Why Hip-Hop Stars are Facing the Music

Hip Hop proves that it has the power to heal if we keep it real.

Men are usually told not to cry when they are going through pain, as being vulnerable is not deemed masculine. This is why many of them turn to music to speak up. This is what saved the Gusto Project’s latest guest Chad (formerly Chad Da Don) from depression and suicide, as he shared on the show.

In a genre that is known to be macho and tough, which certainly contributed to its popularity, Chad is one rapper who was not afraid to tell his story of pain and survival through his debut album ‘The Book of Chad’. His approach to Hip Hop is similar to that of rappers such as Eminem, who introduced us to ‘Slim Shady’, and one of the most precious people in his life: his daughter Haley. Tupac also stole the world’s heart with “Dear Mama” because the song humanized the gangster by showing us the struggle behind his ‘screw face’.

One of today’s top rappers, Kendrick Lamar, also raps about his struggle with depression and suicide. Author Jack Denton states that rappers such as Kendrick Lamar and Drake delve into their emotional sides with their lyrics and delivery. That is a stark contrast to many preceding rappers who also sang about pain but protected their hearts by maintaining the tough persona.

Vulnerability in Hip Hop therefore helps listeners identify with the pain and start healing.

Because of the notion “indoda ayikhali” meaning “men don’t cry”, the suicide rate among men is higher than that of women. But, with Chad defying his own demons, aspiring rappers will also understand that it is okay to face the music and heal through Hip Hop.