Mental health is an overlooked topic in the black community. Black Americans are 20 percent more likely to develop mental illnesses but, 50 percent less likely to use mental health services.The black community stigmatizes mental illnesses as being emotional or weak. Stereotypes such as therapy treatments aren't for black people, pray the illness away, or simply get over it, reinforces these stigmas about mental health.

In hip-hop, mental health is a prevalent topic. Most rappers have talked about these issues in their songs. It ranges from drug addiction, anxiety, to depression.

However, they refuse to take that extra step and seek professional help. Old age rappers like Prodigy, Eminem, and Ice Cube believe that creating music was their therapy. As mental health awareness becomes publicly accepted, rappers are beginning to break these stigmas of therapy.

Logic's suicide prevention song

Logic is a rapper known for delving into topics about race, mental health, and other social issues. Recently, he released a song called, 1-800-273-8255. This is the number of the suicide prevention hotline. The song tells people struggling with suicide that there is a way to continue living. It is his most popular song from his 2017 album, Everybody. When he's hired to perform at shows, he always performs this song.

The use of the hotline has dramatically increased since the song's release. There are not many mainstream songs that focus on such issues and it shows that the community is heading towards accepting towards taking care of one's mind.

'The Therapist'

Recently, Viceland created a show called "The Therapist". In this show, a therapist, Siri Sat Nam Singh, has one on one talks with notable music artists.

The purpose is to change preexisting stigmas about therapy. Artists like Vic Mensa, Chief Keef, Prodigy, Katy Perry, Waka Flocka Flame, and O.T. Genasis discuss several problems in their lives with a professional therapist. I couldn't imagine a show like this in the 90s. The fact that gangster rappers like Chief Keef are open to this level of help shows progression about the topic over the last two decades of hip-hop.

Mental health awareness today

Rappers are making the effort to talk about the importance of treating mental illnesses. Instead of drugs, rappers suggest seeking professional help. Rap legends like Jay-Z spoke about mental health in 4:44. Icons like Kanye West and Kid Cudi suffering from mental illness bring attention to these issues. Chance the Rapper has talked about his Xanax addiction that came from dealing with his anxiety. Rappers today are making the effort to bring awareness to mental issues. They use their platforms to make a change.

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