Rapper Lil Wayne appears to have announced his retirement after suffering a series of life-threatening seizures this summer.

The rapper, known as "Weezy" to fans, took to Twitter to reveal his decision, writing "I AM NOW DEFENSELESS AND mentally DEFEATED & I leave gracefully and thankful I luh my fanz but I'm dun."

He then posted a follow-up message, stating "ain't looking for sympathy just serenity".

The exact reason for his retirement is not yet clear. Fans initially thought the rapper may be in legal trouble after Wayne thanked the Miami Police Department late last night (September 2), for "always being alert attentive and appropriate".

However, his decision to quit is now believed to relate to his ongoing health problems.

Back in July, Wayne was hospitalised after suffering seizures mid-flight, causing his plane to make an emergency landing en-route to California.

The news comes three years after the 33-year-old star told radio station Power 106 that he was epileptic and prone to seizures, not helped by his addiction to "sizzurp", a concoction of codeine and cough syrup.

Wayne, whose real name is Dwayne Michael Carter Jr, began his professional career aged 9 as the youngest artist signed to Cash Money Records.

Perhaps best known for his "Tha Carter" album series, Wayne's output had been limited in recent years by his ailing health, a stint in prison for a weapon conviction and, most prominently, a complex legal wrangle with Birdman, his former mentor and long-standing head of Cash Money records.

"I want off this label and nothing to do with these people, but unfortunately it ain't that easy," wrote Wayne in 2014, adding that his long-awaited The Carter V would not "see the light of day anytime soon" due to the dispute.

Despite these recent troubles, the Look At Me Now star has enjoyed a prolific, glittering career – releasing 11 full-length albums, all of which have been certified gold, alongside 20 mixtapes. His album sales top 15 million copies in the US alone, with digital track sales reaching 37 million.

His latest release – a joint album, ColleGrove, with rapper 2 Chainz – was released last year.