Billed as a “Bronx-born, Brooklyn-based conscious rapper”, Rich Vysion is an emcee who doesn’t appear to shy away from mental health issues, including and particularly his own. His latest EP album, “I’m On The Other Side of Mental Abuse” takes psychotherapy and transmutes into a hip-hop form. Conceptually, it’s a positive idea. As a Black man with admitted mental health issues, he’s intimately aware of the stigma of anyone in his demographic seeking that sort of help. Therapy (be it talk therapy or full-blown psychotherapeutic) should be less stigmatized in the Black community. With his EP, Vysion is trying to walk the road from victim to victor.

The production has a certain cinematic aspect to it, starting with “End the Stigma”. Lyrically, it’s about overcoming inner wounds while undergoing many conflicting thoughts (suicide, depression, giving power to narcissists, whether to go to therapy, et. al.). Next up is “Gaslighting 101 Skit”, a three-minute dialogue between a sensitive mental health patient and his annoyed therapist, and contains just as many stereotypes as there are valid points on both sides. Though, by its end, it descends into what sounds like those clichéd online arguments that social justice warriors enjoy instigating. “Mental Abuse” is a piano-driven track about standing up to being put down and the last verse has his inner voice telling him to stop playing the victim card:



Despite being from New York, Vysion sounds more like an English rapper who’s gradually attempting to shed his natural accent. This is more apparent on the title-track, where he rages against anyone attempting to rob him of his inner peace. “The Last Straw” is electric guitar rock-driven and features Cole Mize, who also appeared on the first two tracks. It’s at this song where I began to see parallels between Rich and Linkin Park’s former lead vocalist, the late Chester Bennington: Rich is what Bennington would’ve been if he could rap, couldn’t sing, and was more descriptive about his angst-ridden emotional state. “I Forgive You (For Me)” features crooner Jaime Arin as Rich gives an unseen former lover closure and gratitude for the learning experience of being in a one-sided relationship.

Arin lends her vocals on the album closer as well. “I Made Peace With My Past” is a further reclamation of power that Rich takes over his own life. By its end, the gist of this EP is that if you’re in a mentally abusive relationship, get out. While this EP is filled with relatable material, Rich also scores points for pointing out the societal double-standard that labels men as weak if they vocalize their inner torment. Many say that music has therapeutic properties and “I’m On The Other Side of Mental Abuse” ramps them up, even in its brevity. While the EP has positives, its simplicity doesn’t make it all that interesting. Much of Rich’s lyrics mirror the sort of posts you’d find on the Instagram page of Dr. Nicole LePara (The Holistic Psychologist). Yes, mental health is a topic that shouldn’t be shied away from. But, I can’t see “I’m On The Other Side of Mental Abuse” as something to get its listeners talking and advocating.


Rich Vysion :: I’m On The Other Side of Mental Abuse EP
5Overall Score