Lil Wayne‘s new memoir offers new insight into what his experience was like while he was in prison.
In Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island, Lil Wayne describes his job as a suicide prevention aide during his eight-month imprisonment that began in 2010 after he was convicted of possession of a firearm.
“The job is basically to monitor the top tier [of the jail] for an eight-hour shift and if someone wants to hang up (meaning to kill themselves), to not negotiate with them or try to talk to them out of it, but just to alert and officer,” writes Lil Wayne.
He says that the compensation for his duties directly correlated with specific instances of prevention.
“You get paid $50 if you stop the person from actually hanging themselves and $25 if you find them hung up,” writes Lil Wayne. “Yeah, it’s that real.”
Lil Wayne quit the job shortly after assuming the role to focus on self-care, especially since its schedule would sometimes run until six in the morning.
“It’s truly a new reality for me,” he says in the memoir. “I was actually there when this kid that was in mental isolation tried to hang up. What’s really fucked up is that it all could’ve been prevented if the COs (correctional officers) would’ve just brought him some water.”
Lil Wayne also writes about hearing his son say “Da-da” for the first time over the phone while he was in prison, contemplating a career shift into the realm of Christian rap, and feeling anxiety when he was asked to perform in front of his fellow inmates. “I was nervous as hell,” he admits of his performance for tier mates. “Rapping has always been second nature to me, but my creativity has absolutely been put to the test since being in this … I hope they liked it. I think they did.”
In an interview with the Associated Press on Thursday (Oct. 13, 2016), Lil Wayne took the opportunity to clarify what he meant when he told Fox Sports 1’s Undisputed that there is “no such thing as racism” since he has a lot of white fans. He said that the reason that he feels this way is because a white police officer saved his life when he was 12 when he accidentally shot himself in the chest.
“Yeah, he was a cop, and my life was saved by a white man. I don’t know what racism is,” Lil Wayne told the AP.
He said that the police broke his door down and stepped over his body to search his home for guns and drugs, but the “white man” chastised the rest of his squad for leaving Lil Wayne on the ground. The rapper said that the officer, who he called “Uncle Bob,” personally took him to the hospital and waited with him. He also admitted that there is such a thing as racism even though he has all kinds of fans.
“It’s the world out there. It’s not a certain part or a certain kind or a certain culture or whatever of people. It’s people. Those people out there in that crowd,” said Lil Wayne. “I’m blessed to have that opportunity, so with that said, I can only be honest with such a thing, I have never witnessed racism.”
Purchase Gone ‘Til November: A Journal of Rikers Island (Plume Books) on Amazon to read more about Lil Wayne’s experience.