There was a time when men­tal health simply wasn’t dis­cussed in the media. But nowadays, even rap­pers and hip-hop artists are express­ing their thoughts on vari­ous men­tal health top­ics. This is amaz­ing, as it becomes easi­er for those exper­i­en­cing dif­fer­ent men­tal health dis­orders to cope with their issues when they hear celebrit­ies and oth­ers speak­ing openly about the top­ic. Check out five hip-hop songs that address men­tal health below, and remem­ber, there’s no shame in reach­ing out for help when you need it.

So Many Tears — Tupac

Tupac was open about his men­tal health struggles and expressed his feel­ings in his music, par­tic­u­larly the song “So Many Tears.” The song con­tains the lyr­ics, “I suffered through the years/ And shed so many tears/ Lord, I lost so many peers/ And shed so many tears.” It shows the last­ing effects of tragedy and the way loss can affect a per­son years later. The song also touches on depres­sion and how dif­fi­cult it can be to trust oth­ers when you’re going through men­tal health struggles.

U — Kendrick Lamar

“U” by Kendrick Lamar tells the story of the rap­per lock­ing him­self in a hotel room with a bottle of liquor. Lamar battles imposter syn­drome and survivor’s guilt in this song, and raps about the fact that money has no effect on men­tal health issues. A close exam­in­a­tion of the song reveals that the “you” Lamar is rap­ping about is actu­ally him­self; the song dis­plays his depres­sion and self-hatred. This song fol­lows the pat­tern of rap­pers show­ing that men­tal health prob­lems don’t dis­crim­in­ate; they can affect the rich and suc­cess­ful just as much as any­one else.

Deep Rev­er­ence — Big Sean and Nip­sey Hussle

Anoth­er song that’s meant to inspire oth­ers to work on their men­tal health, “Deep Rev­er­ence” focuses on anxi­ety, for­give­ness, and more. Big Sean called it one of the most hon­est and uncom­fort­able songs he’d ever put out, and it had a big effect on his fans. But not only did the song cov­er his per­son­al struggles, it also talked about his wins and the ways he man­aged to cope with the chal­len­ging times in life.

Nar­ciss­ist Theme Song — Craig G

In this song, Craig G dis­cusses Nar­ciss­ist­ic Per­son­al­ity Dis­order, com­plete with symp­toms of nar­ciss­ism flash­ing across the screen of his music video. “Gran­di­ose,” “vul­ner­able,” “prob­lems with empathy,” and “a sense of enti­tle­ment” are just a few of the details he expounds upon in the song. While it’s com­mon for people to cas­u­ally call someone a nar­ciss­ist when they’re act­ing selfish and only think­ing of them­selves, Nar­ciss­ist­ic Per­son­al­ity Dis­order (NPD) is a legit­im­ate men­tal health dis­order that can be helped with ther­apy. If you think you might have NPD, you may be inter­ested in this free nar­ciss­ism test. Craig G spreads aware­ness of this men­tal health dis­order in his song, which is help­ful since soci­ety doesn’t seem to have much of an under­stand­ing of the real­it­ies of nar­ciss­ism.

Lucid Dreams — Juice Wrld

“Lucid Dreams,” called a “ther­apy ses­sion” by Juice Wrld him­self, is known as the artist’s most icon­ic record. The song describes the men­tal tor­ture that a per­son can go through dur­ing a break­up, and the men­tal health issues that can devel­op as a res­ult. When talk­ing about the song, Juice Wrld said, “The mes­sage I want people to know is, just be aware of your feel­ings.” Although Juice Wrld sadly passed away in 2019, “Lucid Dreams” and his oth­er songs are here to stay, and they’re sure to have a last­ing impact espe­cially con­cern­ing their rela­tion­ship to men­tal health top­ics.

The Bot­tom Line

These songs show that men­tal health issues can affect abso­lutely any­one, and there’s no reas­on to shy away from get­ting the help you deserve. If you’re liv­ing with a men­tal health dis­order, con­sider mak­ing an appoint­ment with a ther­ap­ist or even tak­ing a look at online coun­sel­ing plat­forms, where afford­able and access­ible help is read­ily avail­able.

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Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal

Edit­or / PR Con­sult­ant at No Bounds
Rishma Dhali­w­al has extens­ive exper­i­ence study­ing and work­ing in the music and media industry. Hav­ing writ­ten a thes­is on how Hip Hop acts as a social move­ment, she has spent years research­ing and con­nect­ing with artists who use the art form as a tool for bring­ing a voice to the voice­less. Cur­rently work­ing in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media know­ledge to I am Hip Hop and oth­er pro­jects by No Bounds.

About Rishma Dhaliwal

Rishma Dhaliwal
Rishma Dhaliwal has extensive experience studying and working in the music and media industry. Having written a thesis on how Hip Hop acts as a social movement, she has spent years researching and connecting with artists who use the art form as a tool for bringing a voice to the voiceless. Currently working in TV, Rishma brings her PR and media knowledge to I am Hip Hop and other projects by No Bounds.