Fat Joe’s "Family Ties" Proves To Be An Apathetic Farewell

While the black-and-white album artwork for Fat Joe’s 11th studio album very easily could have found its way into an infomercial for Rolls-Royce Manhattan, it better serves as a representation Joe’s musical disposition in 2019. Parked alongside partner-in-crime Dre Cool & Dre fame, Joe can be seen dangling his bedazzled wrist out the window, a steady stream Armand de Brignac pooling between the twin Phantoms like sea foam lapping at the hulls passing ships in the night. It’s an image awash in bombast and luxury, ideal for the grand farewell its skipper has imagined for himself. 

From trading bars with Big L to appearing in the Def Jam: Fight For New York video games, Fat Joe has long stood on the rap frontlines as an intrepid rabble-rouser. He has a way with words that is the byproduct witnessing Big Pun flip muttered tongue twisters into iconic couplets, and a “predator or prey” mentality that nourished his rise from the Forest Housing Projects. Although the era white Cadillacs and Terror Squad chains is now a fragment the past, it lives on through Joe’s animated retellings $50,000 cash withdrawals and subsequent door-to-door shake downs after being informed his balance had dipped into the red. He recounted all this and more during his visit to W 25th Street’s 40/40 Club on Tuesday night, where he spoke at length with Elliott Wilson as part Tidal’s ongoing #CRWN interview series. With the utmost respect for Wilson, Joe had little need for discussion facilitation, enchanting those in attendance with vivid studio vignettes and tales run-ins with the likes Dapper Dan and First Take’s Stephen A. Smith. “What I’m missing is a classic album,” Joe told the bewildered moderator, a Celtics green tracksuit gripping to his every gesture as if directed by some invisible puppeteer in the rafters. 

Unfortunately for all those involved, Family Ties is no such masterpiece, even as Joe pulls out all the stops and calls in plenty favors from friends far and wide to assemble the 11-track ensemble. If Family Ties is indeed his final album, then at the very least it’s an admirable enough send-f for the Bronx-bred behemoth, albeit one that doesn’t muster much replay value beyond its 42-minute duration. Arriving at a time when many the genre’s old guard are being sent to the breakers, the closing chapter to Joe’s 26-year-old discography struggles beneath the cruel hand Father Time in an effort to postpone such a fate, and in the process manages to scrounge up mostly run–the-mill scraps. That’s not to say that it lacks redeemable qualities, but rather that it’s forcibly linear in its tastes, which is a shame given Joey Crack’s aforementioned back catalogue stories and credentials.

“Projects” is a decent tone setter, its rattling percussion chiseled around street buzzwords as Dre and Joe exchange platitudes. “Been Thru,” originally intended to be a solo single for Dre, is a similarly-structured rags to riches ode, with a chorus that fashions bullet holes “big enough to fill Shaquille’s socks.” Listeners (particularly disciples the Wu) will recognize the sample Wendy Rene’s “After Laughter” on “Heaven & Hell” but will likely find themselves perplexed by the manic use Marvin Gaye’s “Let’s Get It On” on the Lil Wayne-assisted “Pullin’.” Crooner Jeremih pops up on the album’s two R&B cuts, first with Bryson Tiller as part “Hands on You” and later with Ty Dolla $ign for the sensual, coupe-for-every-day–the-week “Drive.” Elsewhere, lead single “YES” attempts to fill empty space with shoddy strip club lyrics, while “Lord Above” finds Eminem taking provocative cracks at Nick Cannon in what has been one the most talked-about if preposterous rap beefs in recent memory. 

Fellow New Yorkers Mary J. Blige (“Lord Above”) and Remy Ma (“Splash”), the latter whom collaborated with Joe in 2017 on joint LP Plata O Plomo, display excellent chemistry with their host. Yet even the presence such high-flying acts does little to distract from the apathetic blend trap melodies and inner-city parables that is Family Ties. For what it’s worth, Joe does well to hold up his end the bargain, and there are glimpses his intellect as an emcee, both in his delivery and diction (“Seen more faces than Midnight Marauders”). But by in large, both Joe and Dre indulge a mold that overcompensates in accommodating past glories and the stylistic inclinations the new generation. Perhaps this isn’t the end the rope and there will be more striking musical endeavors from the certified hip hop hall famer in the future. In the meantime, the bonds fatherhood call. “I want to make sure every time (my daughter) turns around, her dad is there … and I’m there for her,” he said during an appearance on CBS This Morning. Retirement is a fickle thing, but family ties are forever.

