Rapper Lil Wayne recently opened up about his 1994 attempted suicide on Emmanuel Acho’s podcast, in which he recounted his lifelong bond with the police officer who saved him that day.
Born Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., Lil Wayne shot himself in the chest at the age of 12 in an incident that was considered to be an accident at the time. Decades later, the rapper admitted it was an attempt to take his own life.
According to Lil Wayne, when the police arrived on the scene and saw him on the floor bleeding, they just stepped over him, more interested in finding drugs and his gun than saving him. However, he remembers that Robert Hoobler (referred to by Lil Wayne as Uncle Bob) stopped to help immediately.
“I don’t give a f— about no drugs,” Lil Wayne says Hoobler told his fellow officers. “Do you not see the baby on the ground with a hole in his chest?” The officer then picked up the 12-year-old and carried him to a patrol car to transport him to the hospital, repeatedly telling the child, “You’re not gonna die on me.” Lil Wayne remembered repeatedly trying to tell Hoobler that he was “not a baby.”
It must be noted that media accounts of the incident at the time told a somewhat different story, showing that saving the boy was more of a team effort by police. The New Orleans Times-Pacayune reported that Hoobler was on his way to an off-duty detail when he heard the emergency call about a boy shot in the chest. He was among the first officers to arrive on scene, kicking down the door to the apartment where they found the bleeding 12-year-old. The newspaper said that Hoobler searched the apartment for a gunman or witness while Officer Arthur Thompson knelt next to Lil Wayne, asked what had happened and told him to hang on. When they learned no ambulance was available to respond, Sergeant Timothy Bayard decided that Hoobler and another officer, Kevin Balancier, should take the victim to a hospital. Balancier drove the patrol car while Hoobler held the boy in his lap and spoke to him to keep him conscious. Officer Gervais Allison drove ahead in another patrol car to block cross-traffic at major intersections as they sped to the hospital.
Lil Wayne later wrote a song about the experience, “London Roads,” with lyrics expressing his gratitude for Officer Hoobler.
Years later, the two reunited when Lil Wayne was in New Orleans for a radio show. Apparently, the rapper offered to support the former cop financially for saving his life.
“All he has to do is say the word,” Lil Wayne said. Hoobler so far hasn’t taken him up on his offer. According to Lil Wayne, Hoobler told him that he was just “happy to have saved a life that mattered.”
However, TMZ reported that Uncle Bob, now retired from policing, may join Wayne’s team in some administrative capacity.