When Lil Wayne first announced his new moniker “Lil Tunechi,” many people around hip-hop were quite surprised. He was originally compared to people such as P Diddy who switched their name mid-career to generate buzz. But the truth is, Lil Wayne has been going by the name “Tune” for a very long time.
The name was given to Wayne by his grandmother Mercedes Carter when he was young. Now of course, it would be easy for Wayne to just claim that he has been going by the nickname for years to make it seem like he wasn’t changing the name for hype purposes. But if you look back through the years you will find a few subtle references to Wayne as “Tune” or “Li-Tune” (said very quickly in a New Orleans slang style but meaning Lil Tune).
If you’ve ever watched the 2009 Carter Documentary (a film Wayne is no longer the biggest fan of) you will notice in the scene where Lil Wayne is giving Lil Twist a hard time for not being more sexually active, that Mack Main begins telling a story about Wayne but starts off the story by saying “and Tune was… oh wait, y’all don’t know 'bout all that, okay well Wayne was…” He was starting off the story referring to Wayne as Tune but quickly realized the lack of public knowledge that nickname has, and changed his reference to “Wayne.”
In the DJ Scoob Doo produced video days before Lil Wayne’s prison sentence began, he explains the entire history of the nickname and says he added the “chi” because it sounds catchier like “Gucci” and that the full moniker is “Tunechileonchis”. Not sure what the Tunechileonchis name represents, but maybe Weezy is already planning on turning himself into someone from Greek mythology sometime in the future.