Juice Wrld Earned Nearly 40M Streams On Day Of His Death

Chicago, IL – Juice Wrld’s streaming numbers have skyrocketed since the Chicago rapper suddenly passed away on December 8. The late artist is now the most-streamed artist in the country. Juice racked up more than 38.2 million listens, according to a Rolling Stone report claimed, and he also topped the charts in digital song sales.

His breakout single, “Lucid Dreams,” amassed over four million streams on December 8, making it the most-streamed song in the U.S. on the day of his death. As of publicizing time, the YouTube music video sits at over 406 million views. Juice’s overall individual streams spiked 487 percent over the course of Sunday.

Juice Wrld (born Jarad A Higgins), was pronounced dead after the artist suffered seizures at Chicago’s Midway Airport early Sunday morning, after allegedly ingesting several Percocets, reportedly to hide them from authorities who searched Juice’s private jet upon its landing.

Authorities reportedly found over 70 pounds of marijuana, two pistols, and a bottle of codeine cough syrup.

News of Juice’s death comes at a time when he was one of the most popular artists in the world, having amassed three billion streams in 2019 alone.

Juice Wrld was 21 years old. He was recently laid to rest in Illinois.

Meek Mill Says He Was High When He Dissed Drake

Meek Mill is opening up about his addiction to opioids.

During a no-holds-barred interview with Charlamagne Tha God, the Philadelphia rapper admitted that he was addicted to Percocet painkillers and was popping 10-30 pills a day at one point.

“I was taking 10-30 Percocets a day,” said Meek. “You walking with death. You pop two in the morning, they gon’ wear off by four.”

He admitted to being a “junkie” before cleaning up his act. “I had to make a decision with myself. You gon’ be a high pill popper or you gon’ be a millionaire bossed-up-type ni**a and they ain’t mix. I ain’t never seen a millionaire bossed-up pill popper in my life.”

The drugs even triggered his beef with Drake when he took to Twitter in July 2015 to call him out for not writing his own lyrics. Looking back, he says he’s not sure why he went at the Toronto rapper.

“If you ask me why I came at Drake, I don’t even fuckin’ really, really, really know,” said Meek. “Everybody be sayin’ Nicki and shit, that wasn’t the case. They always had their relationship before me. They dealt with each other before I got in the situation. I could never let that be the one reason why I’m mad at him or I feel some type of way. I just ain’t really know when I look back. I’m like, ‘You know what, the fuck I wanna do something like that?’”

Charlamagne said it was because he was high to which Meek agreed, saying the drugs led to bad decisions. “I’m making very bad decisions and not knowing I’m making these bad decisions. When I wasn’t high and I look back and went on YouTube and checked my fall, I’m like, ‘I don’t do shit like that.’”

Meek, who is now recording his next album in the Bahamas, also opened up about finding his purpose, Nipsey Hussle’s impact, his REFORM Alliance, and the future of Dream Chasers.

Watch the full interview below.

Ameer Vann Talks Departure From BROCKHAMPTON & Hospitalization

In May 2018, just as BROCKHAMPTON was picking up steam f the release their Saturation trilogy, one its members, Ameer Vann was accused ual misconduct. The allegations first arose on Twitter and then were later detailed in a Pitchfork piece. Two Vann’s previous partners came forward to say that he was both emotionally and physically abusive. Vann responded at the time that he “never criminally harmed anyone or disrespected their boundaries” and “never had relations with a minor or violated anybody’s consent,” but his removal from BROCKHAMPTON was announced a few days after the allegations surfaced

Vann appeared on Sway In The Morning this week to participate in his first interview since the fallout. While he released an EP titled Emmanuel in September, the majority his conversation with Sway focused on the allegations and their aftermath. Vann spoke about how he went home to live with his mother in Texas after being kicked out the group. This period sent him into a deep depression and he experienced suicidal thoughts. He decided to admit himself for hospitalization, which he said he emerged from with a better understanding his behavioural flaws and a commitment to working through them.

