In 2010, Lil Wayne (Dwayne Carter Jr.) served an eight month sentence on Rikers Island (it’s kind of a long story; read the New York Times‘ report here). Now, his memoir Gone ‘Til November, about his time spent in New York City’s main jail complex — handwritten in a journal during his sentence — is about to be released. It’ll be out on October 11, and Page Six has detailed (and Pitchfork has confirmed) some of the contents of the book. Among the most interesting bits mentioned is the book’s alleged description of a gay wedding Lil Wayne officiated at Rikers Island.
Apparently, he and other inmates decorated a hall of the prison with toilet paper, and used 13 bottles of Gatorade as a substitute for champagne. “Gatorade is liquid gold in this bitch . . . Imagine seeing grown-ass men in jail hanging tissue for wedding decorations. AND one of them is Lil Wayne. Crazy,” Lil Wayne writes.
This image is interesting and pretty awesome, especially if it’s true, due to how particularly awful prison life can otherwise be for LGBTQIA people. Bitch Media has described how the organization Black and Pink released the largest survey of the LGBTQIA population in prison in the US; 31% reported having been sexually assaulted or raped by other prisoners, while 12% reported the same by staff members. The article also explains that when abuse is reported, a prison’s solution is often to put the victims in solitary confinement — 85% of the LGBTQIA people interviewed reporting having been put in “restrictive housing” at some point.
Judging from its description, Lil Wayne’s book will provide some lighthearted diversion, including a passage in which he requests a visit from a panty-less girlfriend in order to reenact that infamous scene from Basic Instinct. But the book also comes at a time when New Yorkers are protesting the very existence of Rikers Island due to its disrepair and the reported treatment of inmates — both in the number of sexual abuses and the usage of solitary confinement. Given its setting, perhaps the book will transcend the usual celebrity memoir material and provide further insight into the nature of life in the infamous prison.