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10 Rappers Who Have Openly Talked About Mental Health

The media and fans may not have picked up on all of the warning signs, but it turns out a lot of our favorite rappers have been crying out for help the only way they know how to–through their music.

It's Mental Health Awareness Month, and as usual, hip hop is silent. While the industry has made great strides in releasing the stigma of mental illness, with artists like Kid Cudi and Chance the Rapper openly discussing their inner demons this year, the subject remains the biggest elephant in the room.

The media and fans may not have picked up on all of the warning signs, but it turns out a lot of our favorite rappers have been crying out for help the only way they know how to–through their music. But for some reason, they continue to go unnoticed.

It's time to address the issue. From Lil Wayne to Kanye West, here are 10 rappers who have opened up to fans about mental health.

1. Notorious B.I.G - "Suicidal Thoughts"

The final track on Biggie's Ready to Die album should have been a serious wake up call to hip-hop. The somber track painted a scene of of a phone between B.I.G and Puffy, in which he was contemplating suicide. As Puff is trying to calm him down, the late rapper shares his final words. "I reach my peak, I can't speak Call my nigga Chi /  tell him that my will is weak / I'm sick of n***as lying, I'm sick of b****es hawkin' / Matter of fact, I'm sick of talkin'," he raps before a single gunshot fires.

2. DMX - "Slippin" 

DMX, who recently checked himself into a rehabilitation center for health concerns, was literally calling out for help on his 1998 single. On the song's hook, he repeatedly says, "Ay yo I'm slippin', I'm fallin', I can't get up Ay yo I'm slippin', I'm fallin', I can't get up." Furthermore, he lists the piling issues that have him feeling overwhelmed, including problems with his child's mother and greedy acquaintances.

3. Kanye West - "Clique" / "Yikes" 

After the death of his mother, Donda West in 2007, Kanye was visibly a mess. He often cried during his performances of "Dear Mama" during his 2008 Glow in the Dark Tour. And in 2012, he further revealed that he had suicidal urges. "Went through, deep depression when my mama passed, suicide, what kinda talk is that," he raps. Kanye also revealed that he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder on his single "Yikes," off his his 2018 studio album, Ye. "That's my bipolar shit, nigga, what? / That's my superpower, nigga, ain't no disability
/ I'm a superhero! I'm a superhero," he raps.

4. Lil Wayne - "Mad" 

Complex Magazine's 2006 cover story asked the question "Is Lil Wayne Crazy" (an ode to VIBE's 1994 cover featuring Tupac with the same headline), but no one asked the question is Lil Wayne okay. On Solange's No. 1 album, A Seat At The Table, Tunechi revealed his battles with depression. " I wear this f***ing burden on my back like a cap and gown... And when I attempted suicide, I didn't die," he raps.

5. Kid Cudi - "The Prayer" 

It should not have been much of a shock when Kid Cudi checked himself into rehab for depression and suicidal urges in Oct. 2016. The rapper has always been vocal about his issues through his music. On his 2008 mixtape, A Kid Named Cudi, he candidly spoke about how he felt alone and that his mind is always racing. He also speaks about dying and his funeral.

6. Kendrick Lamar - "U"

On K.Dot's confessional track from his 2015 album, To Pimp A Butterfly, the Compton rapper quite simply addresses his mental illness, admitting, "I’ve been dealing with depression ever since an adolescent."

7. Joe Budden - "Only Human" 

Joe may be a problematic TV personality, but he has been advocating for mental health awareness in hip hop for awhile now. In addition to his occasional tweets regarding the subject, he has also spoke about his own battles with addiction and ill thoughts on his 2015 single.

8. Logic - "Anziety"

Logic's latest album, Everybody is a refreshing compilation of thoughtful rhymes and glorious beats. But more importantly, he calls out the industry for turning its back on mental illness. "People in the street going ape s**t Battling depression but nobody wanna say s**t." 

9. Isaiah Rashad - "AA" 

The TDE artist used his 2016 album as a way to address his battles with alcohol and drug addiction and anxiety. Shortly after its release, he issued words of encouragement to other people battling demons. "Don't go through the problems in your head alone. There's nothing wrong with asking for help. The worst thing to do is think ur alone in it," he tweeted in Oct. 2016.

10. Scarface - "Mind Playing Tricks 94"

On Scarface's 1994 track, he basically give fans an inside look at his diary, revealing his struggle with anxiety, depression, and suicide. "Dear diary, I'm havin' a little trouble with my mind state How many bullets would it take to change my mind? wait /'Sometimes I want to end it but I don't though / They tell me see my pastor but I don't go," he raps.

 

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Mac Miller performs during Behind The Scenes With Mac Miller Filming Music Choice's 'Take Back Your Music' Campaign at Music Choice on July 17, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Thundercat, Juicy J, Ariana Grande And More Pay Tribute To Mac Miller For 27th Birthday

It's not lost on many just how much Mac Miller's influence affects today's lovers of hip-hop. The rapper and songwriter's passing was a blow to the industry last year as he seemed to be hitting a special space in his creative journey.

With today (Jan. 19) being what would've been his 27th birthday, friends and musical partners are sharing stories and messages of love about their favorite Capricorn.

Frequent collaborator and friend Thundercat shared on Twitter a moment Mac helped create with the "Them Changes" artist and his family. "All three of us were in the same room, playing and creating and enjoying music with Mac," he tweeted about an impromptu session with his brothers and Mac.

"Mac was and always will be a special dude, he was definitely Lebowski to me. I will always remember a man I considered to be another one of my real brothers and best of friends in the short time we got to spend together. I miss him so much every day."

See more touching messages from Mac's friends below.

