SMH at him spending all his time playing “Uno”:
Rapper Lil Wayne says his stretch at Rikers Island “wasn’t as difficult as people might think” and that he got so good at Uno other inmates refused to play him. In a cover story for Rolling Stone magazine, the 28-year-old Grammy winner reveals his biggest hardship in the can was being deprived of conjugal visits.
“Don’t remind me, Brother,” he says, adding the closest he came to a lover was a picture of a woman he cut out of a magazine and taped to the wall of his 10-by-6-foot cell. The tattooed rapper was released from jail in November after serving 242 days in protective custody (he prefers calling it “Punk City”) for attempted criminal possession of a weapon, a charge he describes as “bull—-.”
Wayne says he got to know his fellow “Punk City” inmates during the eight hours a day they’d spend in a rec room watching TV or cooking together like in the prison scene from “Goodfellas.” His favorite pastime was playing Uno, a card game, and he and other inmates would gamble for commissary goods or one another’s phone-use privileges. He said he won far more than he lost.
“I would have a bed full of s–t,” he says. “The [correction officers] would come through and like, ‘What are you, about to cook?’ ‘Nope, just kicked ass at Uno, that’s all!'” Lil Wayne, who was born Dwayne Michael Carter, said he read in jail more than he ever read before, mostly biographies ranging from Jimi Hendrix to Vince Lombardi. He also read Confucius and the whole Bible.
“It was deep!” he says of the Gospels. He worked as a jailhouse suicide-prevention aide, earning 50 cents an hour, but found his 10 p.m.-to-6 a.m. shift was “for the birds.” His visitors included a who’s who of hip-hop royalty from Sean (Diddy) Combs and Nicki Minaj to Kanye West, who rapped his latest album for him.
Once, he received a call from former Jets quarterback Brett Favre telling him to “Keep your head up.”
“Not to use the word ‘easy’ – but it wasn’t difficult as people might think,” he says of his time behind bars. “There’s difficulty – mentally, just waking up every damn day in that mother——. But once you get over that, it’s all good.”