Denzel Curry On Why Labels Should Pay For Mental Health | Genius News

[RUSSEL] Hip-Hop has lost a number of it’s
youngest voices, from Lil Peep in 2017 to Xxxtentacion and Mac Miller in 2018 Juice
WRLD in 2019 and most recently Pop Smoke in 2020. Many of these acts talked about their mental
health issues in their music. And a lot of people are talking about whether
record labels should foot the bill for musicians’ emotional health. Denzel Curry: Labels should pretty much give
mental health a real serious look because look at how many people died because they
have mental health issues. [RUSSEL]
Genius News sat down with Florida’s Denzel Curry to find out why he believes labels should
make artists’ mental health a priority. Denzel Curry: They don’t provide like therapists
or, you know, somebody to talk to or a way to get through it. We talk about stuff we writing about, but
nobody’s really paying attention because, you know, at the end of the day it’s about
money. [RUSSEL]
And he’s far from the only rapper noting the lack of support from the labels that rely
on them as artists. Wale: Artists generate so much revenue and
I think that might be the least they can do… analyzing what the artist is going through
because a lot of us are open books. [RUSSEL]
Denzel told us how therapy helped him through one of the most difficult times in his career. Denzel Curry: “Clout Cobain” and the majority
of ‘Taboo’… around that time I was really going through a lot with my life, you know,
things I couldn’t deal with myself. Denzel Curry:
I tried to the best of my abilities to, you know, put it on record. And even then, that still didn’t help cause
I really wasn’t giving time to really sit down with myself… Then, I had a nervous breakdown. I had to go to therapy. Therapy helped a lot… Writing helps, music does help, but is it
enough? It’s not enough… That’s why you go to therapy, for an escape. [RUSSEL] And Dr. Inger Burnett-Zeigler, a
clinical psychologist at Northwestern University, agrees. DR. ZEIGLER: There is some substantial research
that demonstrates that creatives are more likely to suffer from depression and bipolar
disorder. [RUSSEL]
A 2019 study by digital music distribution platform Record Union found that an astounding
73% of independent musicians suffer from symptoms of mental illness. Another 2019 survey by ASCAP found that music
creators are 31% more likely than the general population to say that their health and wellness
have a major impact on their careers. Denzel Curry: We be going through a lot of
stuff, especially artists like myself. We have months on the road without seeing
our families, without seeing our friends. And we gotta worry about the pressures of
the next album, we gotta worry if we’re gonna recoup our money back in time, we gotta
worry if people are gonna like our stuff or not. And then we have more stuff at home on top
of that. [RUSSEL]
But despite needing these kinds of resources, musicians generally work as independent contractors
for record labels – meaning they don’t get the health insurance of full-time employees. And starting out, most artists aren’t making
enough money to pay for it themselves. MENNO: Everyone who works at the label 9-5,
goes into their office, they have healthcare. But the hundreds of artists that they have
out on the road touring, who are out there earning the money that pay all these people’s
salaries, don’t have health benefits. And I find that kind of backwards. [RUSSEL]
That’s Menno Versteeg, founder of Toronto’s Royal Mountain Records. His label has made mental health a priority. Home to indie rock acts like Mac DeMarco and
U.S. Girls, Royal Mountain gives every artist on its roster a yearly stipend of $1,500 to
pay for mental health-related expenses. MENNO: You know, I’ve had multiple friends
die from either addiction or suicide, depression on the road. I’m just a person who saw a problem because
I lived it for 20 years and wanted to try and help that problem. [RUSSEL]
Menno Versteeg founded Royal Mountain Records in 2009 and made headlines when he started
the mental wellness program in 2019. He says his artists typically use the money
towards resources like therapy or addiction counseling. There was one artist that came to me and said,
“You helped me save my life.” And it just… makes me think. [RUSSEL]
Canadians do get free healthcare, although it doesn’t cover mental health. That means the money is coming out of Menno’s
bottom line. Still, he chooses to finance his artists’
well-being because he feels it’s the right thing to do. The goal was like, treat every band the way
I would want to be treated. That was kind of the mantra. [RUSSEL]
Royal Mountain is one of, if not the, first music labels in the industry helping artists
tackle mental health in this way, making Menno’s model a first of its kind. In the rap world, there’s still some stigma
around therapy and mental wellness. But those in the game addressing the topic
are making a difference. DR. ZEIGLER: A lot of folks in the black community
don’t trust mental health providers. I think, you know, Charlamagne speaking out
is really important. When people speak up and out about these issues,
it makes more and more people comfortable. [RUSSEL]
In December 2019, the performance rights organization ASCAP launched a health and wellness program
called TuneUp that provides support groups as well as wellness services and events for
its members. While TuneUp is a great first step, there
is a lot more work that needs to be done. And we’ll have to wait and see if more music
labels will invest in similar programs and business models that nurture mental health. MENNO: I think it needs to be normalized,
it needs to be a cost of doing business. We use music as an escape but putting the pressure on us to keep producing that stuff that we initially thought to help us escape, we feel trapped. I’m Russel Abad with Genius News bringing
you the meaning and the knowledge behind the music.

100 thoughts on “Denzel Curry On Why Labels Should Pay For Mental Health | Genius News

  1. Canadians dont get free health care😂, we pay threw taxes and the health care system is shit, im waiting for almost a month for results to see if i have hepatitis like i might as well just help myself at this point, freaking liberals trying to make everything seem good because it cares about the peoples fealings 😂.

