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Rick Ross (William Leonard Roberts II) attends the 2019 MTV...

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Rick Ross has become something of a larger than life figure in music and Hip-Hop culture, but a harrowing health scare put the boisterous rapper on the path to toning down his lavish lifestyle. The Miami rapper and Maybach Music Group honcho admits in a new interview with PEOPLE that his heavy codeine use sparked his seizure episodes.

PEOPLE exclusively shares:

What landed Ross in the hospital, was a slew of bad health decisions, including drug abuse. “It was the codeine,” he says of the prescription opioid cough medication he’d began using recreationally. In the book he describes drinking large quantities of prescription cough syrup to try and cope with stress.

“That mixed with the things I was drinking, the other drugs I was doing, and on top of not resting. [I don’t think] one particular thing would have killed me. But everything combined?”

He also blames his last hospitalization on refusing to follow his doctor’s orders. Ross, who has suffered a few other scary seizures in the past, had been prescribed medication. But, he says, “I went I don’t know how long without taking the medication to prove to myself ‘I’m stronger than these other people this s— was diagnosed for.”

As a result: “I ended up back in the hospital in a worse condition.”

The interview was part of a promotional lead-up for Ross’ new memoir, Hurricanes, written with Neil Martinez-Belkin and due out on September 3.

Photo: Getty