Big Sean opened up about his struggles with depression and suicidal thoughts during the debut episode of Dr. Michael Eric Dyson’s Facebook Watch series “One Question One Mike.”
The “Bounce Back” rapper joined the academic, who earned his Ph.D. in religion from Princeton University and has since authored numerous books, taught at a variety of highly-acclaimed universities, and served as a political analyst for MSNBC, among other accomplishments, for his new series and got real about the inner struggles he’s faced throughout his career.
The Facebook Watch show seeks to “explore a range of topics featuring celebrities, thought leaders, and influencers within the black community by shedding light on challenging and celebratory aspects of the Black existence” and wasted no time diving into the issues with the “Blessings” rapper. When asked about what drives him to speak so publicly about his own mental health struggles, Big Sean revealed that the work ethic and so-called masculine traits that were driven into him throughout his life almost ended it.
“It’s funny how you can have a way with words and you can be poetic or you can be, you know, lyrical, and still not get across how you feel all the way. Sometimes it takes more than song. Sometimes it takes more than an album, sometimes it takes you really spending time with yourself,” he told the host. “That’s one of the things I was neglecting, because coming from Detroit, it’s like that mentality when it’s like you gotta stay hot, you gotta stay on they necks. People don’t get an opportunity where we from, so it’s like that was my mentality was taking care of everybody else and trying not to look soft. … Those are the stigmas that have been placed on us growing up. If you’re a man and you’re not working hard, it’s like, ‘Aw you gettin’ soft’. … So that was always in the back of my head.”
As a result of pushing himself to maintain the standards that he thought qualified him as a man’s man, the “Dance” rapper admitted that instead of feeling like he was winning, he ended up with a gun in his hand wondering if his family would be better off without him. “I was working, exhausting myself for years and years and years and I couldn’t get through the day without feeling terrible,” Sean said. “I was for sure contemplating suicide a lot of times,” he stated.
“Having guns in my hands … really just feeling it for real. Not even trying to be dramatic … definitely was planning it out even to the point where it was like, ‘Hey, if I do kill myself at least my family will get this amount of money. I did this already,’ all these things, because I just was stressed out and not happy. I realized that I need to stop everything that I’m doing and figure this out or I’m going to self-destruct.”
Fans commended the rapper on his strength to open up about his struggles and let him know they’re glad he didn’t give in to the thoughts he had in his darkest moments.
“You never know what folks r going through, many continued prays, blessings to him 🙏🏾💞”
“I admire him for opening up about this 🙏🏾 so glad he’s in a more positive space”
“Not a conversation many people in our community want to have. This candid discussion could reach anyone and make them feel like they’re not alone. Especially coming from someone with influence. We should be having these type of discussions more often without later calling the person weak or ungrateful. Good for Big Sean living in his truth.”
“🥺 I’m glad he is talking about this. Black men have to be more open about depression and mental health in general. ❤️”
If you or anyone you know is in crisis or having suicidal thoughts, call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-8255.