Corrections sources are telling the Voice that rapper Lil Wayne was caught today at Rikers in possession of “unauthorized earphones and a charger” during a search. An investigation is underway to find the missing device (almost certainly an iPod or other kind of MP3 player) that goes with the headphones. (Update: They found it. The MP3 player was discovered in the cell of another inmate in the unit. And, in a kind of tragic detail, it turns out Lil Wayne had hidden the original contraband–the charger and headphones–in a snack bag in the garbage can of his cell.) He’s being charged with an infraction–possession of contraband, says our source. Inmates are allowed to purchase an AM/FM player and earphones from the commissary, but what Wayne had wasn’t authorized. Before you yawn, realize that everyone in Rikers–even the celebrities–is forbidden to possess any form of non-sanctioned mobile electronics, whether cell phones, videogames, or otherwise, and the fact that Lil Wayne was found with an iPod in his cell means that someone had to smuggle it into him.
Whether it was a guard or a visitor is unknown as yet, but either would constitute a serious security breach. (Already, just a few weeks into Wayne’s year and a day term on weapons charges, a Rikers guard was fired for allegedly spying on the rapper.) Ironically, before Wayne went behind bars, the rapper told Rolling Stone that he planned to keep working while in prison: “I’ll have an iPod, and I’ll make sure they keep sending me beats.” Guess the lack of one turned out to be more a burden than he could bear–no surprise for a guy who recorded at all hours of the day and night back when he was a free man.