Mayo Clinic

Hip Hop Psych: Lyrics, drugs, mind and behaviors

Dr Becky Inkster and Dr Akeem Sule demonstrate the role of pop culture in understanding the biopsychosocial determinants of mental disorders using hip-hop lyrics, and describe the potential use of hip-hop lyrics in psychiatric research settings, which may be especially relevant for patients from underserved communities.

More information and links can be found here.


Hip-hop's survival anthems: Incarceration narratives and identifying resilience factors in Maino's lyrics

The purpose of this paper is to examine the resilience factors exhibited by a well-established hip-hop artist, Maino. In particular, we focus on his well-known track called‘All the Above’(featuring T-Pain),but we also make references to some of his other songs like his more recent song,‘Motivation’. We also draw upon observations from his documented life experiences in order to gain insights as to what resilience factors shaped his journey and what might inspire others to learn from his narrative.


Hip Hop Psych on George the Poet's Podcast!

George the Poet talks to Becky and Akeem about Hip Hop Psych!
The interview starts at 14:50. Check it out!

Listen to Podcast

New Event!

Thrive Edinburgh welcomes Hip Hop Psych supported By The State

16:00 - 19:00 PM

Click here for details

New Publication!

Eminem’s Character, Stan: A Bio-Psycho-Social Autopsy
Akeem Sule and Becky Inkster

Download here

Lancet interview with HHP



Hip-hop culture is a powerful vehicle for raising awareness about mental health. It is rich with references to psychiatric illnesses that have not been explored, dissected and documented until now.

We are the interface that links hip-hop music and culture with mental health. Our medical credibility and authentic passion for hip-hop enables us to bridge this gap. We understand the culture and speak the language. We want to share our knowledge in order to cultivate awareness, empower others and remove stigma surrounding mental health and hip-hop….

Our Plan

1. to engage directly with youths and the general public

2. to bring teaching innovation using a hip-hop framework to the medical professionals and academics.

We apply the 5 elements of hip-hop culture especially focusing on the 5th element: knowledge. Hip-hop lyrics go far beyond the swearing, the rapping about money and exploitation of women. Conscious lyricism contains raw, unfiltered narration describing the harsh realities and coping mechanisms used to combat these detrimental circumstances – this is a recurrent theme in hip-hop music. Hip hop music is rich with mental health references related to addiction, psychosis, conduct disorder, bipolar disorder, borderline personality disorder and so on, as well as multiple environmental risk factors (e.g., urbanicity, poor nutrition, destructive parental influences resulting in childhood maltreatment in the absence of positive role models) and predisposing genetic and epigenetic risk factors.

Often these messages have been overlooked because the mode of communication immediately breaks down between the experts and those speaking out. HIP-HOP-PSYCHTM offers a unique and innovative approach for engaging with mental health experts alongside the wider public in order to challenge stereotypes and to disarm the boundaries between psychiatry, humanities, and hip-hop culture.

Hip Hop Psych Youtube Channel

Becky Inkster - Hip Hop Psych Youtube Channel

Toronto Tour

Toronto Tour


What happens when Music meets Psychology?

Affectmag interview link

To thank to all of our supporters we are releasing some new thoughts and material on our website to share with you all.
This #FreestyleMixtapeEssay release focuses on the issues of social adversity, as portrayed by iconic legendary hip-hop artists Tupac and Eminem. Check it out!

Download #FreestyleMixtapeEssay


HHP BBC World Service Radio Interview
HHP on the BBC Radio Cambridgeshire Dotty McCloud Breakfast Show

Coming Soon...

© Hip Hop Psych 2014