Friday, April 15, 2011

Lil' Wayne Shot Himself In The Chest

Today I’m going to make a few points that go along with the story. First, the story.
Yes, it is a fact. Lil’ Wayne, a.k.a. Dwayne Carter Jr., acidentaly shot himself in the chest when he was 12 years old. It was an ordinary day in the Hollygrove neighborhood of New Orleans. 12 year old Dwayne had gotten out of school early (report card day; students everywhere know that day) and stopped by Burger King on his way home. He took his meal to go and made himself comfy on the bed in the master bedroomto eat his burger. That is, until he noticed the blue steel Taurus 9 mm handgun. A family friend has left it at the house after a football game. What would you do if you were a 12 year old aspiring rapper who just found a loaded 9 mm while you were home alone? You would do exactly what Dwayne did; blast the music, stand in front of a mirror, and get’cho gangsta on. The only problem with that game is that he wasn’t playing with a toy. Pretty soon the gun went off sending a bullet straight through his chest and out the bedroom window. Lil’ Wayne was down. Somehow the bullet missed every vital organ, but 12 year old Dwayne Carter was bleeding out quickly. He managed to dial 911. Here’s the Lil’ Wayne attitude from an early age; when the operator pressed for details on the injury, Dwayne responded, “You’ll find out when you get here.”
When the 911 call went out, an off-duty New Orleans P.D. Officer named Robert Hoobler happened to be in the neighborhood. He went to Dwayne’s apartment, 3409 Monroe St. Apartment D. Hoobler pulled up to the complex at the same time as Officer Arthur Thompson. They went up to the apartment, knocked on the door, and heard no answer. They tried again to no answer. When they asked a neighbor what she knew about the family in Apartment D, she said they had jsut moved in and she didn’t know them at all. As Thompson went to find the maintenance man to unlock the door, Hoobler knocked once more. This time, he heard a faint response, “Help me, I’ve been shot!”
To make a long story short, Hoobler kicked the door down to find Dwayne laying in a pool of blood. He searched the apartment for a gunman, but only found a pistol at the foot of the bed, a shell casing next to the half-eaten burger, and a stereo blasting gangsta rap. No ambulance was available to come to the scene, so Hoobler took Dwayne to the nearest hospital in the back of his squad car. He got there just in time for doctors to rush Dwayne into surgery and save his life.
The first point I want to make is this: Idiots should not leave their pistols around town after football games! When police questioned him about the unregistered gun, Dwayne said it was his stepfather’s. It wasn’t, but his stepfather, Reginald “Rabbit” Carter, ended up doing six months in jail as a result of the incident. This is a prime example of why extra care should be taken to protect children from guns within the home.
The second point is tricky for me. In the debate on media influence on children, I’m independant. In my own opinion, I think there should be a level of censorship and restriction on media up to certain age levels. On the other hand, a 12 year old kid has a reasonable grasp on right and wrong. Obviously Dwayne Carter had been exposed to some less-than-clean gangsta rap music; as a child he would rap at parties and he never was into the bubblegum rap that most teen artists are. At 12 years old when Lil’ Wayne first signed with Brian “Baby” Williams and Ronald “Slim” Williams he was already known for being a gangsta rapper with dedication. The main reason the Williams brothers signed Lil’ Wayne to Cash Money Records was because they were getting freestyles left on their answering machine every day. The only thing I can say in Lil’ Wayne’s defense was that he actually did have a level head as a kid. He wasn’t a gangbanger, he was a businessman even at that age. He was out to make a name for himself as an artist, not as a thug. His mother even pulled him from Cash Money for a while because Dwayne started wearing gangsta style cothing. As soon as he convinced her that he had nothing to do with any gang, he was back in the studio. Yet the question still remains: If the music didn’t turn him gangster, and he wasn’t a gangster with a record deal, then why did he feel the need to play with a loaded 9mm in the mirror? Kids will be kids. Kids with guns will be dead kids.
The third point is the most interesting to me, and requires more story.
For years after the incident Officer Hoobler would hear about this “Lil’ Wayne” all over town. People were talking about him, there were posters all over the city, radio shows had interviews and advertisements. One day as Officer Hoobler is sitting at a restaurant eating his lunch, a man walks up to him. The man says, “Lil’ Wayne wants to talk to you.” Hoobler follows over to a table packed with people crowded over a man with long dreads, goldchains, and a silver grill. Lil’ Wayne says, “Everyone, this is Officer Hoobler. This man saved my life. I almost died and this man saved my life. I’ll never forget him.” Hoobler reache over and bumped Lil’ Wayne’s fist. They had a small chit chat before they each returned to their meals. When Officer Hoobler went to pay his bill, the waitress said, “Don’t worry about it. Lil’ Wayne covered your bill.”
I find this nearly mind-blowing. Honestly. Have you heard gangsta rap? Have you ever heard a GOOD thing about cops? Have you ever heard a song by Lil’ Wayne that said something GOOD about cops? I’ve heard tons of stories about a gangsta getting shot and then fighting to get away from the cops that are there for their safety. I’ve heard songs and stories about rappers that say they’ll never forget the face of the cop he killed or the cop that shot at him. I have never heard of a rapper who never forgot the face of the cop that saved his life. I have never heard a story of a rapper who bought the cop that saved his life lunch. I have never heard a rapper tell a cop “Thank you for saving my life and being out there to save everyone else.”
Hoobler lost his home and was seperated from his wife for 5 days when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans. Lil’ Wayne was there helping as soon as he could.
Lil’ Wayne, notorious for his tattoo’s, has a large tattoo on his chest that says “Bang Bang” to commemorate the shooting, and has a tattoo that says “Rabbit” on his arm in memory of his stepfather Reginald “Rabit” Carter who was kidnapped and murdered shortly after he was released from the jail where he served time for being responsible for the unregistered gun Dwayne shot himself with that wasn’t really his.
When Hoobler, a rock-music enthusiast who has never heard a Lil’ Wayne album, heard that Lil’ Wayne was releasing the album Rebirth, a rock album, he said, “Now there’s something I might listen to.”
Not-So-Fun-Fact: When Jay-Z was 12 years old, he shot his brother in the shoulder for stealing his jewelry.

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