Years before Lil Wayne laid claim to the title of “Best Rapper Alive,” he dealt with mental health issues that culminated in an attempted suicide when he was just 12 years old. In a new episode of Complex‘s Uncomfortable Conversations with Emmanuel Acho, Wayne once again details the attempt in his own words, as well as explaining how he managed to survive and the callous attitudes of police officers which almost ensured that he didn’t.
“How I knew I had a mental health problem was I pulled the trigger,” he says of the incident. “I realized that at a very young age.”
Wayne describes in the interview how he shot himself in the chest after being told to give up his rap dreams by his mother. However, since he didn’t die, he says he had an epiphany: “I might be here for a reason.” He says that he was able to slide himself to the door, but that when police removed the door from its hinges and saw him lying there, the first handful bypassed him looking for drugs and guns. However, one officer whom Lil Wayne has always called Uncle Bob in prior interviews refused to step over him and drove him to the hospital.
The rapper further describes how his mental health issues have dogged him into adulthood and stardom as he questions “will you matter when it’s all over?”
You can watch the full interview above.