The Men of Hip-Hop Open Up About Mental Health

The stigma around male mental health seems to be discussed very little today. This stigma also particularly seems to be magnified in the black community. Recently, two of the music industry's biggest rappers, Kid Cudi and Kanye West, have made it public that they are fighting mental health issues. To some, this news may not have much of an impact, but to black men who are also fighting mental health issues, news about these two rappers may have helped in breaking the stigma.

Kanye West has been open about dealing with depression before, but the reason the conversation is relevant right now is because he was recently admitted into the hospital for mental exhaustion. After a series of rants at a few of his concerts and the sudden cancellation of the rest of his "Saint Pablo" tour, fans were reeling. Shortly after, it was revealed that Kanye was hospitalized; the support was overflowing. It is not often that we see black men in media dealing with these types of issues, especially in the Hip-Hop industry. Hip-Hop culture emphasizes masculinity, which takes many different forms. This may range to include normalizing being a womanizer or buying numerous expensive cars, but what fans don’t usually see is a rapper opening up about feelings. Kanye is one of the few rappers that breaks down that wall of typical masculinity in a few of his songs, but it is still helpful to see a major influencer of the Hip-Hop genre like Kanye being open with the public about his battle with mental health.

On social media, Kid Cudi posted that, “Yesterday I checked myself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges. I am not at peace. I haven't been since you've known me. If I didn't come here, I would’ve done something to myself. I simply am a damaged human swimming in a pool of emotions everyday of my life. There’s a raging violent storm inside of my heart at all times. Idk what peace feels like. Idk how to relax. My anxiety and depression have ruled my life for as long as I can remember and I never leave the house because of it. I can’t make new friends because of it. I don’t trust anyone because of it and I’m tired of being held back in my life.”

Through this open letter, Cudi started a conversation that was long overdue. After his fans and others showed him support, a hashtag on twitter called #yougoodbro went viral. The hashtag was specifically made to give men of color an open space to share their stories of addiction and struggles with mental health. Instead of being ashamed, Kid Cudi was open and honest with his fans and in turn broke down the stigma even more.     

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