G Herbo is opening up about suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.
In a new interview with HipHopDX, the 24-year-old Chicago rapper — formerly known by the name Lil Herb — revealed that a 2018 gun arrest was what helped him come to terms with his past trauma.
“When the lawyer told me to go see the therapist, it was really just me embracing it,” said the rapper, who will be releasing a new studio album called PTSD later this month. “I think I was already aware of the issue, and why I even had to get arrested, or have to carry a gun in the first place.”
“That was probably my first introduction to me embracing my PTSD, but we’re so immune to a lot of this stuff that go on in the inner city with like violence, going to jail and all that kind of s—,” he continued. “I was shot at. I seen my first murder at 9 years old. A lot of this stuff that we encounter on a day-to-day basis, we think is normal just because it’s our reality. We think it’s something we’re supposed to be going through. I feel like in the poverty-stricken neighborhoods, a lot of us are suffering from PTSD.”
As he began openly discussing his past with a therapist, he began to unpack his past trauma.
“I think probably one of the key points for me was I was going to speak to these kids in a juvenile correctional facility,” Herbo, born Herbert Randall Wright III, continued. “They asked, ‘Raise your hands if you feel like you ever been victimized by anything, or you’re a victim, or you feel like a victim in a way.’ And nobody raised their hand. And then, the next question was, ‘Raise your hand if you ever have experienced police brutality, or you ever experienced someone getting killed in front of you, or if you ever been shot before.’ Pretty much the whole room raised their hand, including me.”
“We’re so immune to these endeavors that we got to encounter every single day. A lot of the s— that go on in the inner city, we don’t realize that we really suffer from these mental health issues. That’s why we paranoid,” he explained. “You want to carry a gun, and you don’t want to go travel to this neighborhood, travel in that neighborhood, but it’s all just a product of us suffering from this mental health issue.”
In addition to being open about his own trauma, Herb also hopes to be able to help provide young people with the tools they need to keep themselves out of trouble.
“A lot of these kids feel like you don’t care and a lot of times people really don’t care about the s— that they’re going through,” he said. “And I could show them, not only that I care, but I once were you.”
“I was a product of that. I lost 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, of my close friends. I’ve been shot. I had to carry a gun on me every day for the past 10 years of my life,” he continued. “Because a lot of these kids don’t know, when you leave the house that you’re facing going to do 100 years in jail, or you’re facing meeting your demise. You may die. I knew every day I left out the house, I could potentially die or go to jail and I think that’s what kept me safe. I was able to maneuver, and do certain things, and use my brain in critical situations to make sure that I did get home at night and a lot of these kids don’t have those same tools.”
If you are experiencing domestic violence, call the National Domestic Violence Hotline at 1-800-799-7233, or go to thehotline.org. All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.
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