Grammy-winning rapper Lil Wayne recalls his time behind bars and the effect solitary confinement had on him at Rikers Island in the new issue of Rolling Stone.
Based on a released excerpt, Wayne called solitary confinement the worst part of his jail experience.
He spent his final month in jail in solitary after he was caught with an iPod charger in his cell. It could have been worse: He also had a watch with an MP3 player on it, but another inmate took the rap. “He was a solid n*gga,” says Wayne. “Shout-out to Charles…Solitary was the worst. No TV. No radio. No commissary. Basically you’re in there 23 hours a day.” The only upside was he had a window where he could watch cars go by. “I used to sit at that motherf*cker all day,” he says. (Rolling Stone)
Within the feature, Wayne also opens up about literature he read while serving out a one-year gun conviction sentence.
In prison he read biographies of Jimi Hendrix, Jim Morrison, Marvin Gaye, Joan Jett, Vince Lombardi and Anthony Kiedis. “[Kiedis’] Scar Tissue was really good,” he says. “I also read the Bible for the first time. It was deep! I liked the parts where some character was once this, but he ended up being that. Like he’d be dissing Jesus, and then he ends up being a saint. That was cool.” (Rolling Stone)
While incarcerated, Wayne released an open letter describing solitary confinement.
“By now I’m guessing that you all have heard about my recent relocation to the bing, which is punitive segregation. Basically, no T.V., no radio, no snacks/junkfood, and one phone call a week. This punishment has been handed to me for my earlier MP3 incident. I admit, I fu#ked up and now I must deal with the consequences. As I write this, I only have 25 days left, and it’ll be even less than that when you read this. So honestly, I’m fine. Obviously, this gives me a lot of time to myself and a lot of alone time with my thoughts, which can be creatively dangerous. I do miss being able to hear from my family everyday but once a week will have to suffice. To them, I apologize. I’m still able to receive mail so reading and responding is still a huge part of my day. I’d like to thank everyone that sent me B-Day cards and wishes… that was terrific. You all are wonderful, simply wonderful.” (Weezy Thanx You)
After being placed in jail last March, Wayne was later released in early November.
While puffing on a cigar, Wayne told Sway what it felt like to make the transition from being behind bars to being back in the free world. “I forgot about yesterday,” Wayne said. He was also enthusiastic about his performance in Las Vegas. “It’s unexplainable,” he said. “Words can’t explain. I’m good with words, and they can’t explain.” Weezy also thanked everybody who supported him during his difficult time away. “I just want to thank everybody,” Weezy said. “Not only MTV fans but fans all across the world, and especially my family. I couldn’t have done it without them, and I won’t ever do it without them.” (MTV)
Check out some recent Lil Wayne footage down below: