mental health by Joshua Eferighe August 9, 2019
Wale has been in album mode ever since dropping the single “Gemini (2 Sides)” this past July and if there’s been any indication that he’s out here it’s been his heavy presence online.
Whether it’s his classic self-deprecating tweets on being single, sparking debate on breakfast, where to find the best sandwiches and ramen, or calling himself the greatest rapper of all-time, the D.C native has gone viral a couple of times over these past weeks.
He hasn’t even done a press run yet.
In the midst of his one-man promo campaign, the 34-year-old rapper managed to cause a stir on something a little more worthwhile than failed loved and fast food. Yesterday (Aug 8), Wale shared a clip on social media where he speaks on mental health issues that he’s dealt with in the past.
Just hear me out https://t.co/yPzlEXpEji
— Wale (@Wale) August 8, 2019
During the conversation, the “Ambition” artist listed reasons that record deals should encompass mental health insurance. Not only was Wale on to something, but other notable names also cosigned, further signifying that maybe something of the liking should be done.
“You’ve gotta remind yourself who you are especially with like celebrities,” Wale stated.
“People — Monday everybody– you going to bed, looking at your comments everybody telling you you’re the greatest and by Friday everybody telling you that you fell off and you’re the worst. It’s difficult. I think that record deal should come with mental health insurance, to be honest. I think it should be part of it.”
At the very least, Wale’s timing is on cue. The past couple of years have been a watershed moment for mental health and destigmatizing the conversations surrounding it. Kanye West, Chance The Rapper, Royce Da 5’9 and more have come forward admitting struggling with mental health not to mention Cudi checked into a rehab facility for treatment back in 2016.
According to notes from the physician search firm Merritt Hawkins in a 2017 report, the United States is suffering from a dramatic shortage of psychiatrists and other mental health providers and online counseling sites like Talkspace have grown up to 80 percent in recent years.
Wale went on to say that when it comes to success “there’s no map” which makes it easy to “spiral at any time.”
“It’s hard to keep yourself in check because there’s a lot of enablers and the thing that’s even worse than enablers now is people who are so determined to not be an enabler that all they do is they think they giving you tough love but they kicking you when you’re down,” he added.
When you think about it, artists take on a lot — from their label wanting the numbers, critics wanting the same thing and fans wanting more — and unless you’re knowledgable of how to invest in doing so, seeking out the resources to properly tend to your mental health could be an overwhelming task.
What Wale is suggesting is instead of giving these SoundCloud rapping kids millions of dollars, to also give them a means of checking up on themselves with the burden that comes with fame.
Instead of drugs, why not provide, or even mandate, a therapist?
I spent most of my career being trolled and self sabotaging and being sick and depressed tryna numb myself this my duty
— Wale (@Wale) August 8, 2019
If labels really cared like they said they did, they’d listen to the “Lotus Flower Bomb” rapper and add mental health insurance to their label deals. Until then I guess we’ll see.