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‘ Gone ’ Til Novem­ber’ chron­i­cles Lil Wayne’s time in prison

Lil Wayne is an open book — at least when it comes to one chap­ter in his life. On Tues­day, the pro­lific rap­per, who in 2010 was sen­tenced to eight months in New York’s Rik­ers Is­land on weapons charges, re­leased the di­ary he kept dur­ing his in­car­cer­a­tion. Gone ’ Til Novem­ber: A Jour­nal of Rik­ers Is­land ( Plume Books) was Wayne’s way of find­ing “joy in hell.” Now, it stands as a rev­e­la­tion to fans who get a peek be­hind the cur­tain of celebrity. Here are seven things we learned from our sneak peek. 1HE WAS A SUI­CIDE PREVEN­TION AIDE ... BRIEFLY. Af­ter earn­ing a per­fect score on the pre- em­ploy­ment screen­ing test, Wayne was tasked with mon­i­tor­ing the tier to en­sure in­mates didn’t try to com­mit sui­cide and to alert the on- duty of­fi­cer about at­tempts. The rap­per soon bowed out to fo­cus on self- care. “It’s truly a new re­al­ity for me,” he wrote. “I was ac­tu­ally there when this kid that was in men­tal iso­la­tion tried to hang up. What’s re­ally ( ex­ple­tive) up is that it all could’ve been pre­vented if the COs ( cor­rec­tional of­fi­cers) would’ve just brought him some wa­ter.” But, as Wayne goes on to ex­plain, of­fi­cers are used to in­mates bang­ing on their cells — so much so that it doesn’t trig­ger alarms. 2HE HEARD HIS SON SAY ‘ DA- DA’ WHILE BE­HIND BARS. Wayne’s first son was only a year old when he be­gan serv­ing his sen­tence. As such, the first time Wayne heard Dwayne Michael Carter III — fondly re­ferred to as D. M. C. III — say “Da- da” was on the phone, a bit­ter­sweet mo­ment. 3HE WAS ANX­IOUS WHEN HE PLAYED IN PRISON. Wayne may have rocked stages in front of mil­lions of peo­ple, but rap­ping in front of his fel­low in­mates was an­other story. “I was ner­vous as hell,” he ad­mits of his per­for­mance for tier mates Char­lie and Jamaica. 4HE CON­SID­ERED CHRIS­TIAN RAP ... BRIEFLY. In ad­di­tion to a land­slide of fan mail, Wayne re­ceived a com­pelling let­ter from a church, urg­ing him to use his artistry to spread the gospel. And for a mo­ment, Wayne con­sid­ered it. “I would truly have the power of hav­ing pop cul­ture turn to God,” he wrote. “I would have straight killers in church ev­ery Sun­day.” 5HE MADE $ 20 MIL­LION WHILE IN PRISON. In the months pre­ced­ing his sen­tence, Wayne recorded new mu­sic at a fever­ish pace to stag­ger re­leases through­out his sen­tence. As a re­sult, the rap­per out­paced his 2009 earn­ings, rak­ing in an es­ti­mated $ 20 mil­lion, com­pared with 2009’ s $ 18 mil­lion. 6JAMAICA WAS DE­PORTED DUR­ING HIS BID. Wayne may have been re­luc­tant to use the “f” word in jail, but by all ac­counts, Jamaica was a friend. And when Wayne re­counts how Jamaica was hauled away, you can sense his guilt. Wayne ad­mits that Jamaica had re­peat­edly asked if he could con­nect him with a bet­ter lawyer, but the rap­per didn’t take it se­ri­ously un­til it was too late. 7JAIL MADE HIM RE­AL­IZE HIS CRE­ATIV­ITY WASN’T DE­PEN­DENT ON EX­TER­NAL IN­FLU­ENCES. For a book that mostly deals with the day- to- day and only oc­ca­sion­ally scratches be­yond the sur­face, Wayne gets par­tic­u­larly in­tro­spec­tive at the close. The night be­fore his re­lease, he re­flects on the crutches he used to lean on for in­spi­ra­tion: drugs, cars, women. “Once that was all taken away from me, my cre­ativ­ity was put to the ul­ti­mate test,” he writes. “And I passed that ( ex­ple­tive)!”

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