10 Rap Songs That Address Mental Health Struggles

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Powerful Rap Songs About Mental Health And Depression

The conversation around mental health and depression isn’t new — it’s just been encoded in music for years. Today, we look at 10 old and current rap songs about mental health and how hip-hop has always been an outlet for artists to share their struggles.

Artists turn to music when it feels like no one else will listen. They pour their hearts out, with soulful melodies and lyrics, hoping someone out there can relate to what they’re going through.

Rappers paint pictures of the human mind going through its best and worst times. In this sound trip, we’ll look into 10 hip hop songs about mental health offering solace, sympathy, and a sense of unity in a place where our souls are bare.

Related: On Hip-Hop’s Birthday: Some Inspiring Quotes By Great Rappers

10 Rap Songs About Mental Health And Depression

1. TUPAC — “SO MANY TEARS” (1995)

“I shall not fear no man but God / Though I walk through the valley of death / I shed so many tears.”

“So Many Tears” is one of the beautiful rap songs about mental health that Tupac made. This song is about how life can really take a toll on you mentally and physically. 

It’s also about how you’re the only person who will ever be able to understand that because no one feels it but you — so it’s like you’re the only person in this world with so many tears, even though in reality everyone has probably cried as much as you have before.

2. KID CUDI, RATATAT & MGMT — “PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS (NIGHTMARE)” (2009)

I’m on the pursuit of happiness, and I know / Everything that’s shine ain’t always gonna be gold.”

Kid Cudi, known for his introspective style, teams up with Ratatat and MGMT in “Pursuit of Happiness (Nightmare).”

This is one of the important rap songs about mental health as embodies the constant chase of being happy when haunted by anxious thoughts. The different beats show the internal struggle and make it a tune anyone stuck between happiness and nightmares can relate to.

3. EMINEM — “Not Afraid” (2010)

“I’m not afraid to take a stand / Everybody, come take my hand / We’ll walk this road together, through the storm / Whatever weather, cold or warm.”

The song “Not Afraid” is a powerful anthem that encourages people to keep pushing on. As the lead single from Eminem’s seventh studio album, “Recovery,” the track reflects Eminem’s newfound determination to confront his inner demons and emerge better than ever. 

Throughout the song, Eminem acknowledges his past struggles with addiction and his fear of failing. Instead of letting these things consume him, he makes clear that it only makes him want to do better and take control of his life.

Related: Eminem Quotes To Inspire You To Your Core

4. KENDRICK LAMAR — “U” (2015)

“Loving you is complicated, I place blame on you still / I crave shame on you still, my resentment’s too revealed.”

Kendrick Lamar’s “U” from the album “To Pimp a Butterfly” is one of the iconic hip hop songs about mental health that grip self-exploration.

Lamar confronts his own demons and insecurities, providing a brutally honest portrayal of internal strife. The raw emotion in his voice reflects the authenticity of mental health battles, offering a mirror for listeners to confront their own reflections.

5. THE NOTORIOUS B.I.G — “SUICIDAL THOUGHTS” (1994)

 “I swear to God I want to just slit my wrists and end this bullshit / Throw the Magnum to my head, threaten to pull shit.”

This is one of the hauntingly prophetic rap songs about depression by The Notorious B.I.G. It delves into the darkest corners of the mind in “Suicidal Thoughts.” The lyrics narrate a conversation with a therapist, exposing the internal struggle between life and death.

The intensity of Biggie’s words makes the listener confront the harsh reality of suicidal ideation, fostering awareness and empathy.

6. LIL WAYNE — “I FEEL LIKE DYING” (2007)

“Only once the drugs are done, that I feel like dying, I feel like dying.”

Lil Wayne’s “I Feel Like Dying” captures the paradoxical sensation of numbness in the face of overwhelming emotions.

The psychedelic beats coupled with Wayne’s introspective lyrics create a sonic landscape that mirrors the complexity of mental health. The track resonates with those who have felt the weight of their emotions pulling them into a surreal abyss.

7. LIL UZI VERT — “XO TOUR LLIF3” (2017)

“Push me to the edge, all my friends are dead / Push me to the edge, all my friends are dead.”

Lil Uzi Vert’s “XO TOUR Llif3” is one of the most popular hip hop songs about mental health as it explores the aftermath of a tumultuous relationship and the toll it takes on mental well-being.

The haunting melody and Uzi’s emotive delivery capture the essence of heartbreak and the emotional aftermath, providing a cathartic experience for those who have experienced the rollercoaster of love and loss.

8. LOGIC, ALESSIA CARA & KHALID – 1-800-273-8255 (2017)

“I want you to be alive / You don’t gotta die today.”

Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid collaborated on “1-800-273-8255,” named after the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.

This is one of the most popular rap songs about depression or suicidal thoughts and encourages listeners to reach out for help. The powerful message underscores the importance of acknowledging and addressing mental health struggles, emphasizing that help is just a phone call away.

9. MAC MILLER — “SELF CARE” (2018)

I switch the time zone, but what do I know? / Spending nights hitchhikin’, where will I go?

In “Self Care,” Mac Miller reflects on the importance of taking care of oneself amidst life’s chaos. The song is a reminder that mental health requires attention and self-compassion. Miller’s introspective lyrics convey the journey toward self-discovery and the significance of prioritizing personal well-being.

10. JUICE WRLD — “LUCID DREAMS” (2018)

 “I have these lucid dreams where I can’t move a thing / Thinking of you in my bed.”

Juice WRLD’s “Lucid Dreams” is one of the most important hip hop songs about mental health as he died a year after the release of this song. It delves into the aftermath of a broken relationship, exploring the haunting nature of heartbreak.

The melodic rap reflects the anguish and vulnerability that often accompany the end of a significant connection, providing solace for those grappling with the emotional fallout.

Related: 10 Best Songs To Wake Up To Gently For Good Morning Vibes (Your Morning Playlist)

Rap is a remedy for the soul, a sanctuary in which many can find peace, comprehension, and bonds that nothing else could give. 

These rap songs about depression or any other mental health struggles are proof that music can break walls and bring people together.

As the beats pound, so do the stories… and when they do, you’re left with a quilt of voices. These voices mimic the struggles of life but also offer comfort at the same time.

Which is your favorite among the rap songs about mental health? Share in the comments below!


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