Anyone who has suffered from depression, anxiety or any other mental illness can tell you its not an easy topic to discuss with loved ones. This is even more true in the hip hop community, where image is everything and vulnerability is seen as weakness. Thankfully, artists like Kendrick Lamar, Kid Cudi and of course Joe Budden are doing the work to show that this is a topic we can, and should, address as a community.
During a recent appearance on the The Breakfast Club, Styles P broke down while revealing the details of his daughter’s suicide in 2015. After playing a clip from the interview on his web series Everyday Struggle, Joe was brought to tears while being reminded of his own experience with depression.
“[That clip] was difficult,” Joe says tearfully. “I’m gonna always react this way to that. As someone who has experience with that, as someone who has been suicidal, as someone who has battled depression…you never see the signs. I would love to see more people speak out on mental health issues the way that Styles is. I would like to see hip hop address it more. We’re so powerful as a culture.”
Both Joe and host Akademiks agree that it’s healthy for the public to see “tough” rappers letting their guard down so that the stigma of mental illness can be erased and an honest conversation can be had. But deeper than that, Joe knows firsthand that many signs are in the music itself. “Most of these n–s are telling us how sick they are and what they’re going through, so I try to listen to for it. I can’t just jam. Chris Brown, you’re talented but let’s get some help. All of these people…Cudi, B.o.B who we’re about to talk about, Kanye…you wanna talk about all artists that need help with mental health, that’s a long f–king show.”
Joe also adds that being a celebrity most times intensifies the symptoms of depression, “Fame puts a microscope on sh-t. So if you’re sick when you get it, you’ll probably be a lot sicker after it comes.”
Catch the full interview below:
Love & Hip Hop Atlanta’s own Kalenna Harper bravely confronted her postpartum depression during a therapy session filmed during the show.