Hip-Hop Depression’s Shouldn’t Be Ignored

Roughly four million American children and teens have depression

Paul Comauex, Opinion Writer

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Hip-hop these days have been very open about one thing: depression.

Rappers are at this stage where they’re open with expressing how they feel. It has been great for the people who listen to the most music: teens.

Teens these days are depressed. Maybe it’s just me but even our jokes are getting darker. Our jokes these days revolve around some internal sadness or insecurity. These young rappers grew up with us, some of these guys are barely 20. They aren’t that far off from us so they understand what it’s like. I believe this generation of rappers refuse to hold things in and not be heard.

One artist that comes to mind is Lil Uzi Vert, in his song, “XO TOUR Llif3” some of his lyrics read as, She say I’m insane, yeah. I might blow my brain out. Xanny, help the pain, yeah. Please, Xanny, make it go away.

Lil Uzi Vert’s not the only artist who has rapped about using prescription substances like Xanax to get through a depression. Notorious B.I.G., or Biggie as he was known, had his first album titled, “Ready to Die” with the song “Suicidal Thoughts” among his other thoughts.

Kid Cudi was the first artist to be completely open about his depression and suicidal thoughts. Kid Cudi checked himself into a mental health program for his depression. Kanye West still is depressed. Why do you think he changed after his mother passed? Many people – like Kanye – have gained weight, done things that we believe are crazy and different from how they usually are. Usually, it’s because they aren’t satisfied with life and themselves.

Why are some rappers this way?

I believe this expression of depression in hip-hop speaks volumes about the mood in our country. It’s internal. And it’s hard to fix that feeling coming from inside you when you think that the world around you only see you as a product and not a person. I believe these people are depressed because when you get that famous nobody truly cares for you. They only want you to be okay for the next project which can be heartbreaking and make people feel alone.

Personally, I would like to thank these artists for being so open about their depression. Honestly, it makes it easier for someone else to be open especially if they see their favorite person being open, thank you guys for helping open the door to that type of conversation.

According to NBCNews.com roughly 4 million American children and teens have depression. A lot of the artists that I’ve mentioned are young black males and that is a problem.

In the black community, we have a reputation of ignoring our mental health issues. Some of us are told to ignore symptoms of depression by our families. Ignoring doesn’t help.

According to NAMI.org, the Web site of the National Alliance on Mental Illness, African Americans are 20 percent more likely to suffer mental health issues in the U.S. We create and support this stigma that bad feelings are a sign of religious weakness instead of looking for chemical or emotional problems. So, we self-medicate. We’d rather ignore our problems and push them down with drugs or alcohol, and still they may bubble up through fighting.

We need to listen to each other, no matter how depressing the message may seem at first.

This way, we can begin to help each other.

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