This post was originally published on Defender Network

By Laura Onyeneho

Megan Thee Stallion’s latest solo track, “Cobra,” delves into a realm often explored in hip-hop: mental health. Her candid portrayal of her emotional struggles in the song is both brave and long overdue.

Megan Thee Stallion isn’t new to confronting challenging subjects. In her previous battles, she stood strong in her fight for artistic independence, making “Cobra” her first independently released song since leaving her longtime label after a bitter legal dispute.

The title itself holds a message of courage and renewal. As she explained on social media, “Cobra” symbolizes standing tall and fierce in the face of adversity, a lesson we can all take to heart. The vulnerable process of cobras shedding their skins mirrors our own ability to let go of the past and focus on self-improvement.

This bold step by Megan is significant, as it signifies a larger discussion in the world of hip-hop. While rap music has often been known for lyrics about hustling, getting’ money, having fun, poppin’ bottles, among other things, we can’t forget the unapologetic realism and raw storytelling that includes songs about mental health and depression.

She has confronted numerous hurdles, most notably the traumatic incident involving Tory Lanez, who has since been sentenced to prison. With Lanez’s sentencing, Megan’s supporters are emphasizing the pressing need for improved protection for Black women who face abusive situations. Her advocates have rallied around her, offering words of encouragement and urging others to address issues of infidelity and mental health within relationships.

Furthermore, Megan candidly shares her experiences with depression, Megan boldly confronts those who seemingly abandoned her when she needed their support the most and the loss of her parents for emotional and moral support.

Megan joins a growing cohort of artists who are unafraid to embrace their struggles with mental wellness, reinforcing the idea that “it’s okay not to be okay.”

The conversation around mental health is not confined to lyrics alone. Megan’s personal journey is exemplified by her work with “Bad B—— Have Bad Days Too,” the resource website she launched. It connects individuals with diverse mental health and substance abuse support services, including therapy for marginalized groups, a crucial step towards inclusivity.

Moreover, Megan’s willingness to share her experience resonates with a long line of hip-hop artists who have chosen to confront their mental health challenges through music.

Here Are a Few Rappers Who’ve Been Transparent About Their Mental Health:

Suicidal Thoughts

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My Minds Playing Tricks on Me

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So Many Tears

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I Feel Like Dying

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Pursuit of Happiness

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The list goes on and on.

As we continue to celebrate 50 years of hip-hop, we have to dismantle the stigma surrounding mental health and encourage others to embrace their inner strength, especially through the art of rap. Megan’s journey is more than a personal revelation; it’s a call to action. Open up and reach out for help.

If you know anyone going through a mental health crisis, visit the Mental Health of America of Greater Houston site and view a list of resources and emergency contacts.