Post Classifieds

Mental health becoming a topic within the hip-hop community

By Camden Henry | Staff Reporter
On July 13, 2018


Courtney Jamal Dewar, who went by the rapper name Capital STEEZ, committed suicide in New York City on Christmas Eve in 2012 by jumping off a building.

Since then, the upcoming New York hip-hop collective and close friends of STEEZ called ProERA, have been conducting the STEEZ Day annual festival throughout the tri-state area filled with performances and socialization to keep his name alive.

Mental health is slowly becoming a topic within the hip-hop community. But is hip-hop doing more good or bad for those suffering from mental health?

The genre was birthed in lower-income communities. Now, it is one of the most popular genres and is still used as a tool of expression. Through this tool, however, indications of mental health issues have continued to make their way through the waveforms.

Hip-hop artist Logic made a song called “1-800-273-8255,” named after the Suicide Prevention Hotline number. Starting with the chorus “I don’t want wanna be alive” and ending with the chorus “I finally wanna be alive,” blatantly shows that the artist’s purpose was to uplift those who suffer from mental health.

Another song, “Jocelyn Flores,” made by now deceased upcoming South Florida rapper XXXTentacion, was meant to share his personal pain and perhaps connect with his audience if they ever felt the same way. But lyrics such as “I’m in pain, wanna put ten shots in my brain. I’ve been trippin’ ‘bout some things, can’t change. Suicidal, same time I’m tame” can also be taken the wrong way, especially from those who oppose the genre.

“Counselors can expect internal and external resistance regarding provision of services to hip-hop clients that validate and infuse their own cultural values…,” according to Damaged Petals and Tenacity: Values Expressed in Fourth Generation Rap, a 2015 thesis study by Vanessa Martinez-Morales (Arizona State University, MBA ‘15).

Depression, bipolar disorder and addiction are some of the issues frequented in today’s hip-hop music. For some listeners, the music has become their “therapy session” because of a level of relatability.

Rappers such as Travis Scott and A$AP Rocky are said to have encounters with fans who thank them for their music due to its influence to prevent tragedies such as suicide and provide hope.

But according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the past two decade. Should hip-hop music be blamed for that? Some will try to make an argument for it. But to say that hip-hop music encourages the behavior more than the nation preventing the conversation about mental health in general, could lead to a long process of unpacking layering that goes deeper into lifestyle rather than just song lyrics.

Get Top Stories Delivered Weekly

More thefamuanonline News Articles

Recent thefamuanonline News Articles

Discuss This Article




Students at FAMU have heard about the cutting edge eye technology employed by LASIK Ft. Lauderdale eye centers to help improve eyesight. For FAMU students passionate about science and the eye, read more about the top LASIK eye centers in South Florida.

Log In

or Create an account

Employers & Housing Providers

Employers can list job opportunities for students

Post a Job

Housing Providers can list available housing

Post Housing

Log In

Forgot your password?

Your new password has been sent to your email!

Logout Successful!

Please Select Your College/University:

You just missed it! This listing has been filled.

Post your own housing listing on Uloop and have students reach out to you!

Upload An Image

Please select an image to upload
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format
Provide URL where image can be downloaded
Note: must be in .png, .gif or .jpg format