Soul Culture sits down with Mississippi rapper Big K.R.I.T for our ongoing #OKNotToBeOK mental health campaign, as he speaks on music as therapy, loneliness, depression and finally making the decision to be happy.

“Music has always been my therapy; from writing records when nobody could hear them to now,” he says. “You get to a point where you don’t know how to express yourself. It’s like I don’t have a punching back to beat on and I can’t just scream in front of everybody…

“So I write down my problems and then I play it back to myself over and over again and it makes me feel good. That’s really what it is. It’s like I’m trying to reassure myself that everything’s going to be OK.

“As far as depression I think everybody gets down and out about life. You get to a point where you feel, ‘Is this really what I am supposed to be doing or does this really make me happy?’ – especially when you throw yourself in a realm where you can’t really quit. You can’t stop because you have invested everything into it but it’s about waking up the next morning and starting all over again.

“Meditation is something I’m starting to figure out a little bit. Getting a moment of quiet before everything starts up, waking up before everybody else does – before my phone starts ringing. It’s not easy, man. Normally when you set a goal for yourself its tunnel vision and you go months and months working on this one goal. When you get there you look back and so much has changed. Your family has changed and as far as your friends whatever they got going on in their life has changed.

“You might leave everything behind. Relationships – you might lose some friends – and all that can be a real shock to you. When you look around and are like, ‘Damn, I’ve accomplished everything I wanted but am I really happy? I’m alone with all of this. I don’t really have anybody to share it with.’ That’s when you have to kind of sit down and find some happiness inside and take in everything slow.

“I call it the sip slow syndrome. When I eat, I eat slower now. When I have a drink, I drink slower now and when I’m around friends I enjoy everything about it because you never know the next day you on the road. You super busy and you’re like damn! You gotta make yourself happy.”

“It’s the pursuit of happiness, so that means we’re always chasing it – because it’s just that easy to not be happy.”

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