Not even JAY-Z is too cool for therapy, and rightfully so.
In a brand new interview with The New York Times, Hov gave therapy his biggest co-sign, explaining how it rewired his perspective on himself and his external struggles.
"I grew so much from the experience,” he explained to NYT’s executive editor Dean Baquet. “But I think the most important thing I got is that everything is connected. Every emotion is connected and it comes from somewhere. And just being aware of it. Being aware of it in everyday life puts you at such a ... you're at such an advantage."
With mental health—both its discussion and treatment—so heavily stigmatized in hip-hop as well as in the Black community, to have JAY-Z come out and directly support self-care is invaluable. Far too often people allow their mental health to fall by the wayside and let their illnesses consume them because the stigma around depression and the fear of being perceived as weak seemingly outweighs the benefit of seeking help.
As more and more artists begin to speak up and write songs about their own personal struggles, however, the hope is their openness translates into more conversations, less stigma, and a greater percentage of people getting the help they need.
"You have to survive,” JAY-Z said. “So you go into survival mode, and when you go into survival mode what happen? You shut down all emotions."
That shutdown, Jay cites, is one of the reasons for his infidelity, and on a broader scale, he points to this shutdown as something we should all strive to battle and work through. Shutting down, he seems to argue, may be a reasonable response to pain, but it’s not the only way to prove your strength. Baring your soul takes a whole other level of resilience, and should be equally celebrated.
With the addition of JAY-Z’s voice, the conversation surrounding mental health awareness in hip-hop will only get louder.