Following the release of Tha Carter, Lil Wayne truly came into his own as a hip hop artist. | 22 Words

Lil Wayne is one of the top-selling rap artists of the 21st century. And while he's not been shy of controversy, there's no doubt that he's made his mark in the world of hip hop.

After many began speculating whether he had lost his flair for producing hits, the American rapper finally has some new music, and it's coming very soon.

Keep scrolling for all the details on his highly-anticipated new album...

Lil Wayne, aka Dwayne Michael Carter, was born on September 27, 1982, in New Orleans.

via: Getty Images

The aspiring rapper rose to fame after he caught the eye of Cash Money Records head, Bryan Williams. Of course, he soon became a member of the coveted record label.

The label has been home to some of hip hop's biggest names.

Including the likes of Drake, Jay Sean, and Nicki Minaj.

Artists signed to Cash Money have been unbelievably successful.

So much so, that the slew of artists signed to Cash Money Records have achieved a combined twelve number-one albums on the Billboard 200 chart and 7 number-one singles on the Billboard Hot 100 chart.

Lil Wayne’s first solo LP, Tha Block Is Hot, arrived in 1999.

The album was a smash hit and sold more than a million copies.

Sadly, his follow-up work didn't do quite as well...

Lights Out, released in 2000 and 500 Degreez, released in 2002, didn't fare quite as well with fans.

However, Lil Wayne had a second wave of success the following year...

Da Drought, his first solo mixtape, kick-started a whole new avenue for the star.

And in 2004...

via: Amazon

His album, Tha Carter, dropped. The acclaimed album peaked at slot 5 on the Billboard 200 chart, as well as giving us the hit single "Go D.J."

Following the release of Tha Carter, Lil Wayne truly came into his own as a hip hop artist.

And he attracted wider attention for his guest appearances on tracks, including "Soldier" by Destiny’s Child and built up a reputation in the world of rap.

Safe to say, after this point, there was no stopping the star.

Lil Wayne released Tha Carter II in 2005, which was met with praise from both fans and critics. The album flew off the shelves - selling more than one million copies.

And that's not all...

In 2008 more than a million copies of Tha Carter III,  which contained the hit singles “A Milli" and “Lollipop," were sold in its initial week of release in the States. It didn't take long for it to become the country’s best-selling album of the year.

It also made him an award-winning artist.

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In February 2009 he took home Grammy Awards for best rap album, best rap song, best rap solo performance, and best rap performance by a duo or group. Phew.

The star hasn't been far from trouble, however.

Later in 2009, Lil Wayne had a brush with the law, pleading guilty to attempted criminal possession of a weapon.

The charge stemmed from an incident that took place in 2007...

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In which a loaded gun was found on his tour bus.

The star served 8 months of a one-year sentence behind bars for the offense.

Although, jail didn't stop him from releasing music. The rapper dropped I Am Not a Human Being in 2010 while still behind bars.

He got stuck straight back into his music.

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Although there's no doubt that his recent works haven't been as huge hits.

In fact, many thought that the star's hit-making abilities were behind him.

And in 2018, Lil Wayne and Cash Money parted ways amid disagreements that were heightened by the 2015 mixtape Sorry 4 the Wait 2.

But it seems the hip hop sensation is back in full force.

The star has been teasing a new album for some time now.

And we've finally got a release date.

via: Getty Images

He took to Instagram yesterday to share the news with fans.

Anticipation is sky-high.

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And people are eagerly awaiting the new offering. Lil Wayne had briefly spoken about the upcoming project during an interview last year with Q93's Wild Wayne: "You know how it work," he said. "My album's always done. It just takes Mack to come in there to rack up a couple of songs and name them. That's how it go round here. I work every day. It just take them to come in and say 'let me get these 20 songs, can I have these and name them, and we go from there.'"

Mark your calendars...

His new album, titled Funeral is heading our way on Jan 31st. Lil Wayne isn't the only rap artist to be releasing new music. Keep scrolling to learn more about Eminem's new album and why one song, in particular, has been causing outrage.