Jay-Z covered a lot of ground in his newest album 4:44, but one topic that seems to have gotten lost in the fray: his discussion of mental health and therapy.
Jay released the most recent “Footnotes” video to compliment the album, and this time he discussed the stigma of therapy in the black community. He said,
“We can’t go to get therapists. You crazy at that point. It’s like, ‘A psychiatrist? You crazy.’”
And of course, the irony lies in just how much someone like Jay-Z, who grew up around so much violence, might need to talk it out. He added,
“Three of your brothers are dead and your mother used to beat you. You need help. Someone needs to talk you through why you’re feeling these feelings.”
Jay also enlists Michael B. Jordan, Chris Rock, Trevor Noah, and Meek Mill to discuss the complex topic.
Jay-Z had actually rapped about his therapist on 4:44 in the song “Smile”:
“Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian / Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take; My therapist said I relapsed / I said, ‘Perhaps I Freudian slipped in European whips.’”
The fact that Jay-Z is even going so public about his therapy is pretty ground-breaking. According to NAMI (National Alliance of Mental Illness), only about 25% Black Americans seek out mental health care, compared to 40% of white Americans.
To watch Jay-Z’s latest “Footnotes” video, head to Tidal.