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Chicago rapper K$tack discusses his new album, mental health and motivation

(Photo courtesy of Kahlid Lamarre)

K$tack has taken on his passion and delivered it to the world with his latest release Awakened. Awakened is the result of a tumultuous time in his life. An extremely talented athlete and star quarterback of his high school and college teams, he found himself sidelined due to injury. The South suburban Chicago native was diagnosed with bipolar disorder after suffering a mental breakdown during his freshman year of college. K$tack has taken these challenges and funneled his energy into his music.

Rolling out spoke with K$tack about his motivation, his life’s challenging moments and the responsibility of an artist.

What motivated you to pursue music?

What really motivated me to take music seriously was a music class in high school. Our teacher showed us how to record and make simple beats. Also my dad’s a rapper, so it just makes my life very easy. I’ve always been told I have a voice and persona for it and I always wanted to do it. I took my passion and made it a reality.

What have been some of your most challenging moments while pursuing this dream?

I’ve had some really challenging moments on this journey. I tore my ACL and meniscus [during] my first game of my senior football season. Then I tore them again in my right knee [during my] freshman year of college. I was also hospitalized for some mental health issues, and that changed the whole landscape of my life.

Talk about the importance of mental wellness and how you manage this for yourself.

Mental health is the biggest piece in a human being’s life. It has a stigma where if you have mental health issues you’re crazy, which isn’t necessarily true. I see my bipolar [disorder] as a superpower, and I manage my levels through meditation and no medicine. In order to achieve success, you have to create a reality in which you use your illness to the best of its advantages. I do that. I recommend others to use meditation for depression and anxiety because it literally saved my life.

How would you describe your music?

I would describe my music as a diverse sound with influences from all the greatest artists in the world. It’s a song on Awakened for every ear and listener.

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