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Here Are Ten Rap Songs That Address Mental Health

Here Are Ten Rap Songs That Address Mental Health
Roots Picnic 2016 Was Non-Stop Revelations + Surprises w/ Usher, DMX, Will Smith + More! [Photo by Mel D. Cole for Okayplayer + Village Slum]

Photograph by Mel D. Cole for Okayplayer + Village Slum

October is Mental Health Consciousness Month.

Mental well being is among the most outstanding topics that dominates our public discourse at this time. The nationwide dialog surrounding psychological wellness — on-line and offline — has aided within the stigma of psychological sickness being eliminated, slowly however certainly.

Although society has just lately developed the language and perspective to increase our understanding of it, via knowledge and first-hand accounts on the place marginalized communities stand within the scope of all of it, the present dialog surrounding wellness and psychological well being isn’t fairly new; it’s been subtly channeled by way of music by way of time. And traditionally, rap music has all the time served as a medium for artists to share their struggles.

READ: Black Thought Discusses Mental Health Struggles, Mother and father’ Deaths & Extra On Stretch & Bobbito’s ‘What’s Good’

The late Prodigy as soon as stated, “hip-hop is our therapy.” However the dialog round psychological well being is consistently evolving past that notion— past the catharsis of creating and consuming music. Hip-hop artists has delved deeper into discussing the truth of psychological wellness and the way it impacts their private and professional lives. From being vocal about getting remedy, to substance abuse, to coping by way of self-care. All these states of transparency of their music assist to advertise a fuller understanding of psychological well being.

So, in honor of Mental Consciousness Month, right here’s a roundup of 10 memorable hip-hop songs from the previous and current that tackle psychological sickness and wellness.

My Thoughts Enjoying Tips on Me, The Geto Boys (1991) 

Of their basic “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me” from their debut album We Can’t Be Stopped, The Geto Boys captured the truth of Submit Traumatic Syndrome inside city communities. Scarface, Willie D, and Bushwick Invoice vividly describe the varied psychological states of paranoia, schizophrenia, and melancholy. “My Mind Playing Tricks On” Me” was a mirrored image of Scarface’s personal internal turmoil, on the time struggling as a manic-depressive and Bushwick Invoice, who had simply tried suicide. Even at present, Scarface brazenly talks about his battle with melancholy. The reality behind the track provides at an authenticity that’s nonetheless felt virtually 30 years later. “Mind Playing Tricks On Me” was a forerunner on how rap artists handled psychological points by means of their music.

At night time I can’t sleep, I toss and switch/Candlesticks at the hours of darkness, visions of our bodies being burned/4 partitions simply observing a n***a/I’m paranoid, sleeping with my finger on the set off/My mom’s all the time stressin’ I ain’t dwelling proper/However I ain’t going out with no battle

READ: Why Black Males Are Reworking The Stigma About Melancholy & Remedy

“Suicidal Thoughts” by The Infamous B.I.G (1994)

The theme that runs via the music of the Infamous BIG is his fascination with dying. Demise was a standard theme in Biggie’s music and by no means is it extra obvious than on “Suicidal Thoughts.” Produced by the legendary Lord Finesse, “Suicidal Thoughts” was arguably one of the crucial distinctive rap songs on the late rapper’s debut album Able to Die.

In a severely depressed state, “Suicidal Thoughts” is a suicide notice that finds Huge conflicted concerning the hand that life had dealt him, and he calls Puff Daddy to elucidate the choice that he has already come to phrases with.

The track ends in tragedy with a single gunshot, adopted by the telephone left off the hook. “Suicidal Thoughts” is the essence of metallic despair captured within the type of rap music.

The stress is buildin’ up, I can’t,/(Yo, I’m on my means over there, man)/I can’t consider suicide is on my fuckin’ thoughts/I wanna depart, I swear to God I really feel like dying is fuckin’ callin’ me/However no you wouldn’t perceive

“Slippin” by DMX (1998)

Over the course of his profession, DMX has had his justifiable share of battles. Typically preventing his demons within the public eye and in his music, X has struggled with drug habit, alcoholism, paranoia, and manic melancholy.

