Today is #BellLetsTalk Day, an initiative started by Bell Canada which aims to end stigma surrounding mental illness. For every call, text, tweet (using the hashtag), or Snapchat (using the geofilter), Bell will donate $0.05 to organisations that deal with the issue.
In honour of the event, we’ve pulled together 4 of our most inspirational interviews, in which some of hip-hop’s most well-respected share stories of coping and overcoming their own struggles with mental heath.
4. Tech N9ne
Before Tech N9ne established himself as rap’s most successful independent artist, he too faced personal demons. 10 years sober when we spoke to him in late 2014, Tech opened up about his past struggles with addiction, and what factors lead to him quitting the substances:
3. Royce da 5’9″
2016 marked a personal comeback to form for Royce da 5’9″, with the Slaughterhouse emcee hitting a milestone of 5 years sober. The year also saw the release of Layers, an open-book of a solo album, featuring some of Royce’s most potent and person rhymes to date.
While on tour to promote the project, Royce sat down with us to touch upon some of the biggest difficulties he had to overcome on his journey to sobriety. “Everything was awkward”, explained the Bad Meets Evil member. “I didn’t realise it while I was drinking, but once I sobered up, everything that I did felt weird, and that let me know that my body and brain was [sic] just used to doing everything under the influence”:
In recent years Run-DMC’s DMC has established himself as champion of helping combat mental health stigma. In our interview with the hip-hop legend from last June, Darryl McDaniels gives advice on how folks could maintain their positivity: “The first thing you’ve got to do is wake up, and do something for somebody else”:
Last summer, the rapper released a new motivational memoir titled, “10 Ways Not to Commit Suicide”, which can be purchased here.
1. Charles Hamilton
Charles Hamilton has been through the storm and lives to tell the tale. From a famed flawed deal with Interscope, to disappearing from the spotlight, and coming back more triumphant than ever, Hamilton is the true embodiment of a comeback story. In this 2015 clip, Hamilton recalls some of his darkest moments during his dark past, and how music helped him through it all:
As fun or carefree as my interviews can often be, I have always made it a point to help inspire those in need. Being able to relate to our favourite artists on a deeper level, hear their words and know that we are not alone in whatever life may throw our way is of high importance. As humans, we must realise that we do not have to struggle silently throughout these adversities. Talking opens the door to progress, to change, and to clarity. To find out more about #BellLetsTalk, click here.