Rapper Lil Wayne dropped out of school on the advice of his mother after he tried to take a gun to school for protection at the age of 14. The Lollipop hitmaker rose to fame when he was 11, when he released his first songs on hip-hop mogul Bryan 'Baby' Williams' Cash Money Records label, but he continued to attend classes at a public school in a rough area of his native New Orleans, Louisiana, where he had excelled as an honours student. However, his mum soon realised his rising music career could put his safety in jeopardy and she decided to pull him out of the institution. The star tells U.S. talk show host Katie Couric, "It was my mum's idea (to drop out of school). I had an album out, I was platinum already, thank god, and I was still trying to go to regular public school. She saw me getting ready for school one day and she saw me putting my gun in my backpack and she said, 'You gonna bring that to school with you?' and I remember, I asked, 'You don't want me to bring it?' and she thought about it and said, 'I do.' She said, 'You're right, bring it', because she bought it for me! She was like, 'You do need it.' "Two minutes later she walked back into my room and she said, 'You don't go to school no more (sic). You're getting a GED (high school diploma).' I was like, 'Oh, OK'."