the chest when he was playing with a gun in the mirror at the age of 12. The second was from a disgruntled groupie refused entry onto his tour bus in 2001.
3. In 1997, Lil Wayne joined the hip-hop group Hot Boys, which included rappers Juvenile, B.G.’z collaborator B.G., and Turk. Their album, Guerrilla Warfare, nabbed the number one spot on the hip-hop Billboard chart in 1998.
4. When he was 12, Lil Wayne played the part of the Tin Man in a school production of The Wiz.
5. Lil Wayne has four children, Neal, Samuel Lenox Ari, Dwayne III, and Reginae. His oldest, Reginae, was born when Wayne was just 15 years old.
6. Wayne dropped the “D” from his name because, as he told Katie Couric, “I’m a junior and my father is living and he’s not in my life and he’s never been in my life. So I don’t want to be Dwayne, I’d rather be Wayne.”
7. Wayne is a voracious sports fan, and has been blogging off and on for ESPN since 2008. He also appeared with some frequency on ESPN to pontificate about football and basketball. He even has an ESPN tattoo on his forearm.