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Lil Wayne, a multi-platinum, Grammy Award-winning rapper, has garnered immense success in the music industry throughout his nearly two-decade-long career. His discography boasts numerous chart-topping singles and albums, and he is celebrated for his imaginative lyricism and innovative flow, securing his place among rap’s most prominent artists. 

However, Lil Wayne’s journey has been marked by challenges. Afflicted with epilepsy since childhood, he continues to experience frequent seizures, which have had a profound impact on his memory.

In a recent interview with NBC News, Wayne disclosed that, at the age of 40, he now struggles to recall the lyrics to his greatest hits and is unable to remember when his albums were released. Reflecting on his album ‘The Carter III,’ he candidly admitted, “I don’t even know if that’s when ‘The Carter III’ came out. That’s how much I don’t know.”

Lil Wayne battles epilepsy while reigning over rap

Wayne further explained that his recollection of the seizures he endures is scant, often leaving him in disbelief upon awakening in a hospital bed and being informed of what occurred. “I go to sleep and wake up in the hospital. I don’t feel anything. I just hope it stops happening,” he expressed.

These seizures, typically unprovoked and devoid of warning signs, pose an ongoing challenge for Lil Wayne. In a 2013 interview with MTV, he described the suddenness of these episodes by saying, “No warning, no nothing.”

According to the Epilepsy Foundation, epilepsy directly affects the brain regions responsible for memory processing and storage. In addition, individuals diagnosed with epilepsy may experience difficulties in recalling word organization or sequence. The Foundation states that “word retrieval” issues, commonly reported by people with epilepsy, may arise due to this kind of memory impairment.

Not ready to retire

The disease’s effects likely explain Lil Wayne’s struggle to remember song lyrics, as epilepsy has had a notable impact on his memory.

Despite grappling with both epilepsy and memory loss, he remains resolute in his decision not to retire. Lil Wayne perceives his identity as intricately intertwined with his role as a music artist, and the notion of ceasing his craft is inconceivable to him.

He has invested countless hours perfecting his artistry and pushing the boundaries of rap music. Creating music is not merely a job or a hobby for him; it is an integral aspect of who he is.

“When you’re an artist—a real artist like myself—I was born this way. So I don’t think that the real true artists and pioneers, they never retire. They died doing this,” he declared.