The genre is often blamed for glamourising violence and misogyny but a new study reveals that rappers are prioritising mental health and social angst in their lyrics

Rap is often blamed for glamorising gang culture but a study analysing lyrics from America’s Billboard 100 chart shows that it is actually providing a vivid commentary on social angst, malaise and mental health.

The data – amassed from lyrics in songs featured in the end-of-year charts from 1958 to 2017, using a computer program called TextBlob – reveals that the most popular music genre in the US may also be its most depressed. A rise in rappers discussing mental health has led to a significant spike in the number of tracks mentioning suicide, depression, anxiety and prescription drugs .

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Mental health is a level of psychological well-being, or an absence of a mental disorder; it is the "psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment".

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19 April 2019