Emerging Scholars Fellowship: Mental Health Within R&B and Hip-Hop Music

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Janelle is a researcher in the 2016 class of the Emerging Scholars Fellowship. Read blog updates from Janelle and her fellow scholars here.

Recent media conversations surrounding mental health have increased after R&B singer Kehlani publically (and bravely) shared her struggles following a recent suicide attempt. Trouble ensued after Kehlani uploaded a photo of herself in a hospital bed shortly after being admitted. Since then many people, both celebrities and fans alike, have criticized and horrifically taunted Kehlani, claiming that the attempt to end her life was fabricated and was only done in efforts to gain attention.

kehlani

Kehlani

First, we must recognize that invalidating a survivor’s lived experience is both despicable and cruel. There is no place for it. Moreover, we as a culture must remember that the famous people we place on pedestals are just that— people— who are prone to experience the same kinds of hurt and pain that you and I encounter every day. Sometimes, life just happens. And in those moments it does not matter who you are, where you are from, or how many followers you have, because life can and will eventually hurt.

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