While critics love to pick apart rap music for its violent lyrics and glorification of drugs, crime and alcohol, researchers in the United Kingdom believe that the music can be used as a treatment for mental illnesses such as schizophrenia and depression. According to The Guardian, the group says that hip-hop provides individuals with a sense of empowerment and self-knowledge that could be exploited to help people tackle their own psychological problems.
Cambridge University neuroscientist Becky Inkster and consultant psychiatrist Akeem Sule of the South Essex Partnership Trust have teamed up to form Hip Hop Psych. The two describe Hip Hop Psych as a social venture to promote the use of hip-hop as an aid to the treatment of mental illness.
“There is so much more to hip-hop than the public realizes,” said Inkster. “I grew up in the 90s during the golden era of hip-hop, when it exploded into mainstream culture. It is rich in references to psychiatric illnesses that have not been properly explored and which could be of enormous benefit to patients. We want to work with rappers, charities, medical groups and others to promote its real potential.”
According to The Guardian, Inkster and Sule will outline the ideas behind Hip hop Psych next week at the University of Cambridge Festival of Ideas.