Lil Wayne revealed that his mother had pushed him to have his first child at 14 years old because she was lonely after he moved out and pursued a career in rap music.
Lil Wayne was honored on Thursday night by the Recording Academy with the Global Impact Award at the Black Music Collective’s BMC honors. The rapper became very emotional as DJ Khaled introduced him and recognized him for his contributions to music and his global impact on younger generations of artists who aspire to him.
“I must thank everybody here. I appreciate y’all for staying here,” the rapper said as he called out the Grammys and Recording Academy for naming him for the prestigious award.
Wayne was visibly emotional as he shared that the life circumstances he encountered stacked the odds against him, including forcing him to make life-changing decisions at a very early age.
“I want y’all to know that I don’t get honours. Where I’m from, New Orleans, you not supposed to do this. Where I’m from, I walked into my mama room, I was 14. She asked me for a kid because my dad was killed and her son had just blew up and went on his first tour and we did not know that b**ch was gonna be six months,” he said.
The rapper spoke of the burden he carried at a very young age as he recognized the mother of his first child, Antonia ‘Toya’ Johnson, who, at 15 years old, gave birth to his daughter Reginae Carter when he was just 16.
“When I came home, she said ‘son, I can’t live in this house by myself, we gon have to figure something out,” Wayne said.
The rapper thanked his mother, friends Mac Mayne and Cortex Bryan, along with his friends at Cash Money Records, who helped him to achieve his dreams.
Lil Wayne was signed to Cash Money Records at 12 years old and put out his first album at 13 years old. The rapper previously shared that his mother had reluctantly supported him to quit school to focus on his career when he was 14 years old because he was passionate about music and becoming a rapper.
“I had an album out. I was platinum already, thank god, and I was still trying to go to regular public school and she stopped me from getting ready for school one day. She was walking past the room, I’ll never forget she was on the phone with somebody talking loud and she walked past my room and she saw me putting my bag on my back and she said, ‘You going to bring that to school with you?’ and I remember I asked her, ‘You don’t want me to bring it?’ and she thought about it and said, ‘I do’.”
“Two minutes later she walked back into the room and she was still on the phone and said, ‘You don’t go to school no more, you’re getting a GED (General Educational Development certificate).’ I said okay. So I got a GED and went to college,” he added.
The rapper was emphatic when he ended his speech, noting that New Orleans rappers don’t get enough credit but also shared his gratitude to those who helped his career, “I ain’t shit without you.”