Addiction can hit any walk of life, and it has been especially prevalent in the entertainment industry. Lately, addiction and mental health issues have hit the hip-hop world hard, causing many to take a close look at what’s going on, and how the rap community can help itself heal.
In reporting on hip hop and mental health, The L.A. Times opened their story with Vic Mensa rapping the song Wings with the lyrics, “The voices in my head keep talking, ‘You’ll never be good enough…you never was, you hurt everyone around you, you’re impossible to love…’” The story also mentioned the recent deaths of Lil Peep, and how the Logic song, 1-800-273-8255, became a hit and raised awareness of the suicide prevention hotline.
As Mensa confessed, “it was big for me to recognize that drugs are a symptom of an underlying issue. You see it in hip-hop; you see it in punk. These kids come from nothing. Young black men experience a lot of trauma. They’ve lost people, seen violence, been humiliated by society. So they turn to alcohol, molly, lean.”
In fact, Mensa had a hit with a confessional album, fittingly called The Autobiography. He’s been sober for two years, telling the L.A. Times, “All the feelings I’d been repressing and escaping came out in music, and that was very cathartic and necessary for me. It begins on a community level. Therapists should be available for grade school kids in the hood. We barely had a nurse there once a week.”