Rapper Lil Wayne is released from prison in New York

04/11/10

Lil Wayne

Lil Wayne has been released from Rikers Island jail in New York after serving eight months on a gun charge.

The Grammy award-winning rapper started his sentence in March but was let out early for good behaviour.

He pleaded guilty last year to attempted weapon possession after a loaded gun was found on his tour bus.

Lil Wayne's release was revealed on New York's Department of Correction website and his managers are saying he plans to travel to his home in Miami.

The 28-year-old rapper's latest album, I Am Not a Human Being, hit number one in the US album chart after its release in September.

He's the first artist in 15 years to release a number one record on the US Billboard 200 chart while serving a prison sentence.

Tupac Shakur hit the top of the US album chart with his 1995 LP Me Against the World while in prison on a sexual assault conviction.

Lil Wayne also had the best-selling album of 2008 and won a best rap album Grammy for Tha Carter III.

American president Barack Obama recently told Rolling Stone magazine that he has some of the rapper's music on his MP3 player.

Lil Wayne's sentencing was delayed twice earlier this year.

His first court appearance was postponed because he had to have some dental work carried out while the second was rearranged after a fire broke out at the court house in New York.

'Never scared'

Lil Wayne, real name Dwayne Carter Jr., was sent to jail in March after a handgun was discovered on his tour bus in Manhattan in 2007.

He was put in solitary confinement at Rikers Island after wardens found he'd broken prison rules.

The star was found with a charger in his prison cell and headphones for a digital music player.

The rapper was segregated from other inmates for the final month of his sentence and confined to his new cell for 23 hours a day.

He was banned from socialising with other inmates and from watching TV and was only allowed one telephone call a week.

He told fans through a website this week that he "was never scared, worried nor bothered" behind bars.

While in jail, Lil Wayne also pleaded guilty to a charge of drug possession in Arizona and was sentenced to three years' probation.

Lil Wayne's prison details
Image caption Lil Wayne's release was announced on NYC's Department of Correction website