Lil Wayne Speaks On Mental Health And Attempting Suicide At 12
Lil Wayne, 38, revealed he realised he was dealing with mental health issues when he attempted to commit suicide at the age of 12.
The five-time Grammy-winning rapper, spoke to author and TV host Emmanuel Acho on his “Uncomfortable Conversations” interview series posted Sunday, in which he opened up about wanting to inspire others to take mental health seriously and speak up when they need help.
“(I’m) hoping I can help anyone else out there who’s dealing with mental health problems by… being vulnerable,” said Wayne. “To me, I look at it by being brave and stepping up.”
Born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr., the “Lollipop” rapper told Acho that he first realized around age 10 that he was struggling internally, particularly when he was told he couldn’t rap – his favorite creative outlet.
“I was willing to die for it,” Wayne said. The moment he realized he was dealing with a real issue was “once my thoughts got radical and got to where you’ve got to stop yourself and stop and pause and say, ‘What did you just think again?’ Even if you’ve cried yourself to sleep with that thought on your mind and wake up the next day and be like, ‘I cannot believe I was thinking like that.’ ”
At 12, Wayne panicked after learning his mother knew he had been skipping class, and worried she would tell him he wasn’t allowed to rap anymore. His thoughts were “everywhere,” he recalled. He knew his mother kept a gun in her bedroom and called the police before pulling the trigger.
Wayne then says that he pointed the gun to his head before he “got a little too scared.”
“Then I said: “F**k it”. Biggie was on. I’m looking in the mirror, so you could look through the mirror and the television was behind me. So I was watching the video through the mirror,’ he explained.
“One More Chance was on. And Biggie was already gone or something. So I was looking, I was like: “You know what?” Start thinking I had to get myself mad and noticed that I didn’t have to, that’s what scared me.’
“How I knew I had a mental health problem was when I pulled the trigger,’ he added.
When the police showed up, Wayne, who was badly injured and bleeding, had managed to scoot himself toward the front door. However, several of the officers raced past him in search of drugs and weapon before checking to see if he was okay. He was saved by an officer named Uncle Bob who didn’t race past him.
The rapper thinks that a lack of openness in his family led to his suicide attempt. “So when you have no one to vent to, no one to get this out to, you can’t bring it to your friends at school. You’re still trying to be cool to them,” he explained.
Lil Wayne has previously referenced his suicide attempt in songs. In 2016, he rapped about the incident on Solange’s Mad, saying: “And when I attempted suicide, I didn’t die/I remember how mad I was on that day/Man, you gotta let it go before it get up in the way/Let it go, let it go.”
On the song London Roads, he also said: “Ms. Cita, I remember goin’ in your gun drawer/Puttin’ it to my chest and missin’ my heart by centimeters, oh Lord.”