A new study shows that the top rap songs in the U.S. are making increasingly frequent references to depression and suicidal thoughts.
- The most popular rap songs in the U.S. are more frequently making references to mental health problems, particularly suicide and depression.
- A research team analyzed lyrics from the top 25 most popular rap songs released in the years 1998, 2003, 2008, 2013, and 2018, examining the lyrics of artists such as Eminem, Drake, Post Malone, Lil' Wayne, Juice WRLD, Kanye West, and Jay-Z.
- References to suicide rose from 0% to 12%, and references to depression from 16% to 32% over the last 20 years.
Lyrics and mental health<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDk3NTMwNC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNzY1MTAzOX0.LucgHFKGAeqMPYhdVTgEZBN1qlPW1C2DX77M4A17PlE/img.png?width=980" id="520ba" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d770fd1d5acafd765747a28c344b3efa" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="944" data-height="573" />
Credit: Alex Kresovich et al. / JAMA Pediatr.<p>The lyrics were analyzed for references to anxiety (e.g. "Do you experience nervousness or shakiness inside, faintness and dizziness?"); depression ("Went through deep depression when my mama passed…"), and suicide or suicidal ideation ("Only once the drugs are done / Do I feel like dying.").</p><p>Overall, the researchers found that about about one-third of the 125 songs referred to anxiety, 22 percent to depression, and 6 percent to suicide. Alarmingly, these percentages had more than doubled in 2018 as compared to 1998. </p><p>Zooming in closer, general mental health-related metaphors in the lyrics had increased from 8 percent to 44 percent over the two decades. References to suicide rose from 0 percent to 12 percent, and references to depression from 16 percent to 32 percent over the last 20 years. Anxiety-related references did not increase significantly. </p>
America's youth is not okay<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="e8c85c5d93f972abcb6a5aee50c5f14e"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/BLKuqdAoGvg?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>This isn't just a rapper thing, as <a href="https://www.healthychildren.org/English/health-issues/conditions/emotional-problems/Pages/Anxiety-Disorders.aspx" target="_blank">research trends</a> over the years are indicating that young Americans are not okay. The trend in emotionally darker rap lyrics mirrors what has been referred to as the "mental health crisis" in the United States.</p><p>Some data has found that psychological stress and suicide risk as rocketed from 2008 to 2017, and that's particularly true among 18 to 25 year-olds. The prevalence of "major depressive episodes" among US adolescents <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/138/6/e20161878" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">also increased from 2005 to 2014</a>. According to X, anxiety affects around 30 percent of adolescents, with 80 percent never seeking treatment. The crisis reached a fever pitch in 2017 when the suicide rate among 15 to 24 year olds in the United States peaked at its highest level since 1960. From 2007 to 2017, suicide rates among people aged <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/nchs/products/databriefs/db352.htm" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">10 to 24</a> rose by a grim 56 percent. Another <a href="https://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/144/5/e20191187" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">analysis</a> found that suicide attempts among Black youth <a href="https://www.apa.org/news/apa/2020/01/black-youth-suicide" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">rose by 73 percent</a> from 1991 to 2017, while declining for whites.</p><p>The finding that rap lyrics have increasing references to mental health problems is significant because of the genre's popularity amongst American youth, who now spend nearly <a href="https://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/article/2017/time-with-tunes-how-technology-is-driving-music-consumption/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">40 hours per week</a> listening to music. The authors note that rap artists influence "the development of these young people's identities." </p><p>The researchers noted that they could not determine "whether these lyrical references to mental health are due to rap artists' desires to self-disclose or to instigate discussions about mental health," according to the study. "Because rap is an autobiographical art form, the artists and younger adults may have observed and reflected national trends of distress experienced by themselves or people close to them." </p>
Shifting social stigmas<p>Over the past two decades, rappers have begun to embrace emotional vulnerability in ways they hadn't previously, for example Kanye West and J. Cole. In fact, researchers of the study suggested that the increase of references was linked to Kanye West's 2008 album "808s & Heartbreak," noting that artists such as Drake, Juice WRLD, and Post Malone (all of whom had songs examined in the study) have nodded to West's album as having had influence on their music styles. Even before male emotional introspection and mental health were part of the mainstream discourse, they were being embraced in rap. </p><p>More research will be necessary, the authors write, to understand "how this music can improve the mental health of its listeners or how it might lead to greater risk." In conclusion, the authors highlight that the study underscores a need to examine rap music and now, depending on the messaging, it may be able to reduce stigma surrounding mental illness by putting it in the spotlight. </p>
You'll get access to fitness classes, history lessons, Playstation Plus, and much more.
- In an age of subscription services, bundles are the way to go.
- With this epic entertainment bundle, you'll have access to all the yoga, language learning, and peaceful sleep you'll ever need.
- Bonus: the one-year subscription to Playstation Plus is a gamer's dream.
Think you can solve it? One mathematician has already offered about $1,000 and a bottle of champagne to whoever cracks it first.
- The puzzle involves a particularly complicated type of magic square.
- Magic squares are square arrays containing distinct numbers, and the sums of the numbers in the columns, rows and diagonals must be equal.
- In 1996, the recreational mathematics writer Martin Gardner offered $100 to whoever could solve a 3x3 magic square — but using squared numbers.
docdroid.net<p>Given that you need each column, row and diagonal to add up to 15, you'd need to fill in the empty squares with a 9, 7 and 8. </p>
docdroid.net<p>That may be easy enough. But magic squares become far more difficult when they use squared numbers, a concept <a href="https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-you-solve-a-puzzle-unsolved-since-1996/" target="_blank">first exemplified</a> by the 18th-century mathematician Leonhard Euler. </p><p>Since, mathematicians have generated various configurations of 4x4 magic squares of squares, including 5x5, 6x6 and 7x7 versions. But nobody has yet proven that a 3x3 magic square of squares is possible — or impossible, for that matter.</p><p>To date, there have been at least two prizes offered to whoever can solve this longstanding puzzle. Martin Gardner, a science and mathematics writer who was perhaps best known for devising recreational mathematics games that appeared for 25 years in a column published by <em>Scientific American,</em> offered a prize of $100 in 1996 to whoever could crack the code first. </p><ul> <p>"So far no one has come forward with a "square of squares"—but no one has proved its impossibility either," Gardner wrote in 1998 in <em><a href="https://blogs.scientificamerican.com/observations/a-quarter-century-of-recreational-m-2010-05-26/" target="_blank">Scientific American</a></em>. "If it exists, its numbers would be huge, perhaps beyond the reach of today's fastest supercomputers."</p></ul>
Melancholia I. (A 4x4 magic square is depicted in the top right of the painting.)
Dürer's<p>In 2005, the mathematician Christian Boyer raised the stakes by offering €1,000 plus a bottle of champagne to anyone who could complete a 3x3 magic square of squares — using seven, eight or nine distinct squared integers. (Boyer also offered a prize for anyone who can show the puzzle is impossible, and he lists smaller prizes for other unsolved puzzles on his <a href="http://multimagie.com/indexengl.htm" target="_blank">website</a>.)</p><p>While both prizes remain unclaimed, some people have come close to solving the 3x3 magic square of squares, like this configuration listed on Christian Boyer's website.</p>
From novels to movies and beyond, this 11-course bundle will jumpstart your writing career.
Andy Samberg and Cristin Milioti get stuck in an infinite wedding time loop.
- Two wedding guests discover they're trapped in an infinite time loop, waking up in Palm Springs over and over and over.
- As the reality of their situation sets in, Nyles and Sarah decide to enjoy the repetitive awakenings.
- The film is perfectly timed for a world sheltering at home during a pandemic.