alexa How can hip-hop help the mentally ill?

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How can hip-hop help the mentally ill?

The co-founders of Hip-Hop Psych, a new UK-based initiative tackling mental health issues through the music of hip-hop, have penned an article for Lancet Psychiatry assessing how mental health issues are addressed in the lyrics of rap megastar Kendrick Lamar. "Kendrick Lamar is a rapper from Compton, CA, who, since 2011, has released three full-length albums. His most recent album, ""To Pimp a Butterfly,"" was released in March of this year and has had a sensational effect not only within hip-hop but on the global music scene overall. The album is currently rated as the number one album of 2015 so far on the music review aggregators Metacritic and Rate Your Music. Hip-Hop Psych describe their initiative as ""the interface that links hip-hop music and culture with mental health."" ""Our medical credibility and authentic passion for hip-hop enables us to bridge this gap,"" claims the description on the organization's website. ""We understand the culture and speak the language. We want to share our knowledge in order to cultivate awareness, empower others and remove stigma surrounding mental health and hip-hop..."" ""Hip-hop lyrics go far beyond the swearing, the rapping about money and exploitation of women,"" argue Hip-Hop Psych. They assert: ""Hip-hop music is rich with mental health references related to addiction, psychosis, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and so on, as well as multiple environmental risk factors (e.g., urbanicity, poor nutrition, destructive parental influences resulting in childhood maltreatment in the absence of positive role models) and predisposing genetic and epigenetic risk factors."" In their article for Lancet Psychiatry, Hip-Hop Psych co-founders Akeem Sule and Becky Inkster analyze Kendrick Lamar lyrics that explore themes of alcohol misuse and its relationship to depression. According to Sule and Inkster, ""Swimming Pools"" - inspired by Lamar's heavy-drinking grandfather - examines the genetic and environmental risk factors that can increase risk for alcohol addiction."

 
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