Lil Wayne has revealed he tried to take his own life at the age of 12 in a new YouTube interview.
The rapper, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., was speaking on Fox Sports analyst Emmanuel Acho’s Uncomfortable Conversations series.
Wayne said he hopes opening up about his struggles with mental health will encourage others to do the same.
He told Acho: “[I’m] hoping I can help anyone else out there who’s dealing with mental health problems by… being vulnerable.
“To me, I look at it by being brave and stepping up.”
Wayne revealed his mental health started to deteriorate when he was 10 years-old after his mother tried to thwart her son’s ambitions being a rapper by throwing away one of his folders containing his lyrics.
“[The] main thought was, ‘I’m gonna show you.’ So I picked up the phone, I called the police,” Wayne said.
“Yes, I knew where she kept 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…”
The rapper went on to say he initially planned to shoot himself in the head, but decided to fire at his chest instead, but didn’t feel a thing” because he was in shock. He passed out and was woken by the sounds of police knocking on his bedroom door.
Speaking about experiencing mental health problems from such a young age Wayne explained: “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. You’re not trying to let them know you’ve got something going on at home.
“There is no bar to measure how real [mental health is]. It’s real. It’s so real that if someone even has the guts, the heart, the bravery, whatever to at least admit that they have something going on up there that they’re not sure about, it’s so real that we should only react in the realest way possible.”
Wayne also revealed fame has affected his mental health in later life, bringing on loneliness after playing gigs.
He said: “You start to think, ‘[Does] anyone actually care? Will it matter when it’s all over? Will I matter?’ And that’s always the question. Will you matter when it’s all over? Not the things you’ve done, the things you’ve done for everyone else, but will you actually matter to them? But most of all to you?”
Wayne is in a good place now, telling Acho he is “so happy” thanks to his music career.
“To be productive and put some music out and help some people put music out, that’s what I love,” he said. “Simple cliché – that’s what I was born to be.”
Lil Wayne told Acho he prays twice a day.
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