“Slippin,” from Flesh of My Flesh, Blood of My Blood, is an exorcism of types. The music finds X reminiscing about all of the traumatic occasions of his life and the way they formed him, for higher or for worse. Within the opening chorus, X with piercing perception says, “This life shit, this life shit is like is like bugged the fuck out, son, for real. See, to live is to suffer. But to survive…Well, that’s to find meaning in the suffering.”

Used to get excessive, simply to get by/Used to should puff my L within the morning earlier than I might fly/Ate somethin’, a few forties made me hate somethin’/I did some coke, now I’m able to take somethin’/Three years later showin’ indicators of stress/Didn’t maintain my hair reduce or give a fuck how I dressed/I’m possessed by the darker aspect, livin’ the cruddy life

“Losing My Mind” by Pharoahe Monch (2014)

Pharoahe Monch’s popularity as a legendary lyricist is etched in stone. Ever since his days as a member of Organized Konfusion, Monch has probed deep into his personal metallic points via his music.

On his conceptual album Publish Traumatic Stress Dysfunction, Monch’s creates each monitor round some type of PTSD. Through the recording course of, Monch was scuffling with melancholy and making an attempt to take care of his sobriety. PSTD was not metaphorical however a mirror into his experiences.

“Losing My Mind,” is Monch’s try so as to add to the collective dialog of the necessity for remedy within the African American group. Maneuvering by way of the darkness of melancholy, he skillfully depicts the interior wrestle when one is affected by faltering psychological sickness.

Out cries tears “Dear God, where are we?”/That’s what I scream in the direction of the skyline however in all probability/Nobody can hear a phrase of what I used to be saying/Insurgents surged within the temple the place I used to be praying/Now flashbacks wake me abruptly when police move by/Lights flash, if I might solely put the previous on a flashdrive I’d/For peace of thoughts, set up an exterior drive/So I’d be extra pushed internally to outlive

“Only Human” by Joe Budden (2015)

Earlier than he turned a media star, Joe Budden was a formidable and extremely revered MC in hip-hop. All the time an open ebook, he bore his soul on “Only Human.”  From his Some Love Misplaced EP, “Only Human,” recorded the day after he was launched from jail, particulars his wrestle together with his psychological state. It additionally chronicles his ideas relating to suicide and melancholy.

“Only Human” is a standout monitor that speaks to how MCs are dealing with the frailty of their psychological states. Budden takes the danger by revealing his lowest moments to make clear the darkness of psychological sickness.

Can’t be melancholy, couldn’t have it this lengthy/So many secrets and techniques I solely informed via a glass of Patron, my nigga/Talking of secrets and techniques, that’s once I received the Kaylin textual content/Learn it and cried, couldn’t consider what she was saying subsequent/She stated “you’re going through a lot/I’m hoping you ain’t in the grave and dead/Cause not too many people know your brain’s a mess”/Who knew that she was protecting monitor of all of it?/I wrote again “lol” however wasn’t laughing in any respect/I ain’t inform her simply the opposite day that that gun was in my lap/Pen and pad in my hand, and I used to be writing a observe

“Wounds” by Child Cudi (2016)

Child Cudi has turn into one of many faces of psychological sickness in hip-hop. In 2013, he suffered from an emotional breakdown that after ending a relationship. In 2016, he introduced on social media that he checked himself right into a rehab due to his struggles with prescription drugs, nervousness, melancholy, and suicidal urges. Cudi’s music is usually coloured together with his metallic battles.

On “Wounds,” from the Ardour, Ache & Demon Slayin album, Cudi strikes by way of the varied psychological states and the consequences that they trigger. “Wounds” is an genuine portrayal of an artist that’s preventing for his or her psychological life.

