No one can argue that Dwayne Carter, a.k.a. Lil Wayne, hasn’t had one tough week. The four-time Grammy Award–winning rapper was rushed to Cedar-Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles early on Tuesday after suffering a series of unexplained seizures but was released the next day. Then on Friday afternoon the 30-year-old was rushed to the hospital again with similar symptoms—but this time the celebrity news site TMZ reported the rapper and designer was near death, and had been given his last rites with family members at his side.
The report of the star’s condition set the Twitter world abuzz, forcing those in Lil Wayne’s Cash Money record company and ultimately the rapper himself to deny the claim.
Late Friday afternoon Lil Wayne tweeted from his verified account the message: “I’m good everyone. Thx for the prayers and love.’’
Others, including Mack Maine, the president of Wayne’s record imprint, Young Money, and a spokesperson from the Cash Money Records echoed Wayne’s upbeat health forecast. Maine added that he and Wayne were watching the Syracuse game on television.
But while the rapper who’s been in the music business since the age of 9 did his best to reassure his fans he was alive and well, those close to him say his health continues to be a major concern and add that he remains a very sick young man under doctor’s care.
One savvy Twitter fan went so far as to suggest that Wayne was indeed still in the hospital and that they’d traced the tweet released on Friday back to the Cedar-Sinai by tracking the latitude/longitude information used in the user’s Twitter account.
“He’s had those seizures a few times this year already, and they are scary as hell when they happen,’’ said a friend from the rapper’s camp. “He can’t stop shaking when they happen and you don’t know what to do. No one seems to know what it is but it ain’t good. We know that.’’
Lil Wayne has admitted in the past that he’s struggled for years with a serious addiction to “syrup.” Popular in the Deep South the “syrup” or the “drank” is a powerful mixture of promethazine and codeine and is usually prescribed by doctors for severe colds and pneumonia. Other drugs can be added to the syrup as well for a greater high. Wayne told Rolling Stone magazine that he gave up drinking the mixture a few years back, but some believe that liquid is still the source of his current health woes.
“He did that stuff for a long time, and I’m not sure when he stopped,’’ said one friend. “Who knows what impact it had on his health long term? Everybody is different in how the stuff hits them, and if you do for a long time who’s to say it won’t mess your system up in all kind of ways? We just don’t know right now.’’
The rapper supposedly broke his addiction just as he began his 12-month jail sentence on weapons charges in 2010.
Despite his short stint in jail and his recent health woes, Lil Wayne continues to be one of music’s biggest stars and is set to release his 10th album, “I Am Not a Human Being,’’ on March 26.
“We’re all just praying for him to be all right,’’ said a Carter family member. ‘’He’s a good guy and growing up in a tough business. It hasn’t always been easy, but he just needs to get back on his feet.’’