Lil Wayne is mourning the loss of "Uncle Bob." In a social media post on Monday, the "Lollipop" rapper, 39, paid an emotional tribute to Robert "Uncle Bob" Hoobler, the New Orleans police officer whom the rapper has credited with saving his life after a childhood suicide attempt when he was just 12. Hoobler was found dead on Friday at his home in Old Jefferson, Louisiana, with his grandson, Daniel Nelson, telling Nola.com that Hoobler suffered from numerous health issues and recently had to have both of his legs amputated due to complications from diabetes. He was 65.
After learning of Hoobler's death, Lil Wayne took to Instagram on Monday to pay his respects. Sharing a photo of Hoobler, the musician wrote, "Everything happens for a reason" as he went on to reflect on the impact Hoobler had on his life. Lil Wayne continued, "I was dying when I met u at this very spot. U refused to let me die. Everything that doesn't happen, doesn't happen for a reason. That reason being you and faith." He concluded the post by writing, "RIP uncle Bob. Aunt Kathie been waiting for u. I'll love and miss u both and live for us all."
Hobbler's passing comes decades after he left a lasting mark on Lil Wayne, who grew up in New Orleans. In the past, the musician has opened up about how the former police officer saved his life when he was 12. During an interview with Emmanuel Acho on his Uncomfortable Conversations podcast last August, the 39-year-old said he was suffering a mental health crisis at the time when he called the cops before finding his mother's gun and shooting himself in the chest. As officers arrived to the scene, though, "they saw me -- they as in the cops -- they just jumped clean over me and went through the house, talking about, 'I found the drugs! I found the gun!'" Lil Wayne said, according to Entertainment Tonight, "It took a guy named Uncle Bob, he ran up there and when he got to the top of the steps and saw me there, he refused to even step over me." He went on to share that Hobbler, who was not on duty at the time, "picked me up and just kept telling me some s- like, 'You're not gonna die on me, you're not gonna die on me.' ... And so he got me to the hospital, he brought me there and made sure I was good."
The rapper also recalled the incident in an autobiographical song on his 2018 album Tha Carter V titled "Let It All Work Out." The song includes the lyrics, "I aimed where my heart was pounding. I shot it and I woke up with blood all around me. It's mine. I didn't die, but as I was dying God came to my side and we talked about it. He sold me another life and made me a prophet."
Amid news of Hoobler's passing, many of Lil Wayne's fans offered their condolences. Commenting on the Monday post, one person wrote, "Rip Uncle Bob. A legend saved a legend." Somebody else commented, "RIP Uncle Bob ! The lifesaver will now guard over you as an Angel."
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741-741.