All of us have occasions once we weep/It’s a troubled life, traumatized psychologically/I pray, within the shadows once I’m speakin’ to nobody/Myself, did all the things proper, didn’t I?/So why aren’t I entire?/You recognize you higher dig deeper/Don’t misinform you/You higher dig deep, deep

“Mad” by Solange and Lil Wayne (2016)

On her magnum opus, A Seat on the Desk, Solange addresses a multiplicity of subjects with provocative readability. “Mad” that includes Lil Wayne is an exploration into black emotional vulnerability. She questions the very notion that African People should justify their anger within the face of American oppression.

Lil Wayne, in one in every of his most clear verses, addresses lots of issues that makes him mad, however he additionally talks about his suicide try at a younger age. Weezy has talked about the capturing earlier than however that is the primary time that he reveals it was an precise suicide try.

And once I tried suicide, I didn’t die / I keep in mind how mad I used to be on that day / Man, you gotta let it go earlier than it rise up in the best way / Let it go, let it go

“1-800-273-8255” by Logic that includes Alessia Cara and Khalid (2017)

On “1-800-273-8255,” Logic tackles the difficulty of suicide head one. The track’s identify is the telephone quantity for the American Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). Logic addresses homophobia and bullying on the track, two widespread occurrences that always result in suicide.

Due to “1-800-273-8255” contribution to discourse round suicide, the Nationwide Suicide Prevention Lifeline that it has seen report numbers in name quantity and social media engagement.

All this different shit I’m talkin’ ’bout they assume they comprehend it/I’ve been praying for any person to save lots of me, nobody’s heroic/And my life don’t even matter/I do know it I do know it I do know I’m hurting deep down however can’t present it/I by no means had a spot to name my very own/I by no means had a house/Ain’t no one callin’ my telephone/The place you been? The place you at? What’s in your thoughts?/They are saying each life valuable however no one cares about mine

XO Tour Llif3 by Lil Uzi Vert (2017)

The eccentric Lil Uzi Vert adroitly grapples with relationship issues, suicidal ideas, and acts of betrayal on “XO Tour Llif3.” The music particulars the extraordinarily emotional experiences of being trapped in unhealthy relationships and the way using substances turns into a mechanism for escape. Vert copes with loss, disappointment, and its impact upon the human spirit.

Navigating by means of the rugged terrain of melancholy, self-medicating, and suicidality, Vert explores the issue we now have of figuring out psychological struggles of those that are round and the way innocuous we might be to these whom we love. “XO Tour Llif3” is Vert’s approach of uncovering the complexities of psychological sickness.

She stated I’m insane yeah/I’d blow my mind out/Xanny numb the ache yeah/Please, Xanny make it go away/I’m dedicated, not addicted nevertheless it retains controlling me/All that ache now I can’t really feel it, I swear that it’s slowing me

Smile by Jay-Z (2017)


For years Jay-Z has been persistently stoic in his persona. He has shared his previous private experiences via his music, however he stored his listening viewers at considerably of a distance as he guarded himself. However after a really public near-end to his marriage to Beyoncé due to his infidelities, Hov discovered the artwork of baring one’s soul by way of inventive expression, as he does all through the four:44 LP.

Jay-Z exposes himself in ways in which we’ve not often skilled in his profession. On “Smile,” he reveals that his mom, Gloria Carter, is homosexual, and he cried tears of pleasure when she met her associate. Additionally, he talks about how useful remedy has been as he tried to rebuild his marriage that was getting ready to collapse.

Now, Jay-Z is an advocate for the advantages of remedy due to the way it helped him heal emotionally.

Blood diamonds drippin’, we cute/I nonetheless ain’t trippin’, that’s life, winners and losers/Drug sellers and abusers, America likes me ruthless/My therapist stated I relapsed/I stated, “Prehaps I Freudian slipped in European whips”/God despatched me to interrupt the chain/I’m the true and livin God within the flesh, the remainder of these niggas is useless




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