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Mental Health & Rap Music - Maurina baker

On October 4th Kid Cudi announced that he was checking himself into rehab for help with his battle with depression through a public note on Facebook. This created a space for a conversation that is so often pushed to the back burner in the black community-one of mental health. 

Mental health in the black community is often written off as “attitude problems” or being ungrateful. Many of us have heard our parent warn us about how much harder it was for them growing up or that we just need to “pray about it” and the problems will go away. 
But it doesn’t. 
Black mental health is important especially when you are in college.
It is important when you watch a video of someone who looks like you get gunned down. 
It is important when you have to explain to people why we protest. 
It is important when you have to push aside your sadness to do homework.
Black mental health matters. 

Kid Cudi is not the only rapper sharing his struggles with his fans. Lil Wayne rapped about his failed suicide attempt on the song “Mad” by Solange. Kevin Gates and Gucci Mane have both openly talked about his issues with depression and drug dependency in interviews. Isaiah Rashad’s “Heavenly Father” chronicles his issues with self harm and depression. 
The response to Kid Cudi has been supportive and it shows that we have to allow the room for people who aren’t in the public eye to talk about their problems.  

If you need help seek it. Purdue students can utilize CAPS and get 6 free counseling sessions. Follow the link for more information. 
http://www.purdue.edu/caps/

 

“Light skinned” vs “Dark skinned” ♀

-alexis becraft

By the age of about 7 I had already witnessed my father and grandmother being called “n-----r lovers” and been told by the Black side of my family that I was adopted because I was too “light skinned.”  Though not every story is the same, many are similar coming from the “other” category, those stuck in the war between “light skinned” and “dark skinned.”  We witness see these problems arise many times on social media forms such as twitter or instagram, building the self hate within the black community to an all time high.  We also see a heavy presence of the fuel for this war within hip hop music. Popular rappers such as Lil’ Wayne with a known love for lighter skin have released lyrics like “beautiful black woman, I bet that b*tch look better red.” -Drake, “Right Above It” ft Lil’ Wayne and “Talking to my silky smooth, dark skin, chocolate, women Independent, this is y'alls anthem I like them light skinned girls But that dark skin I love Chocolate girls stand up This is y'alls anthem” -R Kelly ”Ms Chocolate” ft Lil Jon, furthering this back and forth between Africana women.  We have more recently seen the push back in lyrics such as “A lot of shit we can’t get passed/Like dark or light skin when it’s just black” –Angel Haze, “No Church In The Wild (Freestyle)” or in the making of the video for Poetic Justice x Kendrick Lamar he was quoted saying “Not Light “Vs” Dark tho, more about “BALANCE”… Given every shade of woman life, not just what da industry thinks is “Hott” 4 camera. When u put the term light “Vs” dark continues it as a BATTLE. My point 4 poetic was to spark the idea of making it an EQUAL.” but the fight to realize the very concept of equality between all beautiful shades of melanin still poses a large threat of separation within our community.

 

What Can We Do? - sydnei parker

On September 16, 2016, Terence Crutcher lost his life and became a hashtag at the hands on an officer. Officer Betty Shelby was shown and heard in police recordings murdering Crutcher. His hands were up in the air at the time he was struck...so why was he shot? He was tased first...so why was he shot? So now the question stands, what can we do to avoid becoming the next hashtag? Based on the many MURDERS, not "manslaughters," committed by police, I'm out of options. We can't have our hands up, can't reach for our wallets after instructed to, can't breathe, can't sell CD's, can't cooperate with the police. I pray for my fellow brothers and sisters every single night. I shouldn't have to hold my breath and be filled with fear every time I get pulled over. I shouldn't have to worry if I'm taking my last breaths. In an open discussion that took place in the Black Cultural Center following the Tulsa shooting, a police officer stood in front of us and didn't have a clear answer. Black lives matter; now what can we do to prevent becoming a hashtag?