How Prison Has Changed Lil Wayne's Business : Under30CEO How Prison Has Changed Lil Wayne's Business : Under30CEO
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How Prison Has Changed Lil Wayne’s Business

| October 14, 2010 | 4 Comments

Matt Wilson is co-founder of, follow him on Twitter as he looks to help every young entrepreneur on the planet (the writer not the dude in the picture).

Under30CEO’s mission is to inspire young entrepreneurs to take the leap and start their business and do some social good along the way. With that being said, one of our biggest internal debates at Under30CEO is whether we should publicize the stories of people like Lil Wayne who aren’t exactly role models.  We left him out of our 9 Hip Hop Artists Crushing it Under 30 article and we’ve had backlash before from readers who think there are better choices of people to highlight when it comes to influencers. Besides, do we really want to be remembered for disseminating the message of convicts? If you haven’t been paying attention the Free Weezy Campaign says his release from prison on criminal weapons possession is set for 20 days from the time of this writing.

So why cover Wayne?

I recently wrote I wasn’t interested in sitting next to Lindsay Lohan or Lil’ Wayne at Marquee unless they were interested in contributing positively to society.  But, forget changing Wayne into a hipster NPR listener like Lupe Fiasco, I want to learn from Wayne and see how he can change my business.  What can we pull from his music that we are all exposed to on a daily basis that will make us understand the spread of ideas?  What is it about Wayne that people are so obsessed with to entice them to take out their credit cards when they know he’s in jail and has been previously arrested for possessing 29 grams of cocaine and 41 grams of meth?

We’ve learned from Lady Gaga

Even though it’s been widely publicized that she uses cocaine, at Under30CEO we still have a fascination with pop culture and why things become hot and how they influence people’s buying habits and behaviors. So although there is an unlimited source of young entrepreneurs to cover who are changing the world in a positive manner (see: Pete Cashmore and Ted Turner‘s Predictions for the New World) it’s the big names, the pop stars and the Jersey Shore that draws all the attention.

The good news is big time media influencers like MTV realize that you can bring the audience in with the trashy shows that are so ridiculous that everyone wants to watch and then hope they stick around to consume content that raises awareness about issues like True Life, gives inspiration like Made or highlights do-gooders like The Buried Life. Because, let’s be serious, even Snooki volunteers. Why do you think World of Jenks premiered immediately after the MTV Video Music Awards?

So forget shielding your eyes to the vulgarity of mainstream music and crying wolf everytime Samee gets wasted off of that Ronnie Juice; embrace it and realize this is what society is attracted to and if it’s Weezy that inspires you to start your business and start making moves so be it.  Besides, as you scrolled through your News Feed to see who broke up with who and how many drunk party pics you have to untag from this weekend you probably clicked through from someone who posted this video Will Prison Change Lil Wayne, and now we’ve got you in our trap.  If you want to know more about how Carter gets his hustle on and feel like you can relate to the daily grind of “gettin’ money” you’ll probably stick around and sign up to our mailing list.

Remember, it’s our job to produce content that makes you think, it’s your job to go out and act up on those thoughts and make the right decisions.

Will Prison Change Lil Wayne?

Lil Wayne’s The Carter Full Documentary

{WARNING: the following content has extreme vulgarity. Please be clear: it is NOT endorsed by Under30CEO}

About the Author: Matt Wilson

Matt Wilson is co-founder of Under30CEO. After two years traveling and working from his laptop, Matt's official title became Adventurer in Residence, heading up Under30Media's travel company Under30Experiences. If Matt is around he will be easy to spot as his long luxurious hair is generally flowing freely in the breeze.

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  • JohnExley

    Matt, thanks for writing about Lil Wayne. As you know, I am a very big fan of Wayne (I’ve written him twice since he went to jail, I swore I wouldn’t cut my hair until he was released, the first and only 2 concerts I’ve ever gone to were Lil Wayne’s, the only CD I’ve ever bought was “Tha Carter III”, I frequently rock my “Free Weezy” from NYC to DC, I own the “The Carter Documentary” and after watching it close to 15 times have it nearly memorized, et. al.) and find his music to be both inspirational and calming.

    Personally, I think the value of music (as a means of motivation, relaxation, getting in the zone, or just something to relate to) is inherent to almost all individuals. However, unlike many mainstream artists, Wayne doesn’t filter himself. He doesn’t shy away from speaking about his very controversial habits and even stands up for them (see his interview with Katie Couric). And, he is so ultra-focused and hardworking. The guy just doesn’t stop, and one of the lessons that business folk might take from his work ethic is the way he manages success: from what I’ve read, when his YM protege Drake was getting awards and awards, Wayne would congratulate him once and then drag him to the studio to keep working. Celebrate the small victories, work even harder after the major successes.

    While it might sound simple, one of Wayne’s quotes that really stuck with me was this: “We don’t approach things like, ‘we’re good’, we just approach things like, ‘we’re gonna work, and we’re gonna work hard.’ And my hard work pays off. If you work that hard, you’re gonna get good. And good turns to great, and hopefully I am the definition of that.”

    You watch. With the combination of Drizzy, Nicki Minaj, Tyga, Lil Twist, Mack Maine, Jae Millz, etc…Wayne is turning the music industry on its head. Tha Carter IV, V, are going to be incredible incredible incredible albums. Let’s go Weezy, NINETEEN DAYS BABY

  • Mike Holmes

    I’m with you Matt!

    Personally, I’m not a big fan of Gaga’s music but I love the entrepreneurial lessons she teaches. I’m not proud of the fact that Jay-Z and 50 cent sold drugs in their hey day…but I love the business lessons I can learn from them.

    I believing in extracting the good from the bad. Yeah Lil Wayne messed up and is in jail and I’m not proud of that. But I’m sure there are some business lessons I can be proud of.

    Just my take…

  • Stop Spamming

    This is a Forum for Entrpreneurs — If you want to sell your product, go on Craigslist