However, when Sway brought up the allegations that Vann had choked, bit and injured a woman against her will in a ual context, he denies them. “That’s not true. Our relationship, or the romantic relationship or the physical relationship that we shared was completely consented and everything that we engaged in together was agreed upon,” he said. When asked whether he is in contact with any the members BH, Vann said that he had spoken to Kevin Abstract and Jon Nunes recently, but he believes the onus is on the other members to reach out to him if they wish to talk. When Sway suggested that it might be Vann’s responsibility to reach out given he is the one at fault, Vann explained that he felt abandoned by the group that was aware his issues before the allegations were revealed. He felt that they should have stood by him as he better himself, rather than abruptly sending him home from tour. 

 

NBA YoungBoy Is Finally Off Probation

The last year has been rocky for YoungBoy Never Broke Again. On the music front, he’s never been more popular than he is today. The 20-year-old rapper from Baton Rouge, Louisiana is currently leading his city, netting millions streams on a daily basis and becoming the undisputed King YouTube. His videos always pick up an overwhelming amount attention with his loyal fanbase going hard on each new song. On the legal side things, NBA YoungBoy appears to always be in trouble for something. When he was first bubbling on the scene, a video surfaced him allegedly attacking his girlfriend at the time. He’s also been involved in a shooting earlier this year, which led to his arrest and a short stint in prison. Wasting away months on house arrest, the young rapper finally got some good news during his court hearing this morning.

According to a local ABC News affiliate, the Baton Rouge rapper, whose real name is Kentrell Gaulden, was ficially taken f probation today. Judge Bonnie Jackson made the decision to terminate his probation, which was reinstated after he was found with a firearm during a Miami shooting. Gaulden was reportedly very quiet in court, refusing to say much about the case. Judge Jackson said that she has seen growth in the recording artist, agreeing to let him f the hook.

He celebrated on social media after the fact, posting a photo all dressed up in his suit and warning his haters, telling them to “watch this.” 

At least he can enjoy a little bit freedom now. What do you expect in the new year from NBA YoungBoy?

Giants’ Janoris Jenkins Cut After Refusing To Apologize For Using The ‘R-Word’

The New York Giants have cut ties with cornerback Janoris Jenkins, following his use the ‘r-word’ during a twitter dispute and his failure to apologize for the incident.

Jenkins was asked about the usage the word on Thursday, and simply described it as his “slang,” telling reporters that it’s “just part my culture.” 

Giants head coach Pat Shurmur issued the following statement on Friday regarding Jenkins’ release.

Kehlani Says She’s ‘Single’ After Tory Lanez Dating Rumors

Kehlani is single again.

The SweetSexySavage singer seemed to confirm her split with YG while denying rumors that she is dating Tory Lanez.

Earlier this week, Kehlani posted a photo with Tory at the club in Toronto. The next day, the Chixtape crooner posted another photo of them together, fueling speculation that they’re dating, which didn’t sit well with YG.

The Compton rapper responded on his Instagram Story, writing, “Don’t get shot tryna comfort my bitch while we goin thru it. I know where ni**az live. Black ops.”

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#YG coming through with a quick reminder!!

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According to Bossip, Kehlani took to Twitter in the early hours of Thursday morning to deny the Tory romance rumors while announcing her single status.

“because i keep seeing this. i’m addressing it,” she wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “absolutely not. we made a song for my album. i am single. and focused. leave the rumors for poorly paid bloggers.”

Kehlani and YG went public with their relationship at New York Fashion Week in September. But the next month, YG was seen getting cozy with a mystery brunette at Todd Gurley’s Halloween party. He addressed the cheating allegations, saying he was drunk but did not kiss the woman.

Following the incident, Kehlani reaffirmed her love for YG on her song “You Know Wassup.” “You’re still my love / You’re still my heart / That’s still my dick / Still wanna be Mrs. Jackson,” she sings. “Waited five years to be on the team / Look damn good fuckin’ with me.”

Cardi B Resembles Nicki Minaj Too Much In This Video

Who wore it better? Nicki Minaj or Cardi B? While Nicki Minaj has tried out a bunch different eccentric hairstyles over the course her career, one has defined her for years: her long bob with the bangs. Sure, a look cannot be exclusive to one person but, given the history that Cardi B has with Nicki Minaj, you would think she would try to stray away from anything that her rival has ever touched. A number her fans were surprised upon opening up their social media feeds, seeing their hero rocking a near-identical haircut to Minaj and looking just like the Queen in a new video.

