Reports of Lil Wayne's demise have been exaggerated, it seems.
The rapper tweeted tonight that he's fine. He was indeed at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center near Beverly Hills.
But TMZ's report that he was on his death bed may have been wrong.
A member of entourage outside the hospital told the Weekly ...
... that the coma story comprised "lies." She said, "He's sitting up, drinking water." She wouldn't reveal her name because she was not authorized to speak on the situation, she added.
The source then ducked into one of four black Chevrolet Suburban limousines parked outside Cedars' South Tower. Those vehicles took off around 6:40 p.m.
The mood outside the hospital, among the members of Wayne's crew, was calm.
TMZ originally reported that his "last rites" were being prepared, though they later removed that language.
The site also reported that Wayne has had multiple seizures, is in critical condition, and that his mother is on a plane to Los Angeles:
... and we're told all major decisions about Wayne's health (including the decision to discontinue life support) will not be made until she arrives.
This too seemed to be overstating the case, because...
Here's Lil Wayne's tweet:
I'm good everybody. Thx for the prayers and love.
— Lil Wayne WEEZY F (@LilTunechi) March 16, 2013
(The above timestamp is incorrect; the tweet was at 6:28 Pacific daylight time today.)
I interviewed Wayne for my 2011 book Dirty South (Wayne's on the cover), as well as his "daddy" Birdman and other members of his entourage, who drove in a pack of black Suburbans like the ones outside of Cedars-Sinai today. Around the time of the interview and the release of his 2008 album Tha Carter III he was almost constantly high, and the consensus was that he was drinking and smoking himself toward certain death. Wayne insisted, however, that the normal rules did not apply to him.
A stint at Rikers Island and a court-ordered sobriety seemed to get him on the path toward health, however, even if it might not have been the best for his music.
The mood outside the hospital tonight, before Wayne (or, perhaps, a member of his camp) tweeted that he was fine, was a bit paranoid. A driver of one of the Suburbans saw me snap the above photo and alerted hospital security, who told me I'd have to leave if I took any more pictures. They then assigned a different security guard -- on a bike -- to watch me.
Around the time of Wayne's tweet, however, however, the Suburbans drove off, and the members of his entourage did not resurface.
He's clearly not yet out of the woods, however, and by all accounts remains in the hospital.
Additional reporting by Dennis Romero