Black Thought Discusses Mental Health Struggles, Parents’ Deaths & More On Stretch & Bobbito’s ‘What’s Good’

Photo Credit: Vickey Ford of Sneakshot Photography

The RootsBlack Thought has served as the latest guest on What’s Good With Stretch & Bobbito. The famed MC talks with the pair about a number of topics, including the early days of hip-hop in Philadelphia and his first-ever performance in 1994.

READ: Black Thought Speaks On Aretha Franklin’s Passing: “I Was Blessed To Have Been In Her Presence”

But Thought is also very vulnerable throughout the 47-minute-long interview, talking about his own struggles with mental health, as well as how the deaths of his parents impacted him.

Both topics are available to read below.

On Mental Health Struggles:

I suffer from PTSD, and it manifests itself in different ways at different times. What was normal for me as a child, I’ve grown to understand, is not normal. Murder, being exposed to that sort of thing, and understanding the concept of the taking of one’s life, knowing people, seeing people murdered at such a young age, gunshots, what Philadelphia was like when I was growing up. And it wasn’t only this way, but many of the things I saw as normal in my neighborhood had… I can’t even articulate the effect they’ve had on me. It’s an everyday sort of struggle, that’s just real. Very many of us suffer from undiagnosed mental health issues and traumatic stress issues just based on where and when we sort of grew up, you know what I mean?

On His Parents’ Deaths:

You know, both my parents were murdered. My father, you know, when I was super young, and my mother when I was in high school, around after Questlove and I had been together for about a year or so, when I lost my mom. You know, I felt like the world might end. My world, definitely — something within me was lost when I lost my mom. But it sort of renewed a drive as well, within myself, that made me more determined to make whatever it was I going to do, pop. I didn’t think I was going to become a professional musician really until after I lost my mom. That’s when I really decided, this and only this is what I want to do.

Previously, the rapper spoke on the passing of Aretha Franklin, saying: “I just feel like I was blessed to have been in her presence. “She left a very rich legacy, and is truly a national treasure.”

Elijah C. Watson

Elijah Watson serves as Okayplayer's News & Culture Editor. When he's not writing he's listening to Sade and crying or watching My Hero Academia with his partner.

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Elijah C. Watson

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