NEW YORK (Reuters) - After whirlwind goodbyes to fans, diminutive U.S. rapper Lil Wayne was sentenced to one year in jail on Monday after he pleaded guilty on a gun possession charge in a 2007 incident.
Lil Wayne, 27, whose real name is Dwayne Carter and who also goes by the moniker “Weezy,” appeared in New York State Supreme Court wearing jeans and a grey hooded sweatshirt.
Justice Charles Solomon passed the sentence for attempted criminal possession of a weapon after a plea agreement in which Carter gave up his right to appeal over a case in which a gun was found in his tour bus in July 2007.
Carter remained silent during the hearing and nodded solemnly when led to jail in handcuffs. His sentencing had been postponed twice in the last month, once so he could get dental surgery and then because a fire shut the courthouse for four days.
Carter, whose album “Tha Carter III” was the biggest-selling U.S. release of 2008 and won him best rap album and three other prizes at the 2009 Grammy Awards, also recorded numerous videos in anticipation of jail time.
He was accompanied by rapper and Cash Money records co-founder Bryan “Birdman” Williams and a barrage of fans and media gathered outside the lower Manhattan courtroom.
Carter is headed to Rikers Island jail, where he will be held in protective custody and could be released in eight months with good behavior, said his lawyer, Stacey Richman.
“Because of who he is, the department of corrections would not have it (protective custody) any other way,” Richman said.
In the lead-up to sentencing, Carter sent a six-part series of videos on his life to MTV.com. “Road to Rikers” shows Carter before and after dental surgery, shooting music videos and relaxing at his home. MTV News reported that he filmed nine music videos in anticipation of his jail term.
“Even if he wasn’t going to jail, his work pace would be the same,” said Jermaine Hall, chief editor of Vibe magazine. “Wayne (Carter) feels like he’s a bottomless pit of great music.”
Carter also started a Twitter account last month. His most recent tweet, posted on Monday, said: “Law is mind without reason ... I’ll return.”
Editing by Daniel Trotta and Jackie Frank