Lil Wayne

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David Ludwig
Professor Philips
English 105
11/23/10
Lil Wayne vs World

During a CBS interview with rapper Lil Wayne, Katie Couric asks "What does that mean, when you say 'I'm a gangster'?" Wayne replied, “I don't take nothin' from no one. I do what I wanna do, And I'm gonna do that until the day I die. And if I can't do that, then I'll just die"(All Access). Katie Couric and Lil Wayne sat down together on national television for an interview where two people of vastly different backgrounds had a conversation. Kwame Anthony Appiah, a professor in top Universities across the world, describes a conversation to be engagement with the experience and ideas of others. Also, the more dissimilar the backgrounds are the more information can be exchanged between two people. “America’s Sweetheart” Katie Couric and ‘Weezy’ (Lil Wayne) are undeniably two very different people. Seemingly their only similarity is their fame. Although as their interview progresses one can see how they are able to connect and exchange their own cultures with one another. The famous Lil Wayne is far from average, making this and all of his exchanges other extremely valuable to cosmopolitanism exposing his miscellany to the masses. By the end of the interview, although not necessarily in agreement, they both seem to have an understanding of one another accomplishing the main goal of conversation.

Any person who is somewhat familiar with hip-hop should know who Lil Wayne is. 28-year-old Lil Wayne is loved by millions of teenagers for his music with his recent album The Carter III being the highest selling album in 2009. By default Lil Wayne is a role model, anyone with his amount of fame and recognition is going to have influence on others. What makes Lil Wayne a unique role model is that he is not the standard ‘liked by all’ leader that most mothers would approve of. Rapper Lil Wayne has been arrested for possession of drugs and illegal weapons three times with the third putting him in jail. A majority of his raps consist of drugs, money, and sex. Is this a role model teenage fans should follow? These aren’t typical traits that one would normally see in a role model but his unconformity is what defines him and makes him the icon he is. In countless interviews and talk shows Lil Wayne is asked about his notorious drug abuse. He gives the same response each time showing no shame, "I will stand up for marijuana any day... I'm a rapper. That’s who I am… I am a gangster and I do what I want. And I love to smoke. And I smoke"(all access). In his mind what he does is not wrong and as Kwame Anthony Appiah understands, “A good deal of what we intuitively take to be right, we take to be right just because it is what we are used to.” Who can say that what Lil Wayne does is wrong? Right and wrong at the most basic level is man made. What he believes is right is what makes him happy, and it is only because we are used to marijuana being illegal or we are used to frowning upon his life style that it is considered “wrong.” For someone who does a lot of ‘wrongs,’ he is overwhelmingly successful. Lil Wayne has a net worth of 75 million dollars, “Following the drop of his sixth studio album Tha Carter III in 2008 he was nominated for eight Grammy’s, the most for any artist that year taking home four awards. Wayne… was named #2 on MTV’s list of hottest MC’s in the game behind Brooklyn bred rapper Jay-Z” (Celebnetworth). Lil Wayne is only 28 years old yet has more success than most can ever dream of obtaining. “Some call him the best rapper to ever live others say he’s self-destructive but whatever you believe Lil Wayne has become a staple in American music and will remain there, indefinitely”(Celebnetworth). People aren’t used to a successful “gangster” like Lil Wayne coming from nothing and breaking the law while reaching the top. Lil Wayne embraces his vice-filled lifestyle, and thrives off of it. Like his hit song...
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