Depression is more common than you might think, it affects over 16.1 million Americans and continues to become a daily factor in life. In life depression can be hard to handle, coming from someone who has it himself. It can eat at you and tear you down, depression is relentless. Sometimes medicine, therapy, and other treatments simply don’t work and at that point, it usually seems hopeless. There is, however, a silver lining in life: music. Music is an art form that can be interpreted in an infinite amount of ways. These interpretations can create an endless string of insightful and intuitive thoughts. Now more than ever, depression and other mental health issues are becoming a known problem in the world, especially in America. With a bigger focus on these disorders, artists have taken it upon themselves to put these feelings into words and more importantly into music. With a growing rate of depression in the world comes a growing rate of musicians who attempt to combat depression by presenting their interpretation of their thoughts and feelings.
More recently, however, artists have come to abuse this message for personal gain. The main artist on my list is Drake. Drake is known for being a “soft” and “vulnerable” guy who just wants to succeed, yet is he really worthy of being an icon for mental health? It is a known fact that humans have and show a variety of emotions on a daily basis, however, is Drake frequently depressed and upset about things? While we may never truly know this answer, it’s easy to agree that Drake is not that icon. Drake has even gone against those who suffer from depression themselves in the past especially Kid Cudi in 2017.
In 2017, Drake released “Two Birds, One Stone” which was a diss to Meek Mill, Pusha T, and most notably Kid Cudi. At this time, Kid Cudi was going through personal issues and had been in rehabilitation. Kid Cudi was very vulnerable during this time, yet Drake still decided to take the shot at him regardless. I firmly believe everyone in rap music can be criticized and dissed, especially when it’s beneficial for both parties involved, except this, wasn’t beneficial for Kid Cudi in any way, shape, or form. Calling someone out while they are actively seeking help is the exact opposite of beneficial. This shot by Drake only further shows why he shouldn’t be an icon. By dissing someone who is in a depressive and dark stage of their life you’ve not only brought negative attention and remarks to the already hurt person, but you’re also making their treatment harder to get through. Nobody in this world wants to be called out for doing the right thing, especially when they are taking care of their own psyche. By supporting Drake and his actions, we as a society are taking two steps back.
With suicide becoming a rising statistic in the world, it is up to us to stop it. It is up to the people of the world to do their best to support someone who is going through tough times. Lending a hand to a fallen friend is what ultimately brings people together. Unification in 2018 is essential. Far too often we hear about more and more suicide cases each year such as Chester Bennington, Chris Cornell, Kate Spade, and Anthony Bourdain most recently. This constant growth is what we as a society need to talk and be concerned about. Per year, roughly one million people will commit suicide. We need a positive icon to combat this statistic. While each person has their own opinion on who should be the face of mental health one thing is for sure: Drake is simply not that icon.