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Psych & Hip Hop: Pioneering the Conversation on Mental Health in the Music Industry

The words "Psych & Hip Hop" spray painted on a brick wall

A show about how hip hop music can positively influence mental health

Photo of a woman wearing a t-shirt with the words "Psych + Hip Hop"

Natanya Wachtel, host of Psych + Hip Hop

Photo of a hip hop performer

T Mo from Goodie Mob

Photo of a hip hop music producer

Rico Wade

Recorded just before the passing of influential music producer Rico Wade, T Mo shares some inspiring insights into hip hop culture

ATLANTA, GA, USA, April 23, 2024 /EINPresswire.com/ -- In a bold endeavor to fuse the raw energy and truth of hip hop with the introspective and healing potential of psychology, the innovative talk show "Psych & Hip Hop" makes its debut soon. This series of intimate conversations, conceived by Dr. Natanya Wachtel, brings together a unique collaboration with the talents of Fuego Base, Mr. Cheeks, and other key figures from the music industry to tackle the complex interplay between mental health and the cultural narratives of hip hop.

The Urgent Call for Mental Wellness in the Music Industry
Just a day after a revealing interview on Psych & Hip Hop” with T Mo Goodie, an original member of the Goodie Mob and one of the originators of the Atlanta Hip Hop scene under the influential Atlanta music producer Rico Wade, tragic news came. Rico, known for his work with the iconic group Goodie Mob as well as the legendary group, OutKast, tragically passed away at the young age of 52.

His unexpected death casts a somber light on the pressing issues faced by many within the music industry—issues that are often overlooked or unaddressed in mainstream discussions about artist welfare. Dr. Natanya Wachtel, host of the show, emphasizes the necessity of this platform: “Rico Wade's death is a stark reminder of the unseen battles many in the music industry face. Our show aims to illuminate these struggles through candid conversations, providing a voice for those who often suffer in silence.”

T Mo’s Reflections on Community and Resilience
During a poignant episode, T Mo shared insights into the soul of hip hop as more than a musical genre—it's a powerful community force for confronting and overcoming personal and collective adversities. "Hip hop is our narrative, our pain, our joy, and our triumph. It's how we speak truths that society shies away from," said T Mo.

Supported by Science: The Influence of Hip Hop on Mental Health
Recent studies, including a prominent NIH study, support the show's mission by demonstrating the profound impact hip hop has on mental health perception and behavior, particularly among youth. The research underscores the genre's potential to positively shape audience attitudes toward seeking help and breaking the stigma surrounding mental health issues.

Insights from NIH: Empirical Support for Hip Hop’s Impact on Mental Health
The foundation upon which "Psych & Hip Hop" is built is underpinned by several scientific studies exploring how hip hop music advances the discourse on mental health and reduces the stigma particularly among young men in Black and Latin communities. Kresovich et al (1) noted that between 1998 and 2018 there were “significant increases in the proportion of songs with references to suicidal ideation, depression, and metaphors representing a mental health condition” which “correspond with increasing rates of depression, anxiety, and suicidal ideation” in the US and throughout the world. They go on to describe rap artists as “among the most recognizable celebrities in the US, serving as role models to an increasingly diverse audience of listeners. Through their lyrics, these artists have the potential to shape mental health discourse and reduce stigma.”

It is already well known that having famous people talk about their mental health makes it easier for the layperson to understand and discuss. “Disclosure stories by famous people who despite their celebrity status are perceived to be similar to the target audience in some respects are more likely to lead to positive stigma change” (2). What makes rap and hip hop so important is the creative language used by the artists makes the messages more accessible to their audience than that typically used by mental health professionals: “reliance on metaphors might be used to discuss this difficult subject less overtly and in a way that might be viewed as more socially accepted by peers and audiences” (1).

Integrative Media Approach: The Natanya Experience and Beyond
"Psych & Hip Hop" is part of a visionary trio of shows that include "The Natanya Experience" and "Game Mindset", each designed to spotlight different facets of mental resilience and transformation. "The Natanya Experience" invites audiences into stories of unexpected transformations and the courageous individuals who dare to make substantial life changes, helping to improve the world. It celebrates personal change and empowerment, inspiring listeners to embark on their journeys of self-discovery and societal contribution. Meanwhile, "Game Mindset" focuses on the psychological fortitude of athletes, exploring how the pressures of sports can forge mental strength that transcends the playing fields, influencing broader cultural norms about health, perseverance, and recovery.

Cultural Commentary and Societal Impact
These shows collectively aim to redefine the narratives surrounding mental health in their respective realms. By presenting stories of adversity and success from the worlds of hip hop, sports, and personal transformation, they provide a holistic view of the challenges and triumphs involved in overcoming mental health stigmas.

Community Engagement and Call to Action
"Psych & Hip Hop" and its sister programs, #GameMindset and “The Natanya Experience” encourage active listener engagement, offering a platform for voices often unheard in mainstream media. These discussions are not just about sharing struggles; they are about collaborative problem-solving and collective healing. Each episode includes calls to action, motivating the audience to take steps toward personal well-being and community improvement.

Dr. Natanya Wachtel explains "Each story we share is a thread in the larger tapestry of societal healing. Through 'Psych & Hip Hop,' 'The Natanya Experience,' and 'Game Mindset,' we are stitching together a narrative of resilience that spans different cultures and communities, highlighting the universal nature of mental health challenges and the diverse paths to overcoming them and connecting with all different kinds of people along the way." T Mo adds: "In hip hop, we've always used our music to fight against oppression and to speak out for the community. Now, we're using it to fight against the silence around mental health. This show is a platform for that battle, bringing our inner struggles to the forefront and showing that it's strong to speak up."

About Psych & Hip Hop:
Psych & Hip Hop is a pioneering talk show that integrates the fields of psychology and hip hop to explore the significant impact of cultural expressions on individual and community mental health. Each episode features compelling discussions with artists, producers, and mental health experts, providing a multidimensional look at the psychological aspects of hip hop and its influential capacity.

"Psych & Hip Hop" is not just a show; it's a movement aimed at fostering a deeper understanding of hip hop’s role in broader societal shifts. It challenges the negative stereotypes and predatory nature often associated with the music industry, highlighted in recent critiques. T Mo reinforced the point "This platform is crucial for us in the hip hop community to express not just the glamour and success, but the real struggles and the resilience it takes to overcome them. It's about bringing our full truth to light and helping others along the way."

These new shows are more than entertainment; they are a call to action—a beacon for those seeking to understand the psychological undercurrents that influence our lives through the lens of popular culture. We are building a dialogue that not only entertains but also educates, heals, and inspires.
Together, these programs weave a narrative of resilience and transformation, inviting listeners to challenge the confines of their narratives and to embrace the potential for personal growth and societal change.

Want to learn more or be a guest? Reach out to the bookings department via the contact information below.

Reference:
1. Kresovich A, Reffner Collins MK, Riffe D, Carpentier FRD. A Content Analysis of Mental Health Discourse in Popular Rap Music. JAMA Pediatr. 2021 Mar 1;175(3):286-292 (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7921905/)
2. Corrigan PW, Kundert C, Laique A. The Impact of Contact and Fame on Changing the Public Stigma of Mental Illness. Community Ment Health J. 2022 May;58(4):673-678 (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/34269923/)

Matt Enos
New Solutions Network
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contact@newsolutionsnetwork.com
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T Mo Goodie talks about his hip hop origins

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