Mac was hands down one of thee freshest people I’ve met so far in life, never a dull moment. I’ll share one of my favorite moments with you guys on this most dope day. I always enjoyed getting a chance to work with him, we would spend days at a time...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

..Creating music, playing music and introducing each other to new music all the time. This is the day he met my brothers @drummaboiblue1 & @_K_I_N_T_A_R_O_ it was a bit of a whirlwind how it all happened because at separate times they both came flying...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...through the studio door at separate times of the late night. My older brother @drummaboiblue1 kicked the door in and starts rapping and making hip hop hands at Mac who was sitting at the computer and it was so intense he just turned and looked at me like..

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...”Holy shit, this is your brother?” I didn’t know what to expect next because it could have easily gone south, but I got a chance to see what made Mac so special. My brother is hands down the most amazing drummer in the world *dont at me* and what I saw...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...from Mac really stays in my heart because I watched him turn my older brothers energy into creative energy by challenging him about the title of best drummer in the world, and handing him pots & pans and things from around the studio and the house...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

..shortly after Mac turns to me & says “hey man your brother @_K_I_N_T_A_R_O_ is gonna come by, I immediately felt like there was a possibility that this would be overwhelming for Mac, as I have seen from past situations in life experience with people & us..

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...but none the less, all three of us were in the same room, playing and creating and enjoying music with Mac. For those that don’t see the significance, music and family can be a very intense experience in itself in life (if you know, you understand)....

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...it’s not always so easy and lighthearted like everyone would like to imagine it is however as it may be, the night went on,and the moment passed. Since that moment me and my brothers never really would be in that same setting and satire for years...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...the reason that this story is so special is because while we were working on what’s the use, he started going through old music and came across that song, when he played it I began to tear up and I had to keep myself together because it was so special...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...that he captured it! Almost like a photo. he turned to me and reminded me of how wild that night was and we had a good laugh about it and continued working. No one really owns any recordings of us like that, so it was really special to me...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...Mac was and always will be a special dude, he was definitely Lebowski to me. I will always remember a man I considered to be another one of my real brothers and best of friends in the short time we got to spend together. I miss him so much every day...

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

...he changed my life in a real way. Thank you @MacMiller Happy Birthday! pic.twitter.com/4HVdwj2fMs

— ashy daddy (@Thundercat) January 19, 2019

miss u.

— Ariana Grande (@ArianaGrande) January 19, 2019

Happy birthday Mac Miller! pic.twitter.com/DT31Smpbqt

— Hi-Tek (@HiTek) January 19, 2019

Happy Birthday @MacMiller. Love You Always & Forever

— THE INTERNET (@intanetz) January 19, 2019

Smile today - Mac Miller ❤️ pic.twitter.com/l5rmQDu5XE

— Karen Civil (@KarenCivil) January 19, 2019

 

View this post on Instagram

 

damn i miss this so much! i miss jamming with you and writing with you and talking about anything and everything. just watching you produce was my favorite. i miss the way you used to support me in everything that i did. i miss your smile and your tight ass hugs. i love you. happy birthday to a legend.

A post shared by NJOMZA (@notnjomza) on Jan 19, 2019 at 10:07am PST

Happy birthday to one of the purest artists I’ve ever known, Mac Miller 🙏🏾 RIP https://t.co/e8IIGaRjhx

— Talib Kweli Greene (@TalibKweli) January 19, 2019

we miss you and love you Mac Miller happy birthday

— rex orange county (@rexorangecounty) January 19, 2019

Happy bday to my brother Mac Miller i miss my bro every day https://t.co/pXAn552l1w

— juicy j (@therealjuicyj) January 19, 2019

happy birthday Mac! 👼 tell your friends you love em twice as much.

— bear (@6LACK) January 19, 2019

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20 Hip-Hop And R&B Albums That Went Platinum With No Features

Once upon a time, successful artists considered receiving a gold or platinum certification from the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) as a rite of passage to legendary status, especially if they did it on their own. Up until 2016, elite hip-hop and R&B artists were awarded plaques after one million units in album sales were sold. Now, any artist with music that goes viral overnight can join the platinum club.

After the RIAA modernized its rules for obtaining gold & platinum status in 2016, the music industry has been flooded with gold and platinum recipients, and it will only become more saturated over time. However, any rapper or R&B singer who sells over a million units without the help of outside artists should be heralded like the icons who came before them.

Since the 1980s, plenty of hip-hop and R&B artists have gone platinum with memorable music that will live on forever, but only a select few have made history by reaching platinum status without featured artists. Here are 19 albums (and mixtapes) that went platinum without other musical guests on the compilation.

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VIBE

Genres Aside, Here Are Our 25 Favorite Songs Of 2018

Keeping up with all of the music from 2018 was a full-time job, with loads of songs releasing every week and not enough ears to keep track. But the volume of music comes with an advantage: there’s something for everybody. Fittingly, our list of the 25 Best Songs of 2018 represents the multi-genre mayhem that is in everyone’s playlists this year.

Some of the entries on our list, like cuts by Drake, Travis Scott and Childish Gambino, were at the forefront of the conversation in 2018, dominating streaming services and radio around the country. Indie darling Saba made waves, and he’s included here as well. Jazz wizard Kamasi Washington dropped some of the best protest music of the year. But there are also some songs on this year’s list that spoke to the VIBE Tribe in a different way. Cardi B had hits all year, but an album cut impressed us most; Usher and Zaytoven’s new album didn’t make a huge splash commercially, but one of its songs appears here. And Beyonce appears on one of the best songs of the year that never even saw an official release–but that didn’t stop us from including it here.

Music broke the rules this year, and so did we. Read below, and tell us what surprise choices are making your songs of the year list.

READ MORE: Debate Us: The 30 Best Albums Of 2018

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