Despite his penchant for giving his work away, Lil Wayne’s ability to churn out quality, thought-provoking and popular verses time and time again still made him the undisputed king of Billboard. In addition to all the mixtapes, during his 14-year career he also released nine major label solo albums and seven others with groups like The Hot Boyz and Young Money. In September he passed Elvis Presley as the man with the most entries on the Billboard 100 chart with 109. The designation happened on his 30th birthday.
At his apex, his rhymes were a mix of the familiar and the unfamiliar, a fusion of the many worlds in which he existed. There was the world of high society and lavish expenditures; the world of his gritty New Orleans upbringing; the world of his inner circle, the Cash Money/Young Money family whom he often referenced; and the world of sports, celebrities and current events that fill news headlines.
I’m not sure whether it was drugs, fame or his obsession with money and rap’s number one spot that took him from us, but the man whose ability to fill a 16 with lyrics that left us all awestruck has been gone for some time.
I hope Wayne can kick his syrup habit, get back to making great music and live a long, healthy life. Unfortunately, we’ve seen this movie before and it seldom ends with the protagonist having an epiphany and turning it all around.
He suffered multiple seizures a few days before the one he suffered on Friday, according to a number of sources quoted by TMZ, and even that wasn’t the first time.
“Wayne’s latest seizures follow an unfortunate pattern – he dealt with seizure-like symptoms while traveling on a private jet last October. The plane made an emergency landing in Texas, and Wayne was taken to a local hospital,” reported Rolling Stone.
TMZ also wrote of this latest incident that “sources say there’s evidence Wayne went on a Sizzurp binge after being released from the hospital on Wednesday, because doctors found high amounts of codeine in his system. Wayne’s stomach was pumped 3 times to flush the drugs from his system.”
Things don’t look bright for Wayne, but, in truth, they haven’t for some time.
But here’s hoping that he makes it, and if he doesn’t, I hope history at least remembers the brilliance of who he was, because at his best he was one of the best we’ve ever heard.
Dion Rabouin is digital editor for our sister paper, the Atlanta Daily World, part of Real Times Media.