Chance The Rapper Discusses Mental Health Battles

Chance The Rapper

Chance the Rapper won three Grammy awards just last month, but perhaps his biggest victory is getting a grip on his mental health struggles.

The independent artist—born Chancelor Johnathan Bennett, talked with Complex magazine about his past traumas and how they created mental health woes. He watched his close friend die in a street fight in 2013, but said he hadn’t been diagnosed with PTSD or attempted to receive such a diagnosis.

“I don’t ever want to convince myself that I’m hindered by any of my experiences,” he said. “There’s definitely a lot of things that have happened in my life that would cause me to think a certain way or feel a certain way. But I don’t label those experiences as traumatic events. They are events that were paradigm shifts in my life, but I don’t know if they cause a disadvantage.”

However, he is a fervent supporter of mental health access and encouraging discussions about it in the African-American community. Other hip-hop influentials, including Kanye West and Kid Cudi, are also helping open up that conversation. Chance said that many people in the black community are reluctant to talk about mental health because it’s often perceived as a sign of weakness, so removing the shame and stigma around it is vital.

“A really big conversation and idea that I’m getting introduced to right now is black mental health. For a long time, that wasn’t a thing we talked about,” he said. “I don’t remember, when I was growing up, that really being a thing. Now I’m starting to get a better understanding of that part of my life.”