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.

Author Since: Mar 11, 2019

  1. mention of a record label in toronto but no mention of the many toronto artist that have been killed in these last few years

  2. I feel kind of guilty because when artists are hurting, thats when they usually make some of their best stuff. I love the music, but sometimes we become too selfish and do not think about the artist on how he/ she is really doing based on the words they're saying in their music.

  3. He's right. The labels really fuck up artists. Manipulating them and then earn more from them posthumously. But when it comes to lean, Xannies etc, the labels have no issues coming through

  4. Woah woah woah. Makes millions wants someone else to pay for it. There's ppl everyday out there working wondering if there gonna have there job having to go home and invest valuable time into there family and there problems instead of there. I cant feel this cause dude has 1000 percent more resources than ur average depressed person. But if I had to sell out for money I'd be depressed too

  5. “I’m so free I’m freemason” DONT listen to denzel, he took the same bait jpegmafia and zelooperz did. They all recently sign their souls away. This video is stupid. All this shit is so deceiving. Just tell them the deals with the devil will make you sweat bullets.

  6. You do realize that the Freemasons/ Illuminati (same bullshit) are aware of how much influence these rappers have on people these days, so they’re deceiving the fuck out of all of you while collecting your money.

  7. Denzel Curry is among the realest ones out here. I listen to this guy way more than I listen to some of the people close to me.

  8. I’m not trying to be funny towards Denzel or nun of these rapper but Bro ya making millions on billions why tf can’t ya go out and seek it yourselves. Just because a label pays for counseling or advise you to do it doesn’t mean the rappers gone listen. Rappers have a mind of their own just like everyone else. Plus they label can’t force ya to do shit.

    They not gone drop the rapper if they don’t go because United masters out here killing the game for musician right now. Like there’s no way anybody can believe this

  9. They dont because they need yall to influence the masses to do dumb shit. If yall cleaned up, and realized the fuckery yall put out, how would they sell these images?

  10. Why would a system that benefits from the disease of rappers help them? you're in the entertainment business never forget the business part

  11. songs i made on my page really captures my personal mental health and each song represent the different voice/mood I go threw on a daily, crazy how i never even realize till now 🤷🌧️😢

  12. why should labels pay for mental health? mental health is something you will need forever. if i have to go through all that for a rapper i rather not sign them or fuck with them at all. they get paid a lot of money why cant they pay for mental health themselves instead of buying 5 cars 2 mansions and 10 chains.

  13. Why would labels pay attention to your mental health
    When you will make the label more money after you die

  14. good idea… except for the fact that niggas wear chains that can pay for ten years of therapy… and oh yeah lets not forget… mental health is why the music is good… everyone knows that.

  15. People keep idolising rappers who killed innocents but not this man right here tryna save people man wtf mums life needs to switch up

  16. Provide a therapist? Dont yall got millions? You can afford a Bentley but not a $100-200 for a therapy session? Ok sure. Got mansions and diamonds and chains but cant afford therapy? Hmm

  17. So they can't afford healthcare for mental health but have hella gold chains and diamond necklaces? The problem is they think their life is so much more than ours. Yes we work and have a home life as well. I definitely agree that labels should provide healthcare offers like all other businesses, but to say they should pay for it completely is stupid. Come on now. Sell a car you floss on people and go get your head checked.

  18. Just would have to watch out for labels using the provisions to loop hole slave deals in via like saying unless mentally stable etc under their standards or they can do x y z to you

  19. Denzel is speaking facts, but the idea itself isn’t realistic… Labels are only after one thing from their artist, and their definitely not going to lose money for the well-being of their artist even though they should.

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  21. People dont wanna admit using drugs can lead to depression bad mood loss of energy paranoia etc. Labels will just try to get the artists to go to the psychiatrist's they know which will give them more drugs and yall know today that's all that happens. Gotta make sure that "therapy" is counseling and talking not just here's some antidepressants or xans cuz you have mental health issues. Gotta be careful with saying labels should send artists to therapy cuz lot these labels push artists to use same drugs that wear em out so they can perform daily and hardly sleep. Half them needa get off the pills that are leading to their spiral and many have said it's the pills or lean. People dont like to admit that but both peep and juice used xans painkillers etc. Prescription abuse isn't a joke or hard drugs like coke where the comedown can be too much for sad people. These days therapist just refer to psychiatrist to write you a prescription our artists dont need more pills 💯

  22. If artists can afford diamond watches and penthouse suites, then they can afford to pay for health care insurance as well as mental and physical therapy… Surprise! They're millionaires!

  23. We wouldn't have all of these mental health issues if our culture and society didn't manifest them to begin with

  24. I feel like rappers/artists should be treated like sports stars. They have all the tools they need in order to be as healthy as possible, should be the same here.

  25. Maaannnnn labels don't care about that shit, even when your dead they make even MORE money off your music. If i owned a label im sry for saying dis but if i have popping artists and they are bringing in alot of cash with their songs and they also have unreleased songs, ima hope they eventually die so i can make money from releasing their unreleased songs to their LOYAL fanbases.

  26. They should but they never will. They don’t care about them unless their making them good money. Look how Bobby Smurdas label treated him

  27. This is a great idea. But the industry is set up for this.. I really hope they consider this one day

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