Rapper Lil Wayne might never have become the star that he is if it hadn’t been for Robert Hoobler, a New Orleans police officer who helped save Lil Wayne’s life when he was just 12 years old.
Sadly, Hoobler passed away at the age of 65 on Friday. The rapper is mourning the cop’s death and paid a heartfelt tribute to the man who saved his life after he shot himself as a child, People reported.
In an Instagram post on Monday, Lil Wayne shared his thoughts about “Uncle Bob.”
“Everything happens for a reason. I was dying when I met u at this very spot. U refused to let me die,” he captioned the post. “Everything that doesn’t happen, doesn’t happen for a reason. That reason being you and faith. RIP uncle Bob. Aunt Kathie been waiting for u. I’ll love & miss u both and live for us all.”
Hoobler was off duty at the time, but when he heard the report, he and five other officers rushed to the scene. No ambulance was available, so Hoobler and officer Kevin Balancier rushed the child to the hospital.
Balancier drove the police car and Hoobler carried Dwayne to the back seat and laid the badly wounded boy across his lap.
As the rapper has recounted this story many times in the years since, he has always affectionately referred to Hoobler as “Uncle Bob.”
In his recounting of the events, Lil Wayne described how Hoobler saved his life that day.
“Stay awake, son. You’re going to be fine. You’ll see,” Hoobler told Lil Wayne when driving him to the hospital.
“He didn’t drop me off at the ambulance and say, ‘You take him.’ He brought me to the hospital room and… stood there and waited until the doctor said, ‘He’s gonna make it,'” the rapper said in a 2018 interview with the Daily Mail. “He said, ‘Don’t worry, my name’s Uncle Bob.’ He was white as snow… I don’t know what racism is. I know a good motherf—r named Uncle Bob, though.”
One of Hoobler’s friends and former coworkers at the police department, David Lapene, said that the rapper’s account of Hoobler is “one of the best stories that depicts Hoobler as a person.”
“He was always people forward,” Lapene told the New Orleans Advocate. “He took care of the public just as much as he took care of the cops.”
Hoobler was found dead in his home on Friday.
He has suffered for years from health issues after a car wreck and having his legs amputated due to diabetes, his grandson told the New Orleans Advocate.
New Orleans Cop Who Saved Lil Wayne’s Life as a Boy, Dies Aged 65 pic.twitter.com/OrWXbfgtfj
— No Jumper (@nojumper) July 24, 2022
But his legacy of heroism and simply doing what was right in saving a young boy’s life lives on.
Whatever anyone’s personal opinion of Lil Wayne, his music or his pop-star persona may be, this is the kind of story that should be appreciated by everyone.
Lil Wayne’s music and style are not for everyone, but his recognition of and thankfulness for a good man is a beautiful thing.
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