Dee-1 Battled Suicidal Thoughts Following BET Cypher

Dee-1 has revealed that he experienced thoughts suicide following his 2014 BET Hip Hop Awards Cypher, wondering if he’d ever have another opportunity to showcase his skills.

In an interview with The Breakfast Club on Friday (March 1), the New Orleans rapper opened up about his mental health struggles and what ultimately led him to seek help.

“Right after that BET Cypher I started going to therapy, bro,” he shared. “I was signed to RCA at the time. You on the BET Cypher and you think your life about to change after this night…Nothing changed after that night. After that, I felt like I blew my shot.

“It started messing with me mentally to where I was like, ‘Damn, I kinda don’t even wanna be here no more. Not in the industry, but on this Earth…When I started realizing I was having suicidal thoughts behind feeling like I’m professionally a failure, I realized I couldn’t separate David from Dee-1 at that point. And that was unhealthy.”

He continued: “And for the first time in my life, I went to therapy. Because I was like, talking to my friends, that ain’t getting it at this point. Talking to my grandma, rest in peace, that ain’t cutting it at this point. So therapy really did help me, but ultimately even more than therapy was understanding my God given purpose.

“I know who my creator is, I know why I was put here, and I was put here to glorify him. So who am I to think that my whole life is a failure because one moment didn’t elevate me professionally?”

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The artist born David Augustine went on to explain that there was a previous low point in his life — his freshman year of college, during which he lost a close friend, got kicked off of the basketball team, and found out his girlfriend had cheated on him more than once.

But that difficult year had a slightly different impact on him.

“During that time, I coulda found the streets, I coulda found a lot of stuff,” Dee-1 says. “I found God in a real way. And I started rapping. Rapping was my therapy at that time. And when I started rapping, I had a lot to talk about.

“And I was like, ‘Why would I glorify murder when my best friend just got murdered? Why would I glorify smashing your girl, when a couple football players just smashed my girl? Why would I glorify a whole bunch of money that I know I ain’t got when that ain’t how I’m living?’ So from day 1, rap was just an outlet for me to be able to spit reality, but you gotta make that reality charismatic and entertaining.”

The LSU graduate, has always been an outspoken advocate for his religious beliefs, which ultimately helped him find his purpose in more than music.

He’s been consistent in his stance against music that glorifies violence and negativity – and it was for that reason that he couldn’t justify having a Top 5 MCs list when posed with the question back in January.

Dee-1 Questions N.W.A's Legacy: 'We Don't Need To Call You No Legend'

Dee-1 Questions N.W.A’s Legacy: ‘We Don’t Need To Call You No Legend’

In a segment from his Art of Dialogue interview, the Crescent City native explained that he’d essentially be a hypocrite to put a majority of the rappers he once loved on a top list because of their music content. However, Nas was able to make the cut because the legendary rapper’s message has evolved.

“I’m to the point now where I realize that I can’t have a Top 5 no more,” Dee said, “because my Top 5 would have been people who at some point in their life or their career, they were glorifying the stuff that we need to be fighting against.”

He continued: “And that’s something that I gotta be like dang, did they ever graduate from that or elevate from that? If they did, then cool. Nas my favorite rapper. Always been my favorite rapper.”

Editorial note: Anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts or their mental health is encouraged to call the toll-free 24-hour Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988.


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