Cardi B Resembles Nicki Minaj Too Much In This Video
Jamie McCarthy/Getty s

Aside from the nose ring, you could have fooled us this morning when we saw Cardi B sticking out her tongue to her millions followers. The star showed f her angles, feeling herself and inviting everyone to comment on their thoughts but what she wasn’t expecting was a barrage people saying that she looks just like Nicki Minaj. The two women don’t necessarily share too many facial characteristics so it’s surprising to see how similar they look here. Placing them side-to-side, you’ll notice what we’re saying.

Who do you think wore the hairstyle better? Cardi or Nicki? Or do they both look bomb?

BTS Member Jin Could Faces Serious Travel Restrictions in 2020

According to a report from Newsweek, Singer Jin of K-Pop sensation BTS may face severe restrictions in regards to performances overseas next year while he serves in the South Korean military.

The situation in some ways echoes what happened in the United States in the late 1950s when singer Elvis Presley got drafted into the army.

Beginning next year, male South Korean celebrities who are over 27 and have yet to complete their military service must get permission from the country’s Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism prior to performing any overseas promotional work. What’s more, this work must specifically “help spread Korean culture” overseas.

All South Korean men must serve in the country’s military for two years by the time they are 28. As Jin is currently 27 and has not yet served, he must do so soon.

At the moment, none of this is a big problem, as BTS so far has no tour dates scheduled for 2020, let alone overseas ones.

This past October, the band completed their Love Yourself world tour.

Big Hit Entertainment, which manages BTS, has yet to comment on Jin’s situation, but Jin himself has said in the past that he was happy to serve. In April of this year, CBS Sunday Morning asked him about it, and he said, “As a Korean, it’s natural and someday, when duty calls, BTS will be ready to respond and do our best.”

In November, the South Korean government announced new regulations, which lowered the number of exceptions from military service and tightened the rules relating to waivers from it. These new regulations, in essence, mean that all male K-Pop stars will eventually have to perform military service.

On the positive side, starting next year, K-Pop stars who are over 25 but under 27 will no longer need permission to travel overseas for work if they have not yet begun military service.

Lizzo Addresses Mooning The Masses During Lakers Game

Despite having evolved into a) a genuine superstar and b) one the most controversial new artists in recent memory, Lizzo was doing fine for herself. As she explained to CBS This Morning, she was already making a living as an established indie musician. “There was just a moment as culture ebbed and flowed I caught onto that wave,” explains the 8-time Grammy nominee. “Everyone really connected with me. You can never really tell when that moment comes…I got a big ol’ personality!”

On that note, it doesn’t take long before that fateful Lakers game is brought up, prompting Lizzo to let out a delightfully fiendish cackle. When asked to issue a response to any challengers (TDE’s Reason among them), Lizzo admits she’s been avoiding much the online rabblerousing. “It’s their opinion,” she says. “It’s not for me to really address. It’s for them to express and me to choose to listen to or not.” Revealing that donning the outfit was a spontaneous decision, she admits that “nobody would have saw the back it if I didn’t get up and dance.”

Lizzo Addresses Mooning The Masses During Lakers Game

Noam Galai/Getty s

For those still triggered by the unexpected moon, blame the Lakers Girls. “The Lakers Girls came up to me and said ‘we’re so excited you’re here, we want to perform one your songs for you,” continues Lizzo. “I was with my manager and my friend and I was sitting there like ‘you should get up and dance! They’re doing this for you!’ So I got up and did what I always do…This is how I’ve always dressed.” Co-host Gayle King inquires whether she forgot her “butt was out,” prompting another guffaw from Lizzo. “Well, I had on layers down there. So it wasn’t just, you know, flesh to seat. Contrary to popular belief.”

When all is said and done, defiant she remains. “Yeah, it was out,” she declares. “It be out. You know how long it’s took me to fall in love with this body? My butt was my least favorite thing about myself, and I learned to love it. And that was the thing everybody can’t stop talking about.” Check out the full interview below CBS News.

