Lil Wayne was hit by the reality that he was locked up in prison after he was visited by Kanye West and Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs.
The 34-year-old rapper spent eight months in New York City’s Rikers Island jail in 2010 after being found guilty of attempted criminal possession of a weapon.
While incarcerated, Wayne had some of his famous pals pop by to visit him, and seeing them there served as a reminder of where he was.
“When I was there, actually talking to them during the visitation, they made it so real,” he told the Associated Press. “They threw all the ‘Who’s in this room’ out of there. That was thrown out the window.
“They were like, ‘How you feeling? What are you going through? Do you need anything, like do you really need anything? Do your parents need anything?’ And then, I said the moment it hit me was going back up to the cell.”
Wayne, real name Dwayne Michael Carter Jr., has turned his diaries from his time behind bars into a recently released book, entitled Gone ‘Til November.
And he says the prison staff and his fellow inmates have a lot to do with how he got through the difficult time.
“It was due to the people around (me),” he said. “When I say the people around me, I mean the prisoners, the guards. … They took all the cliche (out) of whatever I thought it was gonna be, they took that and threw it right out the window. They made me feel like, for lack of a better word, to say like I was at home. And it was everybody. … Nobody wants to be there, not even the guards. So when you come through there, for everybody to treat you the same. … Whatever it was, it worked.”
Since being released from prison, Wayne has focused on his music career, although he has been hitting headlines in recent months due to his controversial comments about the Black Lives Matter movement.
Getting back on the stage was something the musician will never forget, as not being able to perform was one of the hardest parts of being jailed.
Asked what it felt like to perform for the first time after his release, Wayne replied: “I’d say it was like, uh, being in an accident and losing … feeling in your legs and they’re telling you (that) you’ll never walk again. And coming back eight months and running up. … That’s how that felt.”