For years it has seemed like the music industry has ignored the ongoing issues with mental health in the black community. Although it has been ignored, over time different artists have told their story to give a different side of the music industry. From personal life to life in the business, musicians have endured a lot. Whether it be because of poverty or being mistreated. Black musicians have always had something special to say, especially about their upbringings. Here we have a list of black musicians that have paved the way for people to be more open about their mental health.
The Geto Boys- “Mind Playing Tricks on Me” (1991)
This classic hip-hop track is more than just a spooky Halloween party tune. It captures the reality of Post Traumatic Syndrome that takes place in the black community. Each artist on the song tells their story about paranoia, schizophrenia, and depression.
The Notorious B.I.G. — “Suicidal Thoughts” (1994)
This particular song has been heard by millions, but to this day the severity of it is still very serious. This song is a suicide note written by Biggie.
Tupac- “So Many Tears” (1995)
Tupac was one of the most vulnerable musicians to ever make music. This song and the album it’s on examines the human experience by discussing his innermost feelings as he awaits his prison sentence.
A Tribe Called Quest, Faith Evans & Consequence — “Stressed Out” (1996)
A Tribe Called Quest is one of the more iconic and open-minded groups in recent history. They created a blueprint for rap not being violent or tough. Their song “Stressed out”, tells their story of dealing with stress and anxiety.
DMX- “Slippin” (1998)
If you know anything about DMX you know that he had a lifetime battle with addiction and his mental health. “Slippin”, talks about drug addiction, alcoholism, paranoia, and manic depression. He reminisces on the traumatic events of his life and how they made him the man he is.
Lil Wayne – “I Feel Like Dying”
Lil Wayne has never been known for his heartfelt or emotional lyrics, but he discusses his mental health journey. He also talks more about drug addiction and how it has affected his career.
Chance the Rapper and Nico Sega
Chance the Rapper is known for making music about his faith. When it comes to personal issues he has not run away from the light. This song uses a dark piano to go along with Chance’s lyrics of being in the dark and heartbroken.