Griselda Gives Split Reactions On Whether They’d Help Eminem In Nick Cannon Beef

New York, NY – Following Eminem’s Nick Cannon diss on Fat Joe’s single “Lord Above,” the Wild ‘N Out host returned fire with not one but two diss tracks aimed at Slim Shady earlier this week — “The Invitation” featuring Suge Knight and “Pray For Him” with The Black Squad.

During an appearance on Sway In The Morning, Griselda brethren Conway The Machine, Westside Gunn and Benny The Butcher were asked to weigh in on the beef. While they seemed to agree that no one should cross Griselda, they had opposing views on participating in the e-battle.

“I heard the song,” Benny admitted. “There’s one say I can say about it. Them niggas wildin’ out. Niggas wilding out. That’s Marshall. You gotta get in your bag. You have to. This rap, this competitive. You have to dig deep in your bag. They hear the David Goliath story, everybody try to go to war with a slingshot. Them niggas had a slingshot.”

Then Westside jumped in with, “I don’t battle rap. I got two Billboards in Time’s Square though. I got half a million in jewelry, I don’t have to battle rap” before Conway added, “Where I’m from, niggas call me when it’s time for other shit to do. I ain’t with all that rap shit and all that.”

Westside then elaborated on his stance, explaining it’s “clout shit” to hop on a diss track in defense of the person directly involved in the beef.

“These are grown men, 40 years old trying to rap against each other right now,” he said. “It’s deeper than that. In the culture it’s respect, because that goes back to the beginning of time. I respect it, but for what I do personally, I haven’t even heard it – I don’t want to hear it. For what? We got other things we want to do, Chinegun [WWCD] out right now.”

But Benny didn’t necessarily see a problem with it.

“I doubt Em would ask niggas, cause he got that,” Benny says. “But if he asks me, would I do it? I’m not gon’ lie, I probably would if he asked me. If Em walked in this room right now like what you doing after this?”

Westside concluded, “That’s the difference between Westside Gunn and Benny. But one thing’s for sure, don’t nobody want no problems with us. I’m putting that on the record. That’s anybody.”

Finally, Conway wrapped up the discussion by dismissing Cannon altogether.

“We loved when Jay and Nas were going at each other cause they were both ill,” he said. “When Beans and Kiss was going at it, you knew you had to watch that. That’s why I don’t think Eminem’s going to respond. It’s Nick Cannon.”

Griselda dropped the WWCD album last month. The project featured Shady, 50 Cent and Raekwon, among others.

Watch the full interview above.

Chris Brown Reveals First Photo of Son Aeko

Meet Aeko.

Taking to Instagram on Wednesday morning, Chris Brown shared the first photo of his newborn son with Ammika Harris. The father of two can be seen holding his baby’s feet in the black-and-white pic, while his face is hidden. He captioned it with his son’s full name, Aeko Catori Brown.

Ammika posted the same photo on her Instagram Story. “Forever won’t be enough with you,” wrote the new mom.

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AEKO CATORI BROWN

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Chris welcomed Aeko last month. He announced his son’s arrival by posting a photo of himself smiling and looking down at something off camera with the “11-20-2019” birth date. He also shared a second pic wearing a hoodie with the word “Born” embroidered on it.

The “Something Real” singer previously revealed his son’s name in a photo that showed him wearing a jacket with the names of his two children written on one side. “📸 RORO & AEKO(ECHO),” he wrote in the since-deleted caption. The baby’s name is pronounced Echo.

This is the first child for Harris and second for Brown, who has a 5-year-old daughter, Royalty, whom he shares with Nia Guzman.

Griselda Weighs In On Eminem & Nick Cannon’s Beef

All this hubbub surrounding Eminem and Nick Cannon’s ongoing feud has shifted focus from an undeniable truth: it’s Griselda season. As such, the Buffalo trio hit up Sway In The Morning to drop some knowledge, talk What Would Chinegun Do, and leave with some bars. Given Sway’s relationship to Em, as well as Griselda’s own ties to his label, a conversation surrounding the beef seemed inevitable. Around the 15:30 minute mark, Sway inquired about whether the Shady affiliates have been following Eminem and Nick Cannon‘s ongoing feud.

