Lil Wayne‘s music career may be on an indefinite hiatus right now, but he’s still finding creative outlets to express his thoughts. One of those avenues is through writing, as he just released his new book, Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island, and the chapters give us a closer look at what Wayne went through during his time locked away from his family, friends and his music. Even doing a day behind bars will push any person to their edge and Wayne’s no different. In a newly shared excerpt by Rolling Stone, the rapper reveals that thoughts of taking his own life did occur.
The passage from the book is titled “Harshness,” and in it, Wayne describes how the monotony attached to days in jail leave plenty of time for two things: sleeping and thinking. With no real outlets to keep the mind occupied, Wayne hints that there were moments where suicide felt like a way out of it all. “I ended up thinking about all types of shit,” he writes. “One thing that stood out was how I’ve never been this close to suicide before. It’s truly a new reality for me.”
The published admittance comes just a few weeks after Weezy’s guest spot on Solange’s “Mad,” where he again lets it be known that he’s struggled with suicide just like many others in society. During his time behind bars, it wasn’t just the simple fact that Wayne thought about it in regards to himself. Other inmates made attempts on their own lives — some failed, some successful — so regularly that the rest of the prison population found themselves numb to it. In his case, Wayne details how another inmate in mental isolation tried to “hang up” after his pleas for water and assistance went ignored by guards. And while employees overlooked his pleas, other inmates ignored their own emotional and mental responses to it, choosing instead to carry on as if nothing had occurred.
“[B]ecause I was in jail, I was like, Damn, that nigga is crazy … Oh well, what are we eating tonight? Jail desensitizes a lot of things. The reality in here is so harsh. I will never understand how anyone could think that this shit is cool.”
We know how the story ends for Wayne. He survived his eight-month bid with a regime of “push-ups, Bible, prayer, slow jams and sleep.” What matters most is he somehow survived and now he’s able to tell his story. Let’s hope his new book and his open approach to discussing his mental health serve as points of light to others when they’re facing dark times.