Japanese men are becoming cool. The suit-and-tie salaryman remodels himself with beauty treatments and 'cool biz' fashion. Loyal company soldiers are reborn as cool, attentive fathers. Hip-hop dance is as manly as martial arts. Could it even be cool for middle-aged men to idolise teenage girl popstars?
Hip-hop artists Tupac and Eminem are among the most iconic music artists of the past two decades, and as Dr Akeem Sule and Dr Becky Inkster, co-founders of HIP-HOP-PSYCH, write, their lyrics can provide a valuable insight into the lives of some of the people most at risk of developing mental health issues.
Kendrick Lamar’s major-label debut album good kid m.A.A.d. city, released in October 2012, provides rich narratives relating to important mental health themes, including addiction, depression and stress resilience, according to the co-founders of HIP HOP PSYCH, a new initiative to tackle mental health issues through hip-hop.
The two worlds of hip-hop and psychiatry are being brought together in a unique project led by researchers at the University of Cambridge, which aims to use the lyrics and music of artists such as Nas and Tupac to help tackle issues surrounding mental health.