Ka5sh is very frank. He is depressed, and it sucks.
n a video posted a month before the release of “I’m Depressed,” Ka5sh updates his audience with a vlog,
“I have not left the house at all today… I’m experiencing depression.”
The camera is too close to his face, his eyes jump between the corners of the room and squinting,
“If you want to know what depression feels like, if you’ve never experienced it,”
Ka5sh goes on to describe the overwhelming feelings, the relentless fatigue despite sleep, burning eyes, the inability to leave the bed.
It was vulnerable. It was beautiful. Too often we are inundated with images of depression on the cusp of suicide or the rise of the phoenix from brokenness. Not the person standing next to you cracking a joke, but lacking an appetite for the past three months.
Many will probably miss the pain in this banger. The beat settles into a quick pocket, your head will bounce, and by the third repetition of “I’m depressed,” you’re singing along. It is infectious but, Ka5sh returns to the question he answered in his vlog. This is how depression feels. Relentless, consuming, omnipresent without an understanding of why.
The juxtaposition between the sonic expression and lyrics parallels what living with depression looks like. For the most part, it will go unnoticed. A careful balance between disappearing inside the despair and managing to be functional enough to not cause suspicion or concern is created and maintained. You’re still posting memes and tweeting, the likes make life temporarily bearable, but you don’t actually feel anything beyond the isolating fog. Canceling plans for the tenth time this month is attributed to your character, people think you love to flake, in reality, you haven’t left the bed in four days. Friends are pressing you for your dieting secret, your lack of appetite means you forget to eat most days.
In two minutes and eighteen seconds Ka5sh is able to do what so many people have failed to do before him: make depression unintimidating without trivializing the seriousness of it. He is able to have a conversation about his current state without the dark cloud isolation no-one-could-possibly-understand manic pixie fetishism.
In fact, Ka5sh is very frank. He is depressed, and it sucks.
The video is stunning, but what would you expect from an internet darling? Images of people attempting to cope (a wine IV) and failing to cope (crying in the shower with a cactus) are spliced between still lifes of burning clowns and glimpses of Ka5sh rapping while lying on a couch, first by himself and later talking to a therapist.
It becomes more evident that this song is Ka5sh coming to terms with his depression. While mental health is still highly stigmatized in society as a whole, the Black community, especially among Black men, is especially riddled with mental health shame and denial.
Yes, there have been Black men that have discussed their depression before, but never this candidly, and never by its name.
It’s okay to not be okay. Watch “I’m Depressed” by Ka5sh below.
If you are depressed or experiencing suicidal thoughts, please know you are not alone.
Hope for the Day is a global non-profit organization that achieves proactive suicide prevention by offering outreach and mental health education through self-expression platforms. IT’S OK NOT TO BE OK. For info and resources, please visit http://www.hftd.org/find-help
For a full, international list of resources: http://www.hftd.org/find-help