Anyone remotely paying attention to Lil Wayne’s career has likely heard the story about a white New Orleans police officer who saved his life as a kid. According to NOLA, Robert Hoobler — affectionately known as Uncle Bob — passed away on Friday (July 22) at his Old Jefferson home.
Hoobler’s grandson Daniel Nelson said the 65-year-old had struggled for years with health issues related to a car accident and diabetes, which eventually led to both of his legs being amputated. Former New Orleans Police Department officer David Lapene called Lil Wayne’s account of what happened “one of the best stories that depicts Hoobler as a person.”
It was believed Lil Wayne accidentally shot himself at 12 years old, but it turned out to be a suicide attempt. The future rap legend was reportedly upset after his mother banned him from rapping as a punishment for skipping school.
“I was just looking [in the mirror] like, ‘You know what?’ Start thinking I had to get myself mad and I noticed that I didn’t have to — that’s what scared me,” Wayne recalled during a 2021 interview with ex NFL player Emmanual Acho. “How I knew I had mental health problems was I pulled the trigger.”
When police officers arrived at the scene, Wayne remembered them stepping over his bloody body to search for drugs and weapons. Hoobler, who was off-duty at the time, showed up and rushed Lil Wayne to the hospital.
“[He] picked me up and just kept telling me some shit like, ‘You not gonna die on me,’” he said. “And so he got me to the hospital … He made sure I was good.”
Lil Wayne never forgot Hoobler and in 2018, thanked him at the annual BET Hip Hop Awards while accepting the I Am Hip Hop honor.
“There’s a man in New Orleans,” Wayne said. “His name is Uncle Bob. Came into an apartment one day, he bust in the door, guns drawn. He saw nobody. He saw legs on the floor. It was my legs. He saw blood everywhere. A bunch of police hopped over me, he refused to do so.
“I never knew — I talked to him the other day — I never knew EMS was on the scene. He said EMS tried twice and they told him there’s nothing. He refused to let that die. Forget an ambulance, he brought me to the hospital himself. He refused to wait, kicked in the doors and said, ‘Do whatever you gotta do to make sure this child make it.’”
He continued, “Not only that, that day Uncle Bob was a homicide detective. He was off on detail. He just heard the call and came. Not only did he refuse to sit … he refused to leave. He stayed and made sure I made it.”
Lil Wayne has yet to comment publicly on Hoobler’s death. HipHopDX sends our condolences to Wayne and Hoobler’s friends and family.