Juaquin “Waka Flocka Flame” Malphurs and his family are continuing to heal from the 2013 suicide death of Flame’s younger brother Kayo Redd. In hopes of keeping others from making the same tragic decision, the Atlanta-based rapper has announced that he’ll dedicate his time and energy to working toward suicide prevention and mental health awareness.
Redd was just 27 years old when he took his life on December 29, 2013. As his June 1 birthday approaches, Waka Flocka Flame has announced that the loss has inspired him to do what he can to lead others away from the same tragic ending that befell his brother.
He wrote about his new life mission in a string of tweets.”I’m officially dedicating my life to suicide prevention and mental illness!!! Y’all not alone Waka Flocka Flame is with y’all now!!!!”
The “O Let’s Do It” rapper went on to offer positive words to any of his followers that may be struggling with suicidal thoughts or mental health issues. “I’m letting y’all know because you can find light again!!!” He went on to encourage them to “Try not to live for money live for love and motivation.”
Although he hasn’t given any specific details about his plans yet, this isn’t the first time the “Waka & Tammy” star revealed that his brother’s death made him reevaluate his choice of career and the legacy he’s leaving behind. “Before my little brother killed himself, I didn’t pick up the phone. I seen him call. I was like ‘F**k…Let me call Kayo back as soon as this show over with.’ I call him back, no answer,” he told Dr. Siri Sat Nam during a 2017 interview on “The Therapist.”
That missed call is one that will stay with the rapper for the rest of his life. “I don’t know who else he called, but what if I would have picked that call up?” he continued. “That’s when I seen like this rap s**t? F**k this rap s**t. Nah. I’m trying to work so much to keep everybody happy that reality is going by.”
As he expressed his feelings about Redd’s death, he wondered how he allowed himself to become so wrapped up in his success that he missed how his brother seemingly was struggling. “What the f**k my little brother was going through that made him kill himself? God d**m, that’s how stressful this shit is? Like it’s that crazy? Like d**m, what he had to go through to be Waka Flocka’s little brother and man he was losing his eyesight too. It’s a lot of shit going on…how I’m that busy to where I couldn’t recognize that? It’s f*****g crazy man.”
Flame’s family is no stranger to tragedy, unfortunately. He also lost his 10-year-old brother Rahleek Malphurs in 2000, when he was struck by a drunk driver while riding his bike to a friend’s house.