Depression Vs. Music

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.

Ye: A Journey Into the Mind of Kanye West

May 31st, 2018 was a very rare day for me at least. It was a day where I was truly happy for once, thanks to music and the inspirational vibes that surround Kanye West. In the days prior, I experienced heartbreak, sadness, and an overall feeling of depression. But from 12am-1am I was finally happy and actually maintained a real smile on my face. Did an album by Kanye West cure me of my depression? No. However, it gave me insight into someone who I look up to who experiences similar problems.

The Bi-Polar disorder is something that’s been in my life for many years now because someone very close to me was diagnosed with it in the past. Since then, it’s been a part of my life and even helped me understand things better when I was diagnosed with my major depression and anxiety. Seeing Kanye West smile in front of his friends, family, colleagues, and press while presenting his newest piece of art is truly inspiring. Kanye West has had a rough period during 2017-2018 with constant press and quotes coming to haunt him when he just wanted to display his perspective on life and the inner workings of the world. After all the negativity and constant barrage of insults and abandonment from fans and friends, it’s good to see Kanye West smile and rise above all the negativity surrounding his life. Ye is not just an album, it’s an experience for everyone to discover.

Watching the live stream party in Wyoming reminded me heavily of 2016’s release of The Life Of Pablo which featured Kanye West presenting his new line of clothing and playing his album for the first time in Madison Square Garden. However, this time it felt more personal. I even joined my brother in watching some of this stream because Kanye West has always been someone we’ve enjoyed listening to and watching him progress through each album he releases. The release of Ye was truly inspiring because of the energy and happiness you could feel coming from across the country. One man did this by himself, Kanye West brought these people together for this special event. Whether or not you actually like Kanye West, one must admit this is quite the spectacle on paper and in execution.

The release of Ye taught me many things that I’ve been able to examine after my five listens of the seven-song album. But the biggest takeaway from this album is to be yourself and people will like you for who you, are not what they want you to be. For example: previously this year Kanye West took a very controversial political stance on United States politics and was attacked heavily for his thoughts and opinions, and yet here we are in Wyoming where he is surrounded by those who love, care, and support him. These individuals set their beliefs and the beliefs of Kanye West aside in order to show their allegiance to their friend and support him while he presents them with a once in a lifetime experience to hear this album live with everyone else.

This is exactly the type of positive actions we as humans should take in order to work towards a peaceful world. Take away the money, beliefs, and possessions and we’re all the same. Support your friends and family in life so they can accomplish amazing things and overcome the many obstacles that life will inevitably throw at them. Ye not only came out at an important time in Kanye West’s life, it also came out when I needed to feel like myself again. We all make mistakes, but it’s the mistakes that make us stronger and wiser. Ye is more than an album to me, it’s a statement on love and how people should be treated. Kanye West will return on June 8th with his collaborative album Kids See Ghosts with Kid Cudi. I’ve been looking forward to this type of project for more than five years now and if Ye was any proof of the type of Kanye West we will be seeing this year, I sincerely cannot wait for this new album to come out.

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