Photo: Getty Images
  /  09.30.2022

Lil Wayne recently celebrated his 40th birthday on Tuesday (Sept. 27) and one gift will be pretty hard to top. The National Museum of African American Music (NMAAM) honored the rap icon with his very own exhibit.

The museum is in Nashville, Tennessee and according to a press release, local college students can view artifacts highlighting his career. Some items on display include Wayne’s 2009 Grammy for Rap Album of the Year, a handwritten letter from Rikers, clothing, a Tha Block Is Hot CD and other cool paraphernalia.

Those who visit the exhibit can expect to be greeted by a virtual Wayne and hear a speech from the impactful rapper. To add to the excitement, NMAAM constructed a studio-like booth where attendees can record themselves reciting some of his famous lyrics. Local Vanderbilt professors Dr. Gillum Sharpley (Associate Chair of African American and Diaspora Studies) and Dr. Michael Eric Dyson (Centennial Chair and University Distinguished Professor of African American and Diaspora Studies) are also on board to give live-streamed lectures.

Wayne shared his gratitude in a statement. “I’m very grateful to work with NMAAM and show students how hip hop has been so influential on the culture. Shout out to NMAAM for all the birthday love,” he said.

President and CEO of NMAAM H. Beecher Hicks III noted, “We are thrilled to honor and feature Lil Wayne and start our relationship with such a generous donation. On the heels of Mr. Carter expressing his interest in partnering with us, we found out that 10 years ago, he became the first male artist to surpass Elvis Presley with the most entries on the Billboard Hot 100 with 109 songs.”

Fans have until Dec. 27 to check out the world of Wayne. In addition to his exhibit, he received 22 new platinum certifications from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) on Wednesday. During his decades-long career, he’s won 11 BET Awards, four Billboard Music Awards, two MTV VMAs and eight NAACP Image Awards.


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