The globally followed American rapper Lil Wayne recently opened up about his mental health and shared his struggle during his teen years.
Talking with Emmanuel Acho on the show/podcast “Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho,” Wayne, originally known as Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., opened up about his young years. The rapper shared the instances of his life when he was struggling mentally, and even attempted suicide at the tender of 12.
Talking about his personal experience, Wayne stated that he realized that he might have mental health related issues at a very young age, “at the age around 10.” According to the 38-year-old rapper, his mental health issues triggered when “I was told I couldn’t have what I wanted, what I dreamed of and what I desired and that was to rap.”
Recalling the time when he tried to kill himself, Wayne told that he found his mother’s gun and shot himself in the chest. The reason behind this scary step taken by the rapper was a phone call from his aunt, who had stated that Wayne wouldn’t be allowed to pursue music after ditching class.
The “Lollipop” singer stated that he was “willing to die” for rap. Emmanuel further asked Wayne about the moment when he realized it was actually a mental health issue. Answering the question, Wayne said, “Once my thoughts got radical… and got to where you got to stop yourself and pause and say ‘What did you just think again?’ “
Even when you have cried yourself to sleep, with that on your mind and wake up the next day and be like ‘I cannot believe I was thinking like that,’ thoughts of killing yourself,” stated the five time Grammy winner.
Lil Wayne not only just appeared on the show as a guest, but he voluntarily contacted the host Emmanuel Acho as he wanted to help people dealing with mental health issues. Emmanuel stated that Wayne contacted him “less than a week ago” stating that the rapper “wanted to talk,” and subsequently gave Wayne the stage to speak up.
Wayne stated that he wanted to be on the show, “figuring I can help, hoping I can help anyone else out there who’s dealing with any mental health problems, by just like you (Emmanuel) said earlier about being vulnerable… But to me, I look at it by being brave and stepping up.”
Explaining his situation of the time when he thought of ending his life, Wayne told Emmanuel, “Well Acho, when I was 12 years old, the school year was kinda ending. So what the school was doing was they was giving us half days on a Thursday and a Friday. It may have been a Wednesday as well.” However, the rapper was lying to his mother about his school and stayed out even when the school was closed.
The rapper stated, “But what I would do was just telling moms that I only had a half a day on one of those days. So therefore, I stayed out the rest of the whole day, just like it was a full day. She found out. So when I got home, I got a phone call from my aunt. She was like ‘she found out boy you’re about to get your ass kicked.”
According to the rapper, his aunt told him, “And that rapping and all that… she about to take the rap folder, she about to throw that shit away.” Wayne further said, “and I was like wow… so all that had build up to me. I just listened to my aunt like ‘I hear you… I hear you…”
However, as the 12-year-old Wayne put the phone down, his mind got invaded by thoughts. Wayne said, “(I) hung up the phone… thoughts everywhere… main thought was ‘I am gonna show you’.”
Subsequently, the rapper called the police. “I knew where she kept her gun,” continued Wayne. “It was in her bedroom. So I went to her bedroom, grabbed the gun… I already made the phone call, looked in the mirror, did like that (pointing gun to his head),” but he didn’t pull the trigger.
He said, “Of course it was like, ‘oh no,’ cause I got little too scared, that was my head.” During this point, Wayne was to pull away but then again pointed the gun to his chest. “Then I said ‘Fuck it,’ Biggie was on… I’m looking in the mirror so you could look through the mirror and the television was behind me.
“How I knew I had mental health problems was I pulled the trigger” on his chest. He said, “(I) didn’t feel it, aimed for my heart and didn’t feel a thing though. So I wasn’t going through any pain. It was a shock.”
Wayne told that he then woke up to the sound of police knocking on the door. Finally, he somehow managed to kick the door, which made the cops realize that he was in there. Subsequently, they broke the door. The rapper told, “The cops saw me, just jumped clean over me and went through the house talking about ‘I found the drugs, I found the gun… and all that.” However, the cops seemed to be more consumed in looking through the house instead of attending the kid on the floor.
“It took a guy named Uncle Bob (who he thinks was the sheriff or boss), he ran up there, when he got to the steps and saw me there, he refused to even step over me. One of them yelled like ‘I got the drugs’ and that’s when he went crazy and he was like ‘I don’t give a fuck about no drugs. Do you not see the baby on the ground?”
The sheriff picked Wayne up and took him to the hospital in a car and saved his life.
Stating why he couldn’t use words to share what he was going through, Wayne told that he belongs to a family where he was not allowed to talk back and he wasn’t able to share his opinion. He also stated that his father not being around put an extra pressure on his mother to responsibly raise Wayne, hence everything she did was extra. Therefore, the rapper stated that he didn’t have any one to vent to.
But after that incident, Wayne’s mother changed herself drastically and as Wayne told, she decided to let her “flower grow.” Certainly, flower here means baby Wayne.