Admitting he had yet to hear Nick Cannon’s “Invitation,” Westside invites Sway to queue it up with a laugh. “I heard the song,” admits Benny. “There’s one say I can say about it. Them n***as wildin’ out. N***as wilding out. That’s Marshall. You gotta get in your bag. You have to. This rap, this competitive. You have to dig deep in your bag. They hear the David Goliath story, everybody try to go to war with a slingshot. Them n***as had a slingshot.”

“When Eminem calls on Griselda and say ‘hey, Conway jump on this track. Benny jump on this track. Westside jump on this track. Ya’ll jumping on?” asks Sway. “I don’t battle rap,” answers Westside. “I got two Billboards in Time’s Square though. I got half a million in jewlery, I don’t have to battle rap.” Conway is another no, saying “where I’m from n***as call me when it’s time for other shit to do. I ain’t with all that rap shit and all that.”

“That’s clout shit,” adds Westside. “These are grown men, forty years old trying to rap against each other right now. It’s deeper than that. “In the culture it’s respect, because that goes back to the beginning time. I respect it, but for what I do personally, I haven’t even heard it – I don’t want to hear it. For what? We got other things we want to do, Chinegun out right now.” Sway looks to Benny, who ponders for a moment. “I doubt Em would ask n***as, cause he got that,” says The Butcher. “But if he asks me, would I do it? I’m not gon’ lie, I probably would if he asked me. If Em walked in this room right now like what you doing after this?” 

“That’s the difference between Westside Gunn and Benny,” continues Westside. “But one thing’s for sure, don’t nobody want no problems with us. I’m putting that on the record. That’s anybody.” “We loved when Jay and Nas were going at each other cause they were both ill,” chimes in The Machine. “When Beans and Kiss was going at it, you knew you had to watch that. That’s why I don’t think Eminem’s going to respond. It’s Nick Cannon.”

Rapper Saucy Santana Hospitalized After Highway Shooting In Miami

Florida rapper and entertainer, Saucy Santana, was one three victims hospitalized Wednesday morning after being shot at while driving on a highway in Miami. According to police, the shooting took place near the entrance ramp to I-95 from Miami Gardens Drive at around 4 a.m. ET. A Honda sedan carrying Santana and two other passengers was approached by a Chevy sedan that opened fire on the vehicle with 6 or 7 shots. As a result, Santana and one other person were shot in the arm, while a third friend was hit in the hand. All three were taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries.

Authorities have not released the victims’ identities, but the talent management company that handles Santana’s affairs confirmed that the entertainer was in the car. The company released a statement on Santana’s behalf, saying: “Saucy Santana wants to thank everyone for the calls and support.”

Shortly ago, Saucy spoke with TMZ, and he believes the guys who shot him were at the same strip club with him. He thinks they were retaliating for his homouality. He believes guys were pissed because he and his crew were getting all the love & attention from female strippers so they followed him out the club to get retaliation. Whether or not that is true is unknown at this time.

Check out the updated video (below) courtesy TMZ. 

Michelle Williams Talks Not Being A "Favorite" In Destiny’s Child

Michelle Williams still deals with performance jitters and insecurity about not being a fan “favorite” in her famed group.

The Destiny’s Child star caught up with Billboard — right before she was revealed on FOX’s The Masked Singer last Wednesday (December 4)– and explained how feeling overshadowed by Beyoncé and Kelly Rowland still affects her today.

“Because I’ve done a lot of gospel, so I’m kind of insecure because mainstream [fans] don’t know my voice,” she said. “Apparently I don’t have the most commercially appealing voice or whatever. People have their favorites, but vocally I was not a favorite in the group, and that stuck with me.”

Williams, who checked herself into a treatment facility last year after battling depression, admitted that even as a seasoned performer, feelings of self-doubt still make it a challenge to get on stage.

“It’s still a struggle,” she revealed. “At the same time, you have to go up there and be you, not bend or conform… [and] do it the way God gave it to you. Be who you are.”

Last year, during an appearance on Good Morning America, Williams revealed she’d fallen into a deep depression shortly after reuniting with her Destiny’s Child sisters at Beyoncé’s 2018 Coachella performance. Williams opened up about her decision to pursue treatment and used her story to advocate for those struggling with mental illness.

“I suffered by myself, I didn’t want to tell anybody,” she said. “That’s what stops people from getting treatment — because someone might find out.”