Lil Wayne is mourning the death of a replacement Orleans police officer who saved his life when he was 12 years old.
The “Lollipop” rapper, 39, shared a photo on Instagram on Monday paying tribute to Robert “Uncle Bob” Hoobler, who he has previously said saved his life after a childhood suicide attempt.
U Refused To Let me Die
“Everything happens for a reason. I used to be dying when I met u at this very spot. U refused to let me die,” he captioned the post. “Everything that does not happen doesn’t happen for a reason. That reason is you and faith. RIP Uncle Bob. Aunt Kathie has been expecting u. I’ll love & miss u both and live for us all.”
Hoobler, 65, was found dead on Friday at his range in Old Jefferson, Louisiana, consistent with Nola.com. The officer’s grandson Daniel Nelson told the outlet that he’d recently had to possess both of his legs amputated due to complications from diabetes.
Lil Wayne, who grew up in New Orleans, has previously praised Hoobler for coming to his rescue after the 1994 shooting at his mother’s apartment.
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Though off duty at the time, Hoobler drove to the scene alongside five other officers after a dispatch call was made about a few disturbances, consistent with Nola.com.
With no ambulance available, Hoobler reportedly carried the longer-term star to the back of his cop car and took him to the emergency room, telling him, “Stay awake, son. You are going to be fine. You will see .”
Lil Wayne has recounted the story in many interviews since, telling the Daily Mail in 2018 that Hoobler was the sole responding officer to offer him help.
“He didn’t drop me off at the ambulance and say, ‘You take him.’ He brought me to the room and stood there waiting until the doctor said, ‘He’s gonna make it,'” the rapper said. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, my name’s Uncle Bob.’ He was white as snow… I do not know what racism is. I do know a good mother named Uncle Bob, though.”
The five-time Grammy Award winner also spoke about the incident in an autobiographical song on the 2018 album Tha Carter V titled “Let It All determine,” which incorporates the lyrics: “I aimed where my heart was pounding. I shot it, and I woke up with blood all around me. It’s mine.
I didn’t die, but as I used to be dying, God came to my side, and we talked about it. He sold me another life and made me a profit.”
Last August, during an interview with Emmanuel Acho on his Uncomfortable Conversations podcast, the “Uproar” rapper spoke again about the incident and said he was affected by a mental health crisis.
After an aunt told him he wouldn’t be ready to continue his rap career after he was caught ditching school, the star said he experienced suicidal ideation before grabbing a gun from his mother’s bedroom and attempting to finish his life.
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“I was just looking and was like, ‘You know what?’ I start thinking I had to urge myself mad and then noticed I didn’t have to,” he said. “That’s what scared me. And the way I know I have mental health problems, I pulled the trigger.”
The rapper added that he was never ready to detail the mental health problems he was facing to his mother — “You don’t speak in that language. You do not speak up. You do not tell your opinion,” he said — and his father was never within the picture.
Wayne added that the suicide attempt changed his mother and his family forever. He explained that when he became a star in his late teens and early 20s, the psychological state issues “didn’t go away” but “came differently because of the maturity.”