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Drake song trivializes mental health

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Competition is a driving force in all creative expression, so it is not too surprising that artists often criticize one another about their artistic capabilities. The competitive nature of the music industry generally pushes artists to produce chart topping work. However, there is a serious problem when competition moves past artistry and instead attacks someone else’s mental health.

Aubrey Drake Graham, more commonly known by his stage name Drake, made such an attack on Scott Ramon Seguro Mescudi, better known as Kid Cudi. On Oct. 26, Drake released a new single titled “Two Birds, One Stone,” which directly makes fun of Kid Cudi and his recent check-in to rehab for depression and suicidal urges. This jab goes above and beyond creative competition, and is an unjustified and inhumane attack on another person.

The problematic lyrics come near the end of the song, when Drake raps, “You were the man on the moon/ Now you just go through your phases/ Life of the angry and famous/ Still never been on hiatus/ You stay xann’d and perk’d up/ So when reality set in, you don’t gotta face it/ Look what happens soon as you talk to me crazy/ Is you crazy?”

These lyrics leave no doubt as to who Drake is targeting when he references Kid Cudi’s album “Man on the Moon.” This is clearly Drake’s response to Kid Cudi’s recent Tweets that criticized Kanye West and Drake’s popularity. Though it may have been inappropriate for Kid Cudi to criticize other artists, Drake’s response went too far. His lyrics inappropriately mocked Kid Cudi for entering a rehabilitation center due to mental health issues. This attack by Drake is a sign of ignorance on his part, showing immense immaturity.

What is even more immature is the fact that Drake has not yet apologized, or shown any respect to a fellow rapper who is struggling. Even though Kid Cudi also criticized Kanye West, West still lent his support to Kid Cudi and wished him a quick recovery. At the first Los Angeles show of his Saint Pablo tour, Kanye dedicated a version of his song “Father Stretch My Hands, Pt.1” to Kid Cudi, looking past any differences that the two artists may have.

At another show in Houston, Kanye stated that “Kid Cudi is my brother,” and that “he’s the most influential artist of the past ten years and I hope he’s doing well.” This is a sign of a great artist who can separate his personal differences from more important issues, showing his support to a fellow musician during his struggles with depression. Even after Kid Cudi criticized Kanye, Kanye was able to be a better person than Drake and stand up against the stigma of mental illness.

It is simply embarrassing for a rapper of such high caliber to mock someone’s struggle with depression. In a world still not completely aware of the seriousness of mental illness, Drake exacerbated this problem by poking fun at an issue he clearly doesn’t understand.

Anders Mattson ’19 (mattso1@stolaf.edu) is from Dana Point, Calif. He majors in English and philosophy.