Lil Wayne is looking back on a dark time in his childhood.
In an interview for Emmanuel Acho’s mental health series “Uncomfortable Conversations,” a vulnerable Weezy opened up about attempting suicide when he was 12 years old after being told that he wouldn’t be able to pursue his dream of becoming a rapper because his mother didn’t support it.
“I was willing to die for it,” he said of his rap career.
He got home from school one day and his aunt told him that his mom had learned that he was rapping. “[She] was like, ‘She found out. Boy, you’re about to get your ass kicked. All that rapping and all that shit, she about to take that rap folder. She about to throw that shit away.'”
After getting off the phone, his “thoughts [were] everywhere” and he went and found his mother’s gun. “I picked up the phone, I called the police,” he shared. “Yes, I knew where she put her gun and it was in her bedroom. And so I went in her bedroom, grabbed the gun. I already made the phone call, looked in the mirror.”
He pointed the gun at his head, but then stopped. “‘Cause I got a little too scared, that was my head. Like, ‘Nah, nah.’ But then I said, ‘F**k it.'”
At that point, the Notorious B.I.G.’s video for “One More Chance” came on the television. “‘One More Chance’ was on and think 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.”
Added Wayne, “How I knew I had a mental health problem was when I pulled the trigger.”
He shot himself in the chest, but didn’t feel any pain because he was in shock. “Didn’t feel it, aimed for my heart and didn’t feel a thing though.”
He woke up to the police knocking on his door. A bloody Wayne was able to slide across the floor and kick open the front door. While the officers searched the house for drugs, one officer who he called Uncle Bob saved his life.
“He ran up there, when he got to the top of the steps and saw me there, he refused to even step over me,” he said. “He was like, ‘I don’t give a f**k about no drugs. Do you not see the baby on the ground?'”
He picked Wayne up and took him to the hospital. Years later, they reconnected. “He was like, ‘I don’t want nothing. I just want to say, ‘I’m happy to say that I saved a life that mattered.'”
From that day forward, his mother decided to not get in the way of her son’s dream. “The mom that I knew before that day…have never met or seen or heard that lady again in my life. I didn’t die that day, but somebody was gone,” he said. “What she decided to do was, I’ll let my flower grow.”