Veteran ATL rapper and noted conspiracy theorist B.o.B is gearing up to release Ether, his fourth studio album and the first since parting ways with his former major label home at Atlantic Records, this Friday, May 12.
On Monday (May 9), the now independent artist stopped by Sway in the Morning to promote the forthcoming album, speaking with hosts Sway and Heather B. about achieving success at an early stage in his career, receiving hate mail (read: messages on social media) and his battle with depression.
During the interview, which runs just north of half-an-hour, Sway asks B.o.B if the line "I have a little confession, a battle with depression," taken from the song "Avalanche," is real or if it's just a play on words.
"I feel like everybody has highs and lows," B.o.B begins, adding, "Maybe some people's lows aren't low enough to call it depression, but as a musician, you have some real high highs and some real low lows."
As Logic articulated on Monday in an interview with Zane Lowe, the life of a recording artist is rife with feelings of anxiety, depression and isolation. Unfortunately, it's not easy to transfer those feeling into music for public consumption because so often that fan reaction isn't supportive or positive.
"When you're taking real life experiences and putting it into your music, depending on how that's received, it kind of affects you," B.o.B continued. "Like, 'Damn, that was a miscalculation. People didn't really like that one. Or people didn't really get that idea.'"
Although mental health remains a touchy subject in the urban community, stigmatized as a weakness and not as a disease, a growing number of artists in the hip-hop and R&B landscape have opened up about their battles with depression over the past 12 months, including Isaiah Rashad, Kid Cudi, Syd and Stormzy.
"For me, sometimes depression is a season," he said. "Sometimes it's snow, sometimes it's cold. But it's just me being honest. I don't feel like everybody is honest. That's the vulnerability I choose to have. I embrace it."
While it's hard for many people to embrace flat earthers, embracing honesty and vulnerability is actually quite easy. It's human nature.