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Lil Wayne advocates mental health in new interview

Long-time rapper and musician Lil Wayne has opened up about his experiences with depression, suicide, and mental health, advocating that people speak up and recognise when something isn’t right.

Lil Wayne has been featured in the latest episode of Emmanuel Acho’s ‘Uncomfortable Conversations’ on YouTube, where he discusses his experiences with mental health and details a suicide attempt at age 12.

‘I shot myself in the chest’, he says during the video. Police raided the house after kicking down the front door, and Wayne believes it was God that saved him.

His recovery and renewed faith in life afterwards changed his relationship with his mother, and Wayne now has a ‘much healthier set of tools’ to tackle mental health issues.

His sincerity and candid openness marks a significant moment in hip-hop and pop music, and is evidence of the industry’s shift toward authentic expression and vulnerability in previously uber-macho spaces.

It’s hard to image the Lil Wayne from 2010 who released ‘Drop the World’ being as frank and up-front about his life in the way he is today, eleven years later.


Why is this a big moment for the industry?

Lil Wayne’s conversation is another example of the industry shifting away from ego-centric self-aggrandization and instead leaning into confessional honesty and transparency.

We’ve written before about how mental health has become a larger focus across the board in music over the last decade, with hip-hop and trap seeing the quickest evolution in themes and tones.

It follows a similar shift in celebrity culture too, as audiences and the general public becomes more receptive to mental health issues and privacy.

The use of social media to express feelings of anxiety or depression has made the connection between an individual and their audience much more fluid and authentic.

This can be seen in sport alongside music and celebrities. Just in the last few months, top professionals have pulled out of finals due to mental health concerns. Tennis player Naomi Osaka resigned early from the French Open this year, later tweeting to explain her actions and opening up about her bouts of depression.

We’re likely to see more public statements such as Lil Wayne’s interview throughout this decade and beyond.

Gen Z is paving the way for a more empathetic, genuine, and healthy relationship between creators, professionals, and audiences. The more top-end figures being this open, the better for everyone.

 

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