How JAY-Z's '444' May Help Destigmatize Mental Health

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With reactions to his new album spreading rapidly across the internet, JAY-Z has managed to start conversations about quite a range of important topics. In one of the 10 tracks featured on 4:44, JAY-Z mentions his therapist, a lyric that will hopefully help to destigmatize the idea of seeking assistance for mental health.

"Smile," the third song from JAY-Z's newly released project, discusses a variety of pressing issues, including sexual identity and the perils of being a black man in America. Amid those meaningful statements, JAY also seems to reveal that he sees a therapist halfway through the song. During the nearly five-minute track, he raps, “My therapist said I relapsed." It was certainly a surprising, yet refreshing, admittance on his part.

On the surface, it's unclear whether or not the mention was just happenstance or has a deeper purpose. Nevertheless, it could very well prove to be an important reference for the mental health community. Particularly, if it stands to remove some of the stigma associated with mental health. Throughout history, there's been an overwhelmingly negative notion related to therapy, which has seemingly created an aversion to the idea of seeking out treatment — sometimes placing feelings of shame or guilt on participants.

Hopefully JAY-Z's openness can make a difference for those who may be uncomfortable with the idea of receiving therapeutic treatment. One Twitter user pointed out the rapper's 4:44 admission and opened up a valuable conversation regarding the subject via social media.

Perhaps this could be just what some people need to begin changing their views on therapy and mental health in general. It's worth noting that JAY-Z's album has been out less than 24 hours, but its messages have already begun to touch many fans who admire him and his work. As it stands, JAY-Z's open and honest narrative on this body of work may improve a myriad of social issues.