Hip Hop Therapy fuses psychology and Hip Hop to create moments for people to vent through struggles and cope.
Over the years, musicians across all genres have used their work, and platforms, to acknowledge some universal struggles and this act of standing together is proving to continue to compel progressive change. For one, Hip Hop Therapy has apparently been gaining more attention as having mental health advantages.
Hip Hop Artists have touched on some of our toughest issues, including mental health, in different ways. For example, cancer has also been a detriment that has hit the lives of most within our society. Furthermore, bullying has led to an epidemic of younger people committing suicide. For instance, 8-year old Gabriel Taye (May he rest in peace).
Last year, though, Kevin Gates shaved his head to stand with a child that had been diagnosed with cancer and was bullied for hair loss.
Again specifically in Hip Hop, also recall when Eminem made an emergency landing for a fan that had been diagnosed with a fatal illness that ultimately took the young teen’s life only a day after his visit with Mr. Mathers. The family even mentioned that the teenager had sat up and smiled during his visit with Eminem. Though, the young man had not done either in a while. Additionally, Artists such as Drake, Rihanna, and Nas also have used their success to shine light on different tough issues and stand with those suffering these varying afflictions.
Hip Hop Therapy lets you address issues like these that may have arisen in your own life in your own music.
Essentially, many in Hip Hop, over time, have addressed illness, mental health, and addictions at some point in their careers. That said, here’s a quick look at some of the most transparent lyrics as related to some of these issues in Hip Hop:
“It’s gon’ be some stuff you gon’ see that’s gon’ make it hard to smile in the future…keep ya’ head up…no fairy tales for this young black male, some see me stranded in this land of hell, jail, and crack cells…my childhood years was spent buryin’ my peers in the cemetery… against all odds, though life gets hard, we carry on, livin’ in the projects, broke, wit’ no lights on, to all the seeds that follow me, protect yo essence, born wit’ less but you still precious…”
-Tupac via “Smile“
“…She take the loss ’cause she don’t wanna’ see her child lose so respect her or pay up for the time used, and then she runs to the Pastor, and he tells her there will be a new chapter, but she feels no different after, and then she ask him, ‘ Where my money at’…”
-Lil Wayne via “Sweetest Girl“
“…Makin’ mills tryna’ O.D., I’m in the Hills tryna’ find peace, these Bel Air neighbors so nosey, Black, Draco got me cozy…”
-Future via “I Thank U“
“To live is to struggle…was it my fault? Something I did? To make a father leave his first kid? At 7 doin’ my first bid, back on the scene at 14 worked a scheme to get mo’ cream than I’d ever seen in a dream and by all means I will be livin’ high off the hog…actions become vulgar, heart got cold, chip on my shoulder…used to get high just to get by…”
-DMX via “Slippin’“
In addition, a research study was completed over the last several years to statistically assess the health benefits of Hip Hop. The hypothesis that “under a specific set of conditions rap music would improve the therapeutic experience and outcomes for youth” was partially supported in 2002. However, in 2017, an updated research study suggests there is more research to be completed before that can be confirmed.
Still, though, the Hip Hop Therapy Global Institute founded by Tomás Alvarez III seems to be having positive results.
It “combines community-defined strategies with proven therapeutic techniques in an effort to help youth heal, grow and lead…” according to the official website. Also, according to LA Weekly, Kid Cudi entering rehab in November 2016 also raised even more awareness of the benefits of implementing this form of counseling. Further, the youth praise the practice. So, data may just have to catch up to Hip Hop Therapy.
On top of all this, from teachers using rapping in classrooms to you listening to your favorite Hip Hop song that reminds you that the struggle is apart of life- Hip Hop continues to prove that not only does it engage- Hip Hop heals. Would you try Hip Hop Therapy?