Rapper Lil' Troy Survives 18-Wheeler Fire on Houston Highway

The rapper behind the 1999 hit "Wanna Be a Baller" said he "had the scare of my life" earlier this week when the 18-wheeler he was driving caught fire on a highway in Texas.

Troy Birklett, also known as Lil' Troy, now works as a truck driver and was driving the 18-wheeler he owns as part of his Birklett Trucking Company into Texas from Arkansas on Monday when he noticed flames coming up from the hood, he told Houston-based news station KTRK-TV.

"Right before I got ready to exit, I started to see fire, flames coming up from the hood," Birklett said during an interview with the station. "And I'm like, 'Oh, I got to get out of this truck.' You know what I'm saying? It's fire!"

Birklett said he escaped the vehicle with his glasses, keys and phone, but said everything else inside the cabin was destroyed by the blaze. He used his phone to capture video of the flames engulfing the front of the truck as dark plumes of smoke billowed across the busy highway.

Lil' Troy 18-wheeler fire
Rapper Lil' Troy shared video on Instagram this week after his 18-wheeler caught fire on a Texas highway. Above, a mechanic checks out a semi-truck at the Love's Truck Stop in Springville, Utah, on December 1, 2021. GEORGE FREY/AFP via Getty Images

A caption accompanying the video Birklett posted on Instagram read, "Yesterday I had the scare of my life and the Blessing of my life my truck caught on fire while I was driving on the freeway and I was bless that I was able to get out of traffic and pull over and get out the truck with no nobody getting hurt GOD IS good."

He told KTRK that it took firefighters "a while" to extinguish the flames. While they were at the scene, "it went 'boom' again," he said of the truck.

"I thank God for the fire department," Birklett said. "They came and made sure nobody else got injured at the same time."

Photos Birklett posted on Instagram of the fire's aftermath showed the cabin severely damaged. Birklett told KTRK he bought the 18-wheeler about two months ago, and an Instagram post dated October 14 appeared to show the same vehicle as Birklett welcomed it to his company's fleet.

Birklett said the incident prompted him to think about his family.

"I think God has a better plan for me," he said, later adding, "It's not my time to go right now."

Birklett went on to reference a lyric from his hit song during his conversation with the news station.

"If you notice, 'I hit the highway, making money the fly way.' You know what I'm saying?" he said. "So, truck driving is the new way."

Authorities were looking into the cause of the truck fire as of Wednesday morning, according to KTRK-TV.

Newsweek reached out to the Houston Highway Patrol for comment.