Rapper Lil Wayne has opened up about his mental health struggles.
In a recent episode of Uncomfortable Conversations, an online series hosted by ex-NFL player Emmanuel Acho, the rapper shared his thoughts on the demons he’s faced.
“When I was told that I couldn’t have what I wanted, what I dreamed of and what I desired, and that was to rap,” he said. “I was willing to die for it.”
Lil Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., detailed growing up in a tough environment in New Orleans with his single mother and absent father. After lying to his mother about his school schedule, Wayne was warned by his aunt that his mother would no longer allow him to rap.
The prospect frazzled the then-12-year-old, who called the police and rummaged through his mother’s bedroom to grab her gun. “Thoughts everywhere. Main thought was, ‘I’m gonna show you,’” Carter said. “How I knew I had mental health problems was I pulled the trigger.”
The bullet shot through his chest, barely missing his heart. An off-duty officer named Robert Hoobler, whom Carter fondly refers to as Uncle Bob, took him to the hospital to get treated.
Since then, the “Lollipop” singer said that his mother has changed her strict ways. “She’s never been that way [again]. Changed life for her, [me], and our whole family,” he stated.
Carter’s mental health struggles never disappeared, however. As his fame rose, feelings of loneliness and inadequacy plagued him. Nowadays, releasing new music and performing has kept the Grammy-winning artist happy.
Despite the hardships, he urged people to understand the reality of mental health.
“What I wish they knew is that it’s real,” Carter said. “There is no bar to measure how real. It’s real.”