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Jay-Z Rapped About His Therapist, and Twitter Had a Lot to Say

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It was just one line in a song, but it started a conversation about therapy we’re more than happy to get behind. Jay-Z, who released his new album “4:44” on Friday, raps in one of the tracks called “Smile“:

Mama had four kids, but she’s a lesbian / Had to pretend so long that she’s a thespian / Had to hide in the closet, so she medicate / Society shame and the pain was too much to take; My therapist said I relapsed / I said, ‘Perhaps I Freudian slipped in European whips.’

The line, “My therapist said I relapsed,” brought people in the mental health community to Twitter both praising the rapper and encouraging others that it’s OK to get a therapist, too.

Of course, whenever a celebrity speaks out about therapy, there’s an accessibility factor. Yes, it’s good to talk about therapy, no one should feel ashamed for going to therapy, but that doesn’t help if you can’t afford it.

Even after the passing of the Affordable Care Act, 15.9 percent of black people in America, versus 11.1 percent of whites, were still uninsured in 2014. On top of that, minorities often report experiencing racism and microaggressions from therapists. Less than 2 percent of American Psychological Association members are black — meaning it’s probably less likely a black person will have access to a therapist who looks like them. One study found therapist often discriminate against both poor patients and people of color.

Clearly, destigmatizing therapy isn’t that simple.

We’re glad Jay is speaking up and getting help — we just hope everyone can afford to rap about their therapist one day.

Image via Wikimedia Commons/Joella Marano

Originally published: June 30, 2017
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