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How rap is making it okay for guys to talk about mental health

“Bro, this fucking sucks. I cannot believe it, he was blowing up bro.” These were the first words I heard mumbled through the hard 808’s that shook the room, as I made my way into one of my closest friend’s apartments.

“White Tee” by Lil Peep and Tracy was on full volume, as my homie Noah lifted his head encased with Backwood smoke and eyes welling up. He looked me right in the eyes and for the first time, I saw one of my big brothers hurting and not hiding it.

He never showed emotion like this and we always hid our depression/anxiety from each other even though we both knew our issues. We would hang out and laugh and laugh, but we would never cry or talk about why we wanted to cry.

With the music moving the room and my internal organs, I decided to sit down to experience the loss of one of the best up-and-coming artists.

I held back tears, just like Noah, as we sat without saying a word. The next song started playing, “Benz Truck” also by Lil Peep.

Lil’ Bo Peep with a brand new bitch

In the back of the club with the GothBoiClique

Iced out teeth on an iced out whip.

I was now laying down looking up at him gesturing me to take the blunt, and we started singing the lyrics though choked up voices. We had a moment of bereavement, we felt like we had lost a friend or role model.

Noah and I became closer after the passing of Peep, It brought us closer together because Lil Peep let us express our emotional tribulations to each other through the music. Being able to sing the lyrics that resonate so deeply brings people together.

Mental health is one of the many neglected aspects of the youth growing up in today’s Internet-fueled world. At this point, we all know about Kanye West’s battles with mental health and his recent lightning bolt contentment with his being bipolar.

He is embracing his pain.

With “I hate being bipolar, it’s awesome” scribbled on the ye cover, it’s obvious that West is trying to tap into the pain the youth of America is feeling in relation to their mental health. The chemically saturated, SoundCloud-listening, angry high schoolers look for relief from the pain.

No matter where it is coming from, people look for a way to numb it. Sadly, with the rise of sad SoundCloud music that has been popular with the new generation of teenage Americans, the main focus is on the coping mechanism, drugs.

We listen to music about smoking weed, sippin’ lean, popping pills, all while surrounded by the pain of growing up.

The late, great Fredo Santana said it himself in response to rapper Russ’s provocative commentary on drug abuse with a shirt that read, “How much Xans and Lean do you have to do before you realize you’re a fucking loser”. Fredo responded,

“Until I can stop thinking bout my dead homies and the trauma that I been thru in my life that’s when I’ll stop”.

With rappers actively being open about their self-medication and talking about their emotional issues headlines like ‘Future’s Drug Addiction is Killing Him & We Love It’ infuriates fans because it paints with a broad brush.

The subheading to that article doubles down by saying “The more Future raps about committing suicide by drugs, the more popular he gets,” which is insulting and accusatory to the fans who buy his records.

We understand and feel the pain Fredo and Future are talking about. Regardless of the drug abuse, the lyrics speak for so many who don’t have a voice and need this outlet of music about mental health/pain and addiction.

The flip side to this is that you are in an echo chamber of bad thoughts that keep you in a perpetual depression. In a study published in Frontiers in Psychology, Frontiers said,

“Listening to sad music and talking about sad things tended to make people feel more depressed after listening to music. This kind of group rumination was more common in younger people, and likely reflects the relative importance of both music and social relationships to younger people.”

Music has a social effect that might be contributing to the abuse of drugs and the destructive depressed behavior that we see in so many teenagers these days.

Dr. Phil is WILDIN’! Fills addict-guest’s rooms with booze and Xanax

Dr. Phil has always been an interesting character, to say the least.

He’s known for his guests, who come to discuss their various addictions and problems. What Dr. Phil hasn’t shown us is  the incredible strain the puts his guests under.

A recent investigation by STAT News has revealed how much at risk Dr. Phil leaves his guests in a room stocked with their addiction.

A former guest recently accused the host and his staff of “procuring and tempting guests with alcohol” right before taping the segment.

In 2013, Todd Herzog appeared on the show, openly an alcoholic and trying to cure his alcoholism. Herzog claims that there was a bottle of vodka left in his dressing room, and after he drank it all, a member of the Dr. Phil staff offered him xanax to “calm his nerves.”

Martin Greenberg, a psychologist that works as the show’s director of professional affairs, claims that what Herzog is saying is absolutely false.

That would be possible to believe, had there not been more accounts similar to his.

Another previous guest, former heroin addict Kaitlin, claims that a Dr. Phil staff member actually helped her get some before her segment. The worst part? She was pregnant at the time.

Why would the show do this to their guests? Apparently, to strengthen their detox.

As per STAT:

“Guests confront a painful and potentially dangerous detox as they wait up to 48 hours in hotel rooms for their scheduled taping, leading some to look for illegal drugs. One guest bought heroin with the knowledge and support of show staff, according to a family member. Another guest, who was pregnant, was filmed by a show staffer while searching for a dealer on Skid Row in L.A.”

Yet, the show staff vehemently denies any of this happening. Greenberg is quick to say that these guests are lying, simply because they were addicts.

“Addicts are notorious for lying, deflecting and trivializing. But, if they are at risk when they arrive, then they were at risk before they arrived. The only change is they are one step closer to getting help, typically help they could not have even come close to affording.”

Legit disgusting. The good news is the media is now aware, and will be keeping a watchful eye on Dr. Phil. We’ll be waiting to see what else will be uncovered.

Darryl Strawberry shares details of sex addiction, used to smash during games

Darryl Strawberry, one of the greatest sluggers of the 80s, who battled substance abuse and addiction throughout his career, spoke about another one of his vices while on The Dr. Oz Show.

According to TMZ, Strawberry told Dr. Oz that his sex addiction was such that while he was playing, he would take prospective partners into the clubhouse during games:

“It was pretty crazy. I would go between innings, and stuff like that and run back and have a little party going on. You know, I thought it was pretty cool. That was just the addiction, the drive.”

This isn’t the first time Strawberry has come out with an admission about his sexual activity during baseball games. The former Mets outfielder told Evan Cohen of SiriusXM’s Mad Dog Radio he had an entire operation, including clubhouse attendants helping him orchestrate his trysts:

“Between innings. It worked out well just how crazy it was. It kind of worked out that way. You point (a woman) out and tell the kid (to go get her).”

During his career, Strawberry was suspended three times for violating the MLB substance abuse policy. He’s been outspoken about his demons before, saying God and his wife Tracy saved him from cocaine addiction.

Strawberry became the poster child for drug use derailing a promising career, leaving many wondering what could have been for the endlessly talented Strawberry.

Still, with 8 straight All-Star appearances from 1984-1991, 4 World Series rings, 335 career home runs, and a Rookie of the Year Award, Strawberry did pretty damn well for himself.

As for the issue of sex addiction, it can be easily laughed off and minimized. But for people like Strawberry, who fall into self-defeating and dangerous behavior because of “the drive” as he called it, sex addiction can be a very serious thing.

Shoutout to Strawberry for identifying and exercising his demons. It ain’t easy.