Within the last week or so mainstream media covered two random acts of violence committed by African-American men who acted out after their significant other decided to part ways with the relationship. One murder-suicide was in California and the other suspect out of Cleveland is said to still be at large during the writing of this piece. As a mental health professional I cannot say that those breakups were the sole reason that these men reacted in a violent manner. What I can say is that when those Black women with whom they were supported took away their emotional, spiritual, and mental support that these men could not cope with the loss and decided to behave in a manner that cost at least two people their lives. Once someone is told that they are no longer wanted or needed some people struggle with trying to rediscover their identity. Some people get wrapped up into their associations that they forget their own likes, dislikes, hobbies, and other aspects of their personality. It happens to spouses, athletes, high profile entertainers, and Rappers. If someone has been married for over thirty years or played a professional sport for decades and then they retire or are no longer able to serve in the capacity in which they are accustomed to that’s where the problems lie.
One of the problems we have in Rap music is that we don’t embrace the legends that came before us. That was not always the case but at some point during the early 21st century the generation gap widened due to the relationship that the younger generation formed with technological advances. Oftentimes Rappers and Emcees are abandoned by their fans before their careers climax. Rap music today is so quickly digested and if an artist doesn’t get past the five year mark they struggle to find or recreate their public persona. If you don’t eat, sleep, breathe Rap music than it may be hard to understand. But if “ball is life” what happens when you’re done balling? It may be easy for some people to transition into life without but it isn’t that easy for everyone. A lot of people make attempts at normalcy or try to replace what they lost with something else which doesn’t always pan out. If you’re going through a breakup, filling that void with someone else isn’t always the answer.
Separation anxiety isn’t only for young children going off to school or parents sending their children off to college. That’s why we have to take time out and listen to one another rather than dismiss. It’s easier to dismiss someone and their feelings especially if you have your own issues going on. It’s easy to jump on the bandwagon and dismiss Rappers and Emcees that have been in the game but what happens to that Rapper or that Emcee when we stop listening to their music? What happens when they stop touring? What happens when their income is drastically reduced? If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? Trees fall everyday with no one by their side. No longer being supported by your roots makes a difference that’s why it is important to be mentally strong as well as emotionally, spiritually, and physically strong. You have to have the mental fortitude to continue in the space of Rap music and Hip Hop Culture but you have to be ready for the moment when you are no longer in the spotlight. Although mental health is a touchy subject for some but we can no longer continue living in this manner.
Whatever you’re going through, you don’t have to go through it alone. The Lifeline is here for you, 24/7, at 1-800-273-TALK (8255)