Lil Wayne, 30-year-old rapper, said he plans to retire at 35 and also mentioned his health issues in an interview with Katie Couric on Monday.
Wayne rose to national fame with his 2004 hit “Go D.J.” Later albums and recordings secured his reputation. In 2012, Wayne began to suffer seizures, though his publicist denied the health problem. TMZ linked his subsequent seizures to codeine, which can lead to this somewhat rare side effect. In his interview with Couric, he mentioned his addictive personality as a reason why he became overly fond of a mixture of cough syrup mixed with codeine and soda. Wayne said he no longer ‘sips’ because of his doctors. “I was doing it too much," he told Couric.
In the past, Wayne has stated that he has epilepsy. On the Katie show, he referred to himself as “sort of epileptic.” Epilepsy, also called seizure disorder, is a medical condition that produces seizures, a brief, strong surge of electrical activity affecting part or all of the brain. One in 10 adults will have a seizure sometime during their life. When a person has two or more unprovoked seizures, he is considered to have epilepsy. The primary form of treatment involves antiepileptic drugs to control seizures. Most people with epilepsy live a full life span, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Although two-thirds of all cases are due to unknown causes, epilepsy may arise when disruptions to the normal connections between nerve cells in the brain occur, when imbalances of natural chemicals or neurotransmitters exist, or when there are changes in the membranes of nerve cells. Among the conditions and events that may lead to epilepsy, the CDC lists oxygen deprivation, brain infections, traumatic brain injury, brain tumors, stroke, neurologic diseases, and genetic disorders.
The New Orleans native was born Dwayne Michael Carter, Jr. and began recording at the age of 9. Wayne, who was an honors student according to MTV, told Couric that he didn't regret dropping out. He explained that his mother made the decision once she learned he was carrying a gun in his backpack for protection. She preferred that he not go to school armed and instead hoped that he would go to college after getting a GED, he told Couric.
After reaching the number two spot on Billboard 200, Wayne’s latest album, I Am Not a Human Being II, was certified gold earlier this year. In 2007, the New Yorker referred to him as the ‘rapper of the year.’