The rap community hasn’t shied away from much in it’s lyrics. Tough topics like sexual abuse, domestic violence, poverty and crime have all been well documented through rap music. What was once an up and coming niche genre is now the most mainstream it’s ever been and all ears and eyes are on rappers.
It’s hard to stay healthy when you’re an artist.
All the things that seem fun at first glance, like catching flights to perform all over the world, hosting afterparties, and entertaining groupies can be really draining on your mind and body. Self-care is tough; it’s especially tough when you’re constantly out of your environment and in a different city each night.
Rap has gotten more in touch with it’s feelings over the last few years and rappers are opening up about their struggles with mental health. It’s tough to admit you’re feeling down and not yourself, especially in a high-octane ultra-masculine genre like rap music. Rappers speaking out about their mental health struggles hopefully comforts their teen fans and lends inspiration to start these conversations in their circles.
Recently, Chance the Rapper pledged $1 million dollars towards greater access to mental health services in Chicago. The announcement comes after his admission of dealing with PTSD and anxiety after the death of close friends. Chance has also been a very vocal advocate of his friend Kanye West, whose mental health issues have made headlines all year.
Here are 5 rappers that are speaking out about their own mental health issues
- Kid Cudi – Cudder disappeared for awhile and fans were left wondering what the hell happened. He came back in 2016 with a lengthy Facebook post in which he described his time in rehab for depression and suicidal thoughts. Cudi was one of the first to speak candidly about how anxiety has made it difficult for him to trust people throughout his life and how his paranoia was once so bad he was afraid to leave his house.
- Logic – Calls to the suicide prevention hotline spiked when Logic performed his touching song about suicide at this year’s Grammy awards. The track 1-800-273-8255 which is also the number for the National Suicide Prevention centre, features Alessia Cara and Khalid and addresses dark but relatable thoughts. Logic was inspired by Kid Cudi to speak openly about his own lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety.
- Kanye West – Kanye is the most prolific rapper to speak about his mental health struggles and also have them play out in the media. Kanye opened up to his fans after being inspired by his close friend and collaborator Kid Cudi. Kanye has rapped about seeking therapy and being on antidepressants in his 2016 album ‘The Life Of Pablo’ and recently went on TMZ where he discussed his lengthy hospital stay where he was treated for bipolar disorder.
- Eminem – It’s unsurprising that many people self medicate through drugs when their mental health issues go untreated and this is how Eminem coped for nearly two decades. The rapper has been vocal about his addiction to prescription pills both in his music and interviews. He kicked his habit in 2008 and credits his sobriety with clearing his mind of cluttered thoughts.
- Danny Brown – Danny Brown may seem like he’s always hype and in a great mood but he’s been very open with his fans about his experiences with depression and sleep issues due to anxiety. He’s admitted that his prior rampant drug use was to numb himself so he didn’t feel these issues as deeply and has repeatedly encouraged his fans to seek help if they’re going through the same things.
This article is inspired by World Mental Health Day and was originally published on Vellum’s blog – SMOKE + MiRRORS.