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Doctors say hip-hop might have the power to heal neurological disorders. As if we needed another excuse to love the genre.
According to the Daily Mail, researchers at Cambridge University are exploring the brains of rappers to determine music’s effects on the body and mind. They’ve discovered that the art of freestyling puts rappers’ brains into a unique “flow state” that triggers “parts of the brain responsible for emotion, language, motivation, motor function, and motor processing.” That type of stimulation can greatly improve the lives of people dealing with neurological illnesses.
But this isn’t the first time rap has been credited for boosting health. Though the genre has been widely criticized for promoting violence, misogyny, and substance abuse, more and more people are beginning to praise the music for its therapeutic benefits.
Dr. Akeem Sule and Dr. Becky Inkster, from Cambridge’s Department of Psychology, launched a study on hip-hop therapy in 2014, exploring the ways in which the music could help people deal with psychological issues.
“We do believe that this is a movement and a new culture. With people being able to open up with hip-hop, it will heal them. They can walk away with this and it provides a new form of therapeutic release,” Dr. Inkster said, according to Mashable.
In 2016, a number of NYC schools gained national attention for implementing hip-hop into their curriculum. The program was dubbed “Hip-Hop Therapy,” and focused on teaching students healthy forms of self-expression.
“When I leave my feelings inside, the only way you’re going to hear it is if I throw a punch,” Ellis McBeth, a student at New Visions, told the New York Times. “Now I make songs about them. I write verses that cool me down.”
Head to Daily Mail to read the full report.