RAP legend Lil Wayne has publicly been a champion of mental health since 2016.
The star revealed he dealt with his own issues for two years while growing up.
Did Lil Wayne shoot himself aged 12?
Lil Wayne revealed to Emmanuel Acho on an episode of his podcast, Uncomfortable Conversations, that he shot himself in the chest when he was 12 years old.
Wayne said his mother learned he had been skipping school and was afraid she would punish him by taking away his rap hobby so he attempted to take his own life.
The 38-year-old rapper said he called the police then went into his mother’s bedroom to get her gun.
He claimed he held the gun to his head but got scared and instead decided to shoot himself in the chest, aiming for his heart.
“I didn’t feel a thing,” he recalled.
Wayne said in the interview that he had a hard time with his mental health since he was 10 years old, especially when he was told he could not rap and realized he was “willing to die” for his craft.
“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 because you’re still trying to be cool to them,” Wayne explained to Acho, adding, “You’re not tryna let them know, ‘I got something going on at home.'”
He decided to go public with the story back in 2018 and has since urged people to get proper mental health care.
“It’s real,” he said.
“We should only react in the realest way possible.”
Wayne revealed that the suicide attempt changed his mother and his family forever.
He explained that as he rose to popularity by his late teens, the mental health issues "didn't go away" but "came in a different way because of the maturity."
“You start to think, 'Do anyone actually care? Will it matter when it's all over? Will I matter?' And that's always the question," Wayne said.
He also shared that today, he's "happy" and feels productive as he's able to continue making music and doing what he loves.
"That's what I love," he said.
"That's who I am I guess —a simple cliché. That's who I was born to be."
Did Lil Wayne work as a suicide prevention aide?
Wayne decided to take up a job as a suicide prevention aide while being incarcerated at Riker’s Island over firearm possession back in 2010.
He revealed that the prison paid him $50 when he was able to stop someone from taking their own life and $25 if he found them already “hung up.”
“The job is basically to monitor the top tier [of the jail] for an eight-hour shift, and if someone wants to hang up [meaning to kill themself], to not negotiate with them or try to talk to them out of it, but just to alert an office,” he said.
Does Lil Wayne have children?
Wayne is a father to four children: Reginae Carter, Dwayne Michael Carter III, Cameron Carter, and Neal Carter.
Actress Reginae Carter is the daughter of Wayne and TV personality Toya Johnson.
Wayne was just 16 when Reginae was born; he later married Toya in 2004 but divorced two years later.
Dwayne Michael Carter III is Wayne's son with a woman named Sarah Vivan, according to LilWayneHQ.com.
The rapper then had Cameron Carter with actress Lauren London.
Wayne had his youngest child Neal Carter with singer Nivea B. Hamilton, who was born a few months after Cameron.
If you or someone you know is affected by any of the issues raised in this story, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text Crisis Text Line at 741741.
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