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Joe Budden opens up about mental health and his multiple suicide attempts

This past Tuesday was Mental Health Awareness Day — which was established in hopes of shedding light on mental illness and to provide the resources needed to help.

Artists from Katy Perry to Lin-Manuel Miranda all took time to use their platform to help share this important message, but none has done so more vigilantly on the behalf of hip-hop than Joe Budden. 

The retired Slaughterhouse affiliate and now co-host of Complex’s ‘Everyday Struggle,’ has not been shy about the path to fighting his own demons and making hip-hop a safe space for others to fight their own.

Budden was brought to tears on Everyday’s Struggle about a month ago when he and Akademicks were discussing Styles P’s interview with Power 105.1’s The Breakfast Club when the “I Get High” rapper spoke on his daughter’s suicide and the lack of mental wellness and awareness in the African American community.

Budden also spoke on the ‘Grass Routes Podcast’ for Mental Health Awareness Day. My dude gets deep about battling with suicidal thoughts before he achieved worldwide fame with his track “Pump It Up.”

“For me, there have been less than five times where I’ve actually attempted suicide,” Budden said. “That wasn’t in ’03, ’04, ‘Pump it Up’ was out then. But that didn’t mean that the days weren’t dark. That didn’t mean that the suicidal thoughts weren’t there […] when I say ’04, that’s when I didn’t really have those thoughts anymore.”

Even though he’s spoken on it before, it’s always refreshing to hear about someone’s climb out of the abyss. Budden has had worldwide success but still could not find happiness.

According to Budden, it wasn’t until stepping away from music that he was able to fully heal and process that source of his pain.

“As open as I’ve been when it comes to mental health, it wasn’t until ‘retirement’ that I was able to dive into some of the things the fans have seen. That would have never happened if I was still an active rapper. As an active rapper, I have to protect everything that comes with being signed to Shady, all the politics, all the behind-the-scenes, what it takes to get the job done.”

When you think of Kehlani, Kanye, Kid Cudi, Logic, and many others, you see that we do have an issue in our beloved industry and community that needs to be addressed. Until there are more artists committed to tearing down the stigma surrounding depression and mental wellness, we’ll still have these types of issues in our communities.

You can be the toughest or most well put together person and still suffer from issues that affect you mentally. Do not be afraid to reach out for help.