Kid Cudi, Mental Illness, and #YouGoodMan — Let's Talk About It

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By Jamillah Rahmaad

Rapper Kid Cudi recently used social media to show transparency and discuss the taboo subject of depression. The topic of depression are especially held quiet within the black community. Cudi, days before the set release of his upcoming album Passion, Pain & Demon Slayin', spoke with fans about his mental health.

Kid Cudi publicly admitted to checking into rehab to deal with depression and suicidal urges. Cudi stated that he was ashamed to live a lie because so many see him as a leader and hero. The rapper took to Facebook to express his mental health with fans.

Kid Cudi’s admission, created the open social media dialogue under the hashtag #YouGoodMan.

Depression isn’t a topic that gets light on social media, especially within the hip hop culture. Many other Black men suffer from depression yet, do not talk about it.

In speaking with Nick F. Nelson, author of STAY TUNED and Chief Marketing Officer for LIQUID SOUL Marketing Agency, I gained deep insight into why Black men quietly fight internal battles.

Nelson made great points about Black men suffering in silence. He attributed three reasons for this distress: childhood experiences with emotions, trust issues, and limited resources.

Nelson explained how pop culture is only recently acknowledging taboo issues within the Black community. “A prime example of this can be seen in Lee Daniels hit show EMPIRE,” says Nelson. “In EMPIRE, Andre Lyon, played by Trai Byers, suffers from mental illness, a disease which appears to have been passed down from his Grandmother. Over the past two seasons we have seen how both his parents, Lucius and Cookie Lyon, have struggled accepting and addressing the disease. As a result, Andre shuts down and battles with it primarily in silence. Unfortunately, for many Black men — unlike — EMPIRE, mental illness is not's a reality.”

We have to realize that men are dealing with the same life issues and circumstances as women, regardless of their outside appearance or demeanor. Most men fear being viewed as “weak” when they display their emotions.

“This fear discriminates and affects Black men from all walks of life, even those who are the most successful and on the surface look like they have it all together,” explains Nick F. Nelson. “There is no better example of this than former Def Jam Vice President Shakir Stewart, who in 2008 shocked the music industry when he took his own life.”

In Nick F. Nelson’s new book, STAY TUNED, he discusses overcoming emotional turmoil from losing his father and pastor in one year, running an award-winning marketing agency, caring for his mother who suffers from Alzheimer’s disease, and caring for his family. He discusses how he found resources and revisited life lessons to steer away from his breaking point.

We applaud Kid Cudi for his courage and authenticity in spotlighting mental health issues. His transparency will help so many people, especially Black men, seek help.

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Jamillah Rahmaad is a Public Relations Consultant located in Atlanta, GA. A Flint, MI native, Jamillah works with business owners to build brand awareness and connect with their target audiences. Learn more about her at Connect with her on social media at @Jai_Soapbox.

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