You probably know multi-award winning rapper Lil Wayne for tracks like A Milli and Lollipop, his distinctive flow and heavily tattooed image. But did you know about Lil Wayne’s epilepsy?
The rapper has probably been living with epilepsy since childhood, but it first became public in 2013 after he had to spend a week in hospital following some major seizures.
Let's find out more about Lil Wayne's epilepsy and the life and achievements of this iconic rapper.
Who is Lil Wayne?
Born in New Orleans in 1982, Lil Wayne’s actual name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr. He was raised in Hollygrove, one of New Orleans’ poorest neighborhoods. He had a passion for music from a young age and began rapping when he was just eight years old. Before long he was introduced to the founders of Cash Money Records who eventually put him in a group called Hot Boys with other talented young rappers.
That crew put out several successful records before Lil Wayne went solo in 1999. Since then he has released a string of hugely successful albums including Tha Carter II, Tha Carter III, I Am Not a Human Being among many others. Over the course of his career he has sold an incredible 120 million records worldwide - making him one of the most successful rappers of all time.
Lil Wayne is known for his smart lyrics, gravelly voice and distinctive flow. He has collaborated with other major artists including Destiny’s Child, Drake, Nicki Minaj and many more. He is also the CEO of record company Young Money.
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What do we know about Lil Wayne’s epilepsy?
Lil Wayne first went public about his epilepsy in 2013 after he had a number of serious seizures which put him in hospital for a week. On being released, he discussed his condition in media interviews.
Since then, a number of episodes have occurred where Lil Wayne cancelled gigs or had private flights redirected because of his seizures.
Based on media reports, it appears that Lil Wayne’s seizures may be triggered by stress, lack of sleep and alcohol consumption – all well-known seizure triggers for people with epilepsy.
To manage his epilepsy, Lil Wayne is reported to have made lifestyle changes, including sleeping better and managing what he eats.
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How long has Lil Wayne had epilepsy?
During an interview in 2013, Lil Wayne suggested he first had seizures as a child – but they weren’t diagnosed due to a “lack of knowledge”. He has described fainting spells which were probably seizures that he had from a very young age. He also revealed that he had a cousin with epilepsy who sadly died from his seizures.
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Lil Wayne’s epilepsy in his music
Lil Wayne has referred to seizures in his music on several tracks. For example, in the song Hot Revolver he raps:
“She say she pray she have Weezy F’s baby,
And I be having seizures, but she say she can’t shake me”.
Inspirational epilepsy stories
As Lil Wayne's epilepsy story shows, people with seizures can achieve incredible things. Read about other famous musicians who are living with epilepsy in our blog.