Cudi's Mental State Vs. Kanye's: Why Is It Different?

As much as we want to believe that those who don’t suffer from a mental illness are making strides in understanding the battle that is fought for those who do suffer from one, there are still those who choose to remain uneducated and ignorant in their statements regarding the topic.

In early October, Kid Cudi let his fans know that he admitted himself into a rehab facility for suicidal urges and depression. He made the announcement in a raw, heartbreaking Facebook post where he detailed that “he hasn’t been at ease” for a long time. Many celebrities expressed support when Cudi went public with his struggles. However, some people whom Cudi as been loyal to, wronged him (cough cough Ye). Kanye West, who signed Cudi in 2008, and Drake, who devoted an entire song to him, weren’t so kind to the singer.

Aubrey (Drake) Graham, rapper known for his iconic lyrics, dozens of hit singles and songs, chart topper, Rhianna’s (ex) lover, and more recently, the man who called out Kid Cudi for having a mental illness in his song “Two Birds One Stone.”

“You were the man on the moon Now you just go through your phases Life of the angry and famous Rap like I know I’m the greatest Then give you the tropical flavors Still never been on hiatus You stay xanned and perx’d up. So when reality set in, you don’t gotta face it.”

Cudi took to Twitter to retaliate. 

When confronted about the things he said, Drake simply stated that Cudi should “keep his name out of his mouth." Kanye butted in, stated he "birthed Cudi," deeming anything he has to say irrelevant. These are bold words for someone who wrote that his "demons" visit him every night in the same song he threw shade at Cudi, don’t you think, Drake?

Now, Kanye has very recently canceled the rest of his world tour and been admitted into the hospital under the diagnosis of temporary psychosis. His erratic behavior on stage and off, as well as his alleged stress and exhaustion, led him to UCLA’s hospital where he spent Thanksgiving and is still a patient. Not even two months prior, he smashed Cudi to the media for going public with his mental illness. 

When you google Cudi and his mental state, you find headlines with words such as “sad,” “heartbreaking,” “raw,” while Kanye’s headlines read “brave” and “inspiring.”

Now what’s the difference? From the outside looking in, Kanye has a “reason” for his temporary psychosis: the anniversary of the death of his mom every November. He says he suffers from anxiety, depression, and paranoia and the topic has come up in many of his songs and interviews regarding the love he has for his mother, and the guilt he feels for her death.

Cudi doesn’t necessarily have a reason except for that he doesn’t know what peace feels like, and that he has used drugs to cope with his mental state. His reason for mental illness isn't pinpointed, and because of this unknown, it makes people uncomfortable (uncomfortable enough to write a whole song about it, mind you).

Now, I write this out of sheer confusion because mental illness is mental illness regardless of the rhyme or reason. Why is Kanye praised for his psychosis and his “bravery," while Cudi is seen as a coward because he copes differently and used drugs to try and find that safe place, the peace that he so desperately seeks?

Mental illness comes in many shapes and forms, and those forms tend to shift into different coping mechanisms. Rather than slamming each other for the things we can’t control, like mental illness, I think it is time that those with a voice in the hip-hop community, with such high esteem by their fans, recognize that they are both struggling to get by. They are both similar in the sense that they are vulnerable and brave for asking for help, and being mentally ill is not something to be frowned upon.

Being influential hip-hop musicians shouldn’t be a platform for hate and discrimination because it’s not the mental illness they want to see, but rather it should be an educational lesson of what raw and emotional battles with one’s mind looks like.

If we want more love, we have to show it. Right now is the perfect opportunity.