Lil Wayne’s feud with his former label boss and adoptive father, Bryan “Birdman” Williams, is so serious that, rather than waiting to fight it out in court, Birdman and his new protege Young Thug tried to have Weezy killed in a Blood gang assassination, an indictment filed in a Georgia court implies. Although Birdman and Thugga aren’t facing charges, the case against the alleged shooter—Young Thug’s tour manager Jimmy “PeeWee Roscoe” Winfrey—suggests he was trying to take Lil Wayne out on their behalf.
In the week prior to the April 26 shooting, Birdman and Young Thug had intentionally antagonized Lil Wayne by dropping a Thugga mixtape called Tha Barter VI—a play on Lil Wayne’s Tha Carter albums that implied Young Thug was taking Wayne’s spot in both the Cash Money hierarchy and the rap game writ large. It was origjnally called Tha Carter VI, but they had to change it for legal reasons, so they followed the Blood gang tradition of changing “C” (for crip) to “B.”
On Instagram, Thugga boasted his first show for the new mixtape would be in Wayne’s neighborhood of Hollygrove, New Orleans, and panned over to some of his dudes—including alleged shooter PeeWee Roscoe—holding guns. As the indictment puts it, “Jimmy Winfrey and weapons are visible on that video.”
According to the document, the callout in this video—“meet me there, beat me there, nigga. With them dicks, too”—was a direct threat toward Lil Wayne.
On the night of April 25, hours before the shooting, Young Thug was booed off stage at Southern University in Baton Rouge—not Wayne’s hometown, as promised, but still his home state—by Wayne fans shouting “Weezy,” “Hollygrove,” and “Fuck you.”
Meanwhile, in Young Thug’s hometown of Atlanta, Weezy was performing at The Compound. The indictment alleges that PeeWee Roscoe and other members of Young Thug’s branch of the Bloods, Young Slime Life, left another Atlanta club called The Vault and drove over to the show in multiple cars. The cops on security duty saw them roll up.
Atlanta Police noted PeeWee Roscoe was driving solo in a white 2015 Camaro and “observed that Winfrey had an assault rifle in his vehicle.”
Sensing violence was about to break out between the YSL crew and Weezy’s entourage after the show, “Atlanta police immediately began to escort Dwayne Carter and his group away from the Compound.”
Officers tried to confront PeeWee, but he pulled off in the Camaro before they could stop him.
As Lil Wayne’s two tour buses traveled toward I-285, a lieutenant saw the white Camaro speeding to catch up with them. The indictment alleges PeeWee was on the phone with Young Thug—or at least someone who had a cell phone registered to Young Thug—before he left the Vault that night, and then again while he was chasing down the tour buses.
When the buses crossed the Fulton County line and got on the interstate going north, their police escort dropped off. That’s when a white sports car, allegedly containing PeeWee and other YSL members, pulled up alongside the buses, and someone inside opened fire on both vehicles with two handguns, a .40 caliber and a 9mm.
After the shooting, PeeWee allegedly took I-75 south back to Atlanta, placing a call to a phone owned by Cash Money boss Bryan “Birdman” Williams, who was then facing a $50 million lawsuit from Wayne over back pay and the release of his next Carter album.
Meanwhile, the two tour buses met police at the Mandarin Oriental in downtown Atlanta. PeeWee allegedly also drove over to the hotel, but upon finding cops there, he left and hid the white Camaro. Police later recovered it from the home of one of his relatives.
Citing Young Thug’s “Halftime” video, which contains both a boast that Thugga would shoot Lil Wayne “in the noggin” and a shot of PeeWee Roscoe pointing an assault rifle at the camera, prosecutors claim PeeWee shot up the tour bus on Thugga’s behalf.
The practice of entering rap lyrics as evidence in criminal cases has a long and sketchy history, and the ACLU has condemned it for unfairly biasing jurors against defendants. In this case, it apparently wasn’t enough to charge Young Thug with a crime, especially considering that the “Halftime” video was released more than a month after the shooting.
Although PeeWee Roscoe is facing multiple counts of racketeering, street gang terrorism, aggravated assault, and firearms possession, he’s not accused of attempted murder. And, despite the indictment’s implication that either Young Thug or Birdman (or maybe both?) ordered the shooting, prosecutors didn’t offer any conclusive proof, and they didn’t file conspiracy charges against either man.