Lil Wayne attempted suicide at the age of 12 after his mother forbade him from rapping.
The rapper has referenced ‘missing his heart by centimetres’ with a bullet on previous songs, but has always denied it was intentional.
However, a song on his new album Tha Carter V sees Wayne admit that he tried to take his own life by shooting himself.
Wayne, real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, played the outro to his album to Billboard as part of his cover story with the magazine. The song was on the original mastering of Tha Carter V, but Wayne added a new verse following the suicides of Anthony Bourdain and Kate Spade this year.
Billboard writes: ‘When he was 12, Wayne came across a gun in his mother’s house and shot himself in the chest, just missing his heart.
‘In the past, he has called this an accident. But on the new verse he plays, Wayne admits this was a suicide attempt, undertaken after his mother told him he would no longer be allowed to rap.’
The song samples Sampha’s 2013 track Indecision.
Mack Maine, Wayne’s close friend and president of Young Money Entertainment, told the magazine: ‘He just told me one day that he was ready to address it now.
‘Just being an adult, reaching a level of maturity and comfort where it’s like, “I want to talk about this because I know a lot of people out here might be going through that”.’
Wayne has previously mentioned the incident on other tracks, most notably in his featured verse for Solange’s 2016 song Mad.
On that verse, he rapped: ‘And when I attempted suicide, I didn’t die/I remember how mad I was on that day/Man, you gotta let it go before it get up in the way/Let it go, let it go.’
And on London Roads from the Free Weezy Album, the 35-year-old addressed his mother in lyrics: ‘Ms. Cita, I remember goin’ in your gun drawer/Puttin’ it to my chest and missin’ my heart by centimetres, oh Lord.’
Wayne is now father to four children, and has sold over 100 million record worldwide.
Tha Carter V has experienced many delays due to legal battles and disputes with Cash Money Records, but is set to be finally released on 21 September after Wayne was released from his contract in June.
The album will be Wayne’s first not to have the Cash Money logo on it, with the label imprint Young Money now solely belonging to Wayne. Drake and Nicki Minaj are among the hip-hop heavyweights signed to Wayne’s label.
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