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Content Analysis of Rap Music Shows Increased References to Mental Health

Dec 07 2020
Awareness and visibility of mental health have increased across popular culture, and new research demonstrates that this trend includes rap music. Researchers conducted a content analysis of 125 rap songs popular in the U.S. between 1998 and 2018 and found that mental health references increased significantly over the 20-year period. Overall, 28% of the songs referenced anxiety, 22% referenced depression, 6% referenced suicide, and 21% used a mental health metaphor. As many of the artists whose music was analyzed were younger Black men, this increased visibility of mental health issues could represent an important shift in discourse in a particularly vulnerable population. To learn more, see the study in JAMA Pediatrics.