Lil Wayne opened up recently about his childhood mental health. In an interview with Emmanuel Acho on his Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man podcast, the “Something Different” rapper, 38, told the story of the time he shot himself in the chest after suffering from a mental health crisis at the age of 12.
At the time, the rapper was caught skipping school and his aunt told him that he won’t be able to continue to pursue rap. He then mentioned he experienced suicidal ideation before grabbing a gun from his mother’s bedroom and attempting to end his life.
“I was just looking and was like you know what — start thinking I had to get myself mad and then noticed I didn’t have to,” he said per PEOPLE. “That’s what scared me. And how I know I have mental health problems was [that] I pulled the trigger.”
“As a kid, all you remember is that when you’re going to see the white and I thought that was the white — I swear to God I did,” he said, adding that he was located by the officers. “Then, the knocking woke me up out of that, but then they stopped and once they stopped knocking I said, ‘OK, they must’ve left.’ It took too long. It took too long for getting me to that death. I was still just laying there and didn’t feel a thing, but it was taking too long. So, I said s— I am here for a reason.”
After pointing the gun to his head and calling the police, he decided to shoot himself in the chest.
“The blood was pouring out of my chest so much that it made it easy for me to slide with my shirt on the wood across the floor. I made it all the way there. All the energy I had left was to kick the door.”
The police came and Wayne said he was saved thanks to one officer.
Wayne said the only thing that kept him alive in that moment was “God. Plain and simple.”
The rapper then expressed the importance of having someone to talk to and the lack of openness in his family contributed to his suicide attempt.
“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, you’re not tryna let them know, ‘I got something going on at home,'” he said. “Also, what I never said was… the mom that I knew before that day, on my life, and everyone’s life. I have never met, or seen, or heard that lady again in my life.”
Today, he expressed that he feels “happy” and that making music and doing what he loves contributes to his overall well-being.
The 38-year-old left his fans with, “What I wish they knew is that it’s real and there is no bar to measure how real.”