Opinion Piece - Hip-Hop & Mental Health

Updated: Oct 1, 2020

There has always been a stigma surrounding mental health, especially in hip-hop.

For years the genre has been a place for artists to spread a message and tell their story. However, being emotional through a record hasn’t always been popularized within the genre. With the new generation of artists putting their own twists on hip-hop, often resulting in the birth of new sub-genres. In recent years, artist have paved a way to share their struggles with mental health through their music.

Mental health and substance abuse go together like a kettle and tea. The psychological struggles that an artist may deal with, usually leads to some sort of substance abuse, and sadly its claimed the lives of some of the most promising young talent we have ever seen in hip-hop. Artists such as Lil Peep, Juice Wrld and Mac Miller have all passed away within the last few years from accidental overdoses. While listening to these fallen artists post humous, you begin to realize that instead of glorifying substance abuse in their music, these artists are merely expressing their losing battle with mental health. While some are quick to place the blame on being young, dumb and rich, I have to disagree.

Many artists who begin to heavily abuse drugs on their ascent to fame have underlying issues. Yes, life on the road is complex. It takes a toll on your mind, body and the relationships you carry with the ones closest to you. This lifestyle just adds gasoline to an already raging fire. Instead of focusing on the negative, by blaming artists for glorifying drugs in their music, we should be focusing on building outlets for these artists to deal with their pain the RIGHT way. Being a successful musician doesn’t mean all of your problems just vanish. As we all know, money can’t buy happiness but it sometimes can buy the drugs that may end the life of a promising young talent.

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