Chance Rapper shares thoughts on mental health, talks about his own ‘dark days’



Chance the Rapper was this week’s guest Peace of mind with Taraji. Artist and host Taraji P. Henson explained “How the pressure on black men to ‘Man Up’ affects their mental health.” Chance, no stranger to mental health advocacy, shared his own struggles with the “dark days” and his take on therapy.

Chance the Rapper | BET2020 / Getty Images for BET NETWORKS

Chance the Rapper’s thoughts on therapy

Henson asked Chance if he had had “dark days yourself”.

“Definitely,” he replied. “Lots of dark days… Yeah. I saw my friend get killed in front of me when I was 19. I’ve seen people I didn’t know get killed too, like, and you get kind of like, insensitive to that. Like, someone else died last week. But it stays with you, you know what I mean? And you don’t realize that until later, like it could have lasting effects and things. “

Despite the lasting effects the rapper talks about, he didn’t seek help from a therapist (for good reason). He has reaped the rewards of couples therapy, however.

“I have done relationship counseling, which has been extremely helpful in my marriage, and we still meet with our counselor occasionally,” he said. “But I don’t have a therapist. And I believe in therapy, I’m just, you know, I don’t necessarily have confidence in going to a stranger and telling them all about my life. I have been through a lot.

It’s a problem that Chance feels in a lot of black men, hesitant to give someone their life story.

“I think black men are naturally guarded,” he said. “You have to be kind of… your weakness is the prey. So I think it’s a defense mechanism. You’re going to a funeral, like you don’t want to cry, you know what I mean? You don’t want to submit to the feeling of the kind, that weakness, like, you know, it just takes a lot to be cathartic, to love, to cry, to love to empty yourself.

Give the example

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But Chance is hopeful that things will change, now that more and more black men in the public eye are willing to show their emotions.

“So leading by example, fo ‘sho’,” he said. “When you show emotions, it allows others to show emotions. Trying to give your kids and your, you know, the people you influence a space to talk about how they’re feeling, and a space to feel what they’re feeling. Like, talk about how you feel.

Chance thinks it’s a “cool thing” that celebrities are starting to talk more about mental health. But, in the end, it is not enough.

“That kind of dialogue in these kinds of spaces weren’t there, you know, just a few years ago,” he said. “But yeah. Now it’s like we’re ‘good’ people, but we’re not the ones who make the big decisions. We’re not the ones who, you know, write the biggest checks. kind of thing has to happen. And, our lawmakers and the, you know, billionaire companies. “

Chance the Rapper nonprofit, SocialWorks

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Thanks to its association, social works, which focuses on “education, mental health, homelessness, and the performing and literary arts,” Chance has done a lot in the mental health sector.

“A few years ago I first met, you know, a friend, someone I knew from my childhood, who was suffering from a mental health crisis, basically,” he said. he stated about his involvement in the mental health space. . “And his family and friends had exhausted their efforts for years and years trying to help. I didn’t know much about this stuff. There’s probably a ton of situations where people, you know, we just thought of them as ‘crazy’ or ‘they were tweaking’, but they were actually going through a, you know, a chronic mental health disorder. But, there came a time when I was trying to find a place where he could stay, didn’t there? So, I try to find out where I can take someone who is the same age as me, but who does not have the same means. And like, the kind of care he needed wasn’t available in town, right? Or, it was very, very hard to find… So I basically met the team, along with Justin and Essence, at SocialWorks. And we basically found every possible mental health initiative in the city of Chicago, then in Cook County, then finally all over the state of Illinois. And, created this app that allows people to get in touch, whether it’s an in-person or telehealth meeting, with a mental health service provider, and get the help they need, instantly from from their phone, and it’s free… I feel like it’s something that we’re all, like a mainstream, we’re starting to be like, ‘Okay, yeah. Like, health goes beyond our physical state. ‘ “

You can watch the full episode of Peace of mind with Taraji here.


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