Mental health in hip-hop has always been an understated issue in the community, however over the last couple years artists have really stepped up to the plate to talk about mental health. One of those artists is New Orleans emcee Alfred Banks.
His newest single “The Funeral Of Orlandas Banks” covers the death of Alfred Banks’ brother, Orlandas who ended up taking his life due to his mental health issues. I personally have to commend Banks for this track for his vulnerability, he truly laid it all out on this. It’s one thing to speak on our own personal struggles and using that as a platform to get your message across, but Banks’ recreation of his brother’s funeral really drives the point home.
This track comes from Alfred Banks’ album ‘The Beautiful’ where Banks’ examines step by step the mental illness he sees in himself. In the track Banks’ clearly grieves for his brother, but the blatant honesty shines through “it’s enough to breakdown, but i gotta to show and prove/for you, mom and tonight, cuz I gotta show to do”. We will always mourn those we lost, but our grind continues and the world moves on.
You can stream the track below, if you like what you hear, make sure you support “The Beautiful” that drops on March 20. In covering mental illness Alfred Banks has teamed up with the New Orleans chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) to release this project. Development Director Meghan Goldbeck said of the project “mental Illness impacts one in five individuals in a given year, yet there is still much stigma around the issue. NAMI New Orleans is excited to partner with Alfred Banks to help promote awareness on the mental health issues that affect our community.”