  2. Wild that people could disagree with this. Like the artist is who is making you millions of dollars and if your artist isn't healthy they won't make you as much money so fucking take care of them.

  3. How about you take your millions and provide your own medical help. Or have it worked in to your contract. Too much to dissect here, but hey.

  4. Its really good to hear denzel talk about seeing a professional. I remember an Everyday Struggle where he was kinda dismissing therapy so now hearing someone who is super mentally disciplined (doesn't do any hard stuff and trains in muay thai) still decide he isnt one hundred percent alright is important.

  5. If y’all rappers can buy all that jewelry,cars,drugs,clothes, and flash all that money y’all can pay for y’all’s own therapist/shrinks!!

  6. Denzel is fucking real. Whenever hes in the news hes always bing ing important and serious matters to life and always keeping it real !

  7. In 2019, Denzel Curry featured on a track called Grim by Wiki. This song deals with mental health issues in such a great way with some ridiculously hard bars and flows. One of Zel's most under rated features.

    My favourite lines are:
    "Telling myself that I be fine, is the point where it's scary, yes"
    "You only think deep when a fucking shrink speak."

    Link to the track:

  8. I pay therapy sessions for my mental health and im a part time worker in college, finding it hard to understand why the label should cover it if literally any form of healthcare covers therapies

  9. I don’t think lot of the music labels care about artist’s mental health. The artist is putting out music and it’s raking up sales and streams. Besides that they don’t give a shit what the artist does

  10. Denzel Curry is underrated rapper and the way he talked about mental illness in the music industry, even the artist through it himself, makes him to be intelligent.

  11. This is cool with all the rappers and all that but I think it would be a cool side series if they just brought other artists like Harry styles, Lewis capaldi, and coldplay(just examples(also don't judge I'm a depressed nigga rn that's all I listen to))

  12. Can we PLEASE get more of this instead of editorials glorifying dumb mfs like Tay-K killing niggas that look like us? Thanks. 💯💯

  13. Denzel Curry is one of the most genuine rapper in industry, we can really understand what is he trying to say or we can feel him

  14. Or at least give them fentanyl test strips if they're going to be popping pills they are better off knowing wtf is in them. It's a damn shame how many we've lost to this damn drug. How many more do we need to lose before we start taking this issue seriously and doing something about it?!

  15. You take a 19-20 year old. You sign him. You you give him advances. You're A&R brings drugs and women around him. Give him 20k advances here and there. He goes from quiet and reserved to xanned out and perced out and dead or in trouble with the law on the first 5 years. They are curating a troubled druggy image for the labels financial benefit and then slinking away from the convo when it goes bad

  16. If you get rid of the mental health issues. There won't be rap. Everything that is rapped about can be considered bad mental health.
    They rap about fucking hoes. When a correct mind wants loyalty with a wife and kids.
    They rap about drugs. When a healthy mind wants to stay sober.
    They rap about spending lots of money on useless crap. When a healthy mind knows the right thing to do is give back.
    They rap about being up and out all night with friends. When a healthy mind wants to pick up a book and educate yourself.
    You see. Rap/hip hop is bad mental health. We all struggle with some sort of mental health because of the way corruption has infected society. So we all gravitate towards negativity.
    If the world was uplifted. We would gravitate towards more uplifting soft classical music.
    But until then.

  17. Mental health is half the battle. If it worked it would save half the rappers that died this generation. However 3 of them at least would still be gunned down. R.i.p.

  18. Honestly, if you’re an artist, you have to speak to your manager or have to look for help yourself. YOU as a person have willpower to go out and seek help.

  19. It’s not a bad idea. They would even consider it an investment in their “product”. Since they will be used as a commodity, you might as well fight for the perks of being a commodity. I’m sure a good agent can argue for why it would be beneficial for the label to provide mental healthcare services. The ultimate goal, of course, is to be viewed as an actual human being 😂😅.

  20. Another valid example of how Denzel Curry needs to be just as mentioned in terms of educated relatable rappers as J. Cole

  21. I think labels shouldn’t pay but I think they should come with some kind of insurance and automatic protection and mental therapist.Money can make you the worst side of yourself or someone who looks out for everyone

  22. its about more than giving artist mental health, its about revamping the music industry. it's about music labels giving record deals to artists with conscious message,and positive vibes…not this emo rap trash, mumble mouth slur speech raps. depressing vibes lead to depression!

  23. Okay, I understand what this video is trying to achieve, but can we recognize that in the intro they mentioned 4 artist that write about mental health, but 3 out of the 4 was killed by their own hand while X was murdered!!

  24. Bruh, tighten up. Everybody stressing about getting that money. Nothing new. That ain’t mental health that’s life

  25. Of course creatives suffer the most. You have to struggle in poverty to get anywhere because no one wants to actually buy the content, and streaming platforms pay a pittance for plays. So its a risk and constant stress for most of us that dont already have some cash saved to make a creative field our career.

  26. They aren’t going to do that because the record companies are about money! And if you don’t make enough money, then they will get rid of you!

  27. FINALLY THE IMPORTANCE OF MENTAL HEALTH IS REACHING OUT TO THE MISOGINISTIC , VIOLENT, SUPERFICIAL RAP COMMUNITY! Don’t get me wrong I love hip hop listen to it everyday, but most of these rappers are fucked up in the head.

  28. Mental health has everything to do with Ego…

    Labels capitalize off of EGO, hello 👋, all at the exchange of your soul.

  29. Most of these rappers that died, died because of drug use. Dont act like they dont rap about doing drugs and making it seem cool

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