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Mental Health in Hip-Hop 2018

The best Kanye West line of 2018 is not even a Kanye line. It's on his brilliant album with Kid Cudi, Kids Sea Ghosts . Cudi, who was honestly opposed to his struggles with mental illness but was not quite as transparent in his music, sings of Reborn: "Sometimes I wonder why I just want to / feel worthless then." But peace begins with me. "He repeats the words" with me "and makes them a mantra and a critical reminder of yourself and the listener. He sounds relieved, just to say it aloud.



Good was not the only one It was hard to ignore a (very) public billing with mental health in hip-hop or anywhere else in pop culture. In Kanye's meme-ified Ye his bipolar disorder was highlighted In connection with his headlines gripping outbursts, Mariah Carey cited the same error. Ariana Grande and Shawn Mendes presented skilfully veiled, heartfelt musical depictions of panic attacks on "Breathin" or "In My Blood" rap upstarts have the rules of what it means to be masculine, paraphrased, and at the same time exposed to your torments – and then try to find a solution.

This is not brand new course. Music artists explore the depths of their inner lives, especially in a denominational and verbalgynamic genre such as rap. "Things we hear tend to have predecessors in the history of rap music," says AD Carson, professor of hip-hop at the University of Virginia and rapper. "We can look at rappers who have had open and open discussions about which things we would fit into the wider category of music that deals with mental health issues."

He refers to Geto Boys & # 39; 1991 "Mind Playing Tricks on Me" and Jay-Z's "Song Cry" (2002), in which the MC more makes covert clues to "sick" ("Although I can not let you know, the pride does not let me show it," says one line). "He's emotionally muted, so he'll make the song cry," explains Carson. "He knocks to somehow stand up for not being able to work through his feelings about a complicated abusive relationship."

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Something has shifted deeply. This year's frontline confrontation with mental illness and its treatment in itself "reflects the way society as a whole is more involved in discussions about mental health," Carson adds.

A consciousness that is indisputable. Several celebrity rap stars died in 2018, including burgeoning Mac Miller, who died of overdose of fentanyl, cocaine and alcohol at age 26. That was shocking, but unfortunately not surprising, as Miller himself came up with his demons during his lifetime.

However, the reaction to Miller's downfall felt like a revelation. The support of Donald Glover, Chance the Rapper and Vince Staples was great. In particular, French Montana and Bow Wow expressed genuine concern about the drug culture in hip-hop without worrying that they might look "soft". Miller's ex-Ariana Grande sings on her latest hit "Thank U, Next", "I wish I could thank Malcolm because he was an angel." It's hard to imagine, around 1994, when Kurt Cobain's suicide was less serious conversations about mental disorders and addictions than the conspiracy theories about Courtney Love's involvement.

This disillusionment has everything to do with the facts on the ground. Miller's death occurs at a time when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported that more than 70,000 Americans were killed by drug dosing in 2017. This is a record in which car accidents and rifle violence have been overtaken at their highest levels. This increase corresponds to the use of synthetic opioids, which have affected Miller and go far beyond young, wealthy and famous people.

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The rumble of this news has been heard in the rise (and rise and rise) of "SoundCloud rap", aka "emo rap", which, though he relying on familiar party tropes, also skillfully undermines them and forces us to consider the ugly causes and aftermath. No-one saw the fast pop rise of Juice WRLD, a 20-year-old awkward prodigy with more hooks in a single track than can reasonably be counted. An icon of the streaming hip-hop era, he scored the # 2 hit in the country with "Lucid Dreams," a contagious blast of a disconnect hymn.

As other critics have pointed out, he can be skeptical of the woman who spurned him. Juice WRLD is, if not otherwise, honest with an error. The more surprising part of "Lucid Dreams" is the admission of Juice WRLD that he indefinitely self-medically treats his grief. "I take prescriptions to make me feel right, I know everything is in my head," he knocks, a sign that he's more aware of his baggage than he seems at first glance. The low point is when he groans in a low register: "Now I'm just better off." It's hard to remember a slightly moulder tune.

Not long after this song came out, Juice WRLD's colleague XXXTentacion 19459020 was shot down in June at the age of 20 with tragic allegations that he had abused a pregnant woman . His murder seemed to inspire a change of heart in Juice WRLD, which published "Legends" as a tribute to the artist colleague. "I'll just get it out," he says. "I'm really changing the world."

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Hip-Hop is changing and the world is in the process of catching up. "I think a great deal of public work has been done to talk about how we could deal with mental health differently," says Carson. (In an open New York Times interview last year Jay-Z talked about how therapy made him a better person with more empathy.) "It makes it easier for all sorts of people themselves In this situation, instead of doing what these artists talked about earlier in the notes, the search for help was perceived as a kind of "weaker" route, "he says. "If you want to hear how your favorite rapper talks about a treatment, that definitely changes the way you conduct that conversation."

Cudis rhymes on Kids Sea Ghosts help to create the space for such a conversation (The ghosts of the album title are obviously the same ones that persecute him every day as an adult). The feeling even rubbed off on former Frenemy Ye, who apologized for "Reborn": "I was on medication, I was called crazy / What a great thing, in shame / I want all the rain, I want all the pain / I want all the smoke, I want all the blame. "Pops's symbol of narcissism, which for the reasons he's been ridiculed of, takes a hard look at? Hey, it may not be a recovery, but In the same vein, the outstanding "Freeee" on Kids Sea Ghosts is less of an ostentation than a wish fulfillment, starting with a quote from Marcus Garvey in which he says "man in full Knowing Yourself "praises Kanye and Cudi over thick guitars:" I'm not in pain anymore / Do you know what baby, I feel freeee ! "Looking inward has helped them to go out.

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The transformation took a long time. In a frighteningly uncertain world, a younger generation of hip-hop fans has been looking for a little more love, a little more tenderness, and much more self-reflection. How do you explain the commercial success of Brockhampton, the 13-headed, fresh-faced hip-hop group and the self-described "Best Boy Band since One Direction", which debuted as a major label in 2018 with RCA worth more than 15 million dollars deal? All this hype for a band that deserves it has not proved to be a bone-solid hit despite a devotional cult application.

Brockhampton often seems to be designed to disregard the conventions of rap (and pop more generally). De facto Leader Kevin Abstract – a 22-year-old, openly gay black man from a Mormon family in Corpus Christi, Texas – loves to annoy listeners by pointing out that he likes his boy. He also gets almost uncomfortable about the psychological cost of growing up in his position on the band's beautiful, genless, kaleidoscopic album Iridescence : "And she was crazy because I never wanted to show her" He Knocks About "Weight ". "Every time she took her bra off my cock, she would become soft / I thought I had a problem, kept my head screaming in a pillow."

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Real good news from Disturbed stars come, who decide to lay down their guard. Proof of this is in Brockhampton's "San Marcos," a tear mower that alternately exposes difficult truths to members. "Suicidal thoughts, but I will not do it," sings Joba. "Take what you want, it's important, I admit it." It is equally important for the oppressed children who treat Brockhampton like the Beatles, that the choir sings euphorically in the end, over and over again. "That does not drown in misery; It is a way out.

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