Waka Flocka Flame is taking on a new cause. On Monday (May 25), the rapper took to Twitter to declare that he would “dedicate” his life to mental health advocacy and suicide prevention, an issue that he holds close to his heart.
“I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness!!!” Waka tweeted. “Y’all not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with y’all now!!!!”
The issue of mental health and suicide prevention is personal to the Mollywood rapper, as his brother KayO Redd — a rapper himself — tragically took his own life in 2013 at just 22 years old.
“Before my little brother killed himself, I ain’t pick up the phone,” Waka said during a 2017 interview with Vice. “I seen him call. I was like, ‘Fu*k, let me call KayO back as soon as this is over with. I call him back, no answer.”
“I don’t know who else he called, but what if I had picked that call up?” he continued. “That’s when I said like, ‘This rap sh*t, fu*k this rap sh*t.’ I’m tryna work so much to keep everybody happy, when reality was going by. What the fu*k was my little brother going through to kill his self? God damn, that’s how stressful this sh*t is? That crazy? What he had to go through, to be Waka Flocka’s little brother… and how am I that busy that I couldn’t recognize that?”
After his brother’s suicide, Waka’s mother and manager Debra Antney launched the No R.I.P. (Reckless Internet Posting) Foundation, which advocates for responsible reporting by blog and media sites, rather than the circulation of potentially harmful gossip.
Waka hasn’t detailed how he’s going to commit himself to mental health advocacy yet, but he did participate in Atlanta’s COVAID benefit event last month. According to 11 Alive, the rapper was joined by Lil’ Jon, DJ Infamous, Slim Jxmmi, DJ Babey Drew and more in an effort to raise money for families and first responders impacted by COVID-19 through the Boys & Girls Clubs of American in Atlanta.