STACEY PLAISANCE,Associated Press Writer
NEW ORLEANS (AP) — Lil Wayne emerged as a top-selling musician known for his clever wordplay and risque lyrics, but like rappers before him, he's staring down a year behind bars at the peak of his career.
The artist returned to his hometown of New Orleans for a performance Monday on what he's calling his farewell tour.
"I'm nothing without you," he told the screaming crowd of thousands of fans at the New Orleans Arena after opening the concert with "A Milli," which last year earned him a Grammy for best rap solo.
The 27-year-old rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Carter, pleaded guilty in October to a weapons possession charge and will be sentenced Feb. 9. His plea deal calls for a year in jail.
The charge stemmed from a 2007 traffic stop of his tour bus in New York when authorities said they smelled marijuana, and as they approached, he tossed aside a bag with a loaded .40-caliber handgun.
In a separate case, he also faces trial in March on felony drug possession and weapons charges in Yuma County, Ariz. More recently, he had to postpone a show one day after authorities stopped two of his buses in Texas and found marijuana. The case has been referred to the sheriff's office.
Some of those at Monday's concert said they were disappointed with the rapper's legal troubles.
"It's kinda sad, the stereotype and that he fell into it," said 19-year-old Lee Farrell of New Orleans.
Lil Wayne is set to follow some of rap music's biggest names — from Tupac Shakur, Lil' Kim, Beanie Sigel and Shyne to New Orleans natives Mystikal and C-Murder — who have served a few months to several years behind bars for crimes committed after they became famous.
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