Profits From Prison

How’s this for working overtime? Forbes estimates that hip-hop artist Lil’ Wayne will make more money behind bars this year than he did last year. Dwayne “Lil’ Wayne” Carter has another seven months to serve for a weapons possession charge, but his estimated paycheck for 2010 is $20 million — ahead of his $18 million of earnings last year. His success has been attributed to making good use of his time before incarceration and recording verses over the jail phone. His team has also resorted to some old-school tactics, such as selling t-shirts, to keep his fans interested. [%comments]


Ironic that this article follows the Monopoly piece.

Prison keeps Lil' Wayne from paying rent on hotels.

trader n

Expenses are lower too. Govt. subsidized housing.

Hetty Greene

Esp. nice that he's in a nice low federal tax bracket still this year! (amybe he's in prison in a state with no taxes at all.)

What sayeth all those people who tihnk taxes are too high?

This is truly a tee hee.

Bobby G

@ Hetty Greene,

Huh? Where do you see that he's in a low federal tax bracket? It's pretty easy to track income on top artist/celebrities. I question your sources... especially since he's incarcerated in NY, which does in fact have state income tax.


I think Freakonomics should do more stories like this! My only complaint is, I wish this was longer and actually tried to tease out Weezy's numbers a little more.


He has every right to earn money while in prison, but it's only a matter of time before legislators try to steal from people like him going forward.


Why does this not surprise me? Lil Wayne is one of the most creative rappers in the industry right now. This is only evidence of how hard he actually works at his craft. It's unfortunate that he must display such perseverance from behind bars, but I commend the effort nonetheless.

From a labour economics POV, "Weezy F. Baby" is clearly at a point on his indifference curve where he is oversaturated with leisure and thus is willing to give some up in hopes to obtain more labour income (i.e. consume more). To put it differently, he is currently still focused on "stuntin' like his Daddy." @ bulletproofcourier legislators can try to steal all they want, but "what's a goon to a goblin?"