The Emerging Hip Hop Therapist Saves Minds and Vibes

Vibes by Cam Coffey

Hip Hop emerged in the late ’70s in the Bronx, New York. A time when rapping, DJing, break dancing, and graffiti arts were embedded in the heart of the city and spread across the country. When mentioning the golden age of hip-hop, you’ll hear names like Big Daddy Kane, Sugarhill Gang, and LL Cool J. Hip-Hop became a form of expression against the expeditious changes in the economy and a post-industrial decline. Leaving the urban community conditions in a harsh state while those of the middle class moved to the suburbs in flee.

New York became a hub for Caribbean immigrants and Puerto Ricans to join African Americans in the city of lights. Affected by the dwindle in sources and jobs, these neighborhoods began suffering from a rise in crime, violence, and poverty. As a result, entertainment sources closed, causing traditional forms of expression to become obsolete. No jobs and no entertainment only left room for a negative shift in the community. 

The mental health of a population becomes at risk when faced with economic recessions. The mind is heavily affected by the insufficiency of finances, debt, and other economic deprivation. Money doesn’t create happiness, but it has a way of increasing obstruction and depression when there is a lack of it. While restructuring, the creative minds of the community developed alternative art of expression. Fires planted evacuated people from their homes, leaving apartment buildings to turn into performance venues for neighborhood block parties. The mixed ethnicities all had experience with oppression and knew how to create lemonade out of lemons.

2020’s COVID 19 Pandemic has had a similar effect on the economy and mental state of the world. The U.S has come to see a 14.7% unemployment rate, higher than the great depression of the 1930s. The mental state of the population is at battle with the fear of death from the global virus, underlying mental illnesses, substance abuse disorders, and suicidal thoughts. The continuance of racism and systematic oppression have also been contributors to the declined

mental state. There have been decades of mistreatment and wrongful deaths curated from police brutality and unjust sentencing.

When facing mental health challenges seeking help with a therapist can very beneficial. However, in the hip-hop lifestyle, it is uncommon to use therapeutic resources for your mental health. According to therapist Edward Earl Coffey Jr., there is usefulness in the combination of hip-hop and therapy. The technique helps expand and navigate the state of closed-off minds, particularly in youth.

When facing mental health challenges seeking help with a therapist can very beneficial. However, in the hip-hop lifestyle, it is uncommon to use therapeutic resources for your mental health. According to therapist Edward Earl Coffey Jr., there is usefulness in the combination of hip-hop and therapy. The technique helps expand and navigate the state of closed-off minds, particularly in youth.

Selfie Vibes by @Theeemerginghiphoptherapist


Not only a therapist with two master’s, but Edward is over halfway complete with his doctorate. Fourteen years in the game as a music producer has allowed Edward to work with notable artists in the industry and local talent in the Raleigh area. When deciding to combine both his passions, he realized how much easier it became to reach the average African American client through music. Sitting under a black and white painted radio canvas, Edward expresses his determination to help people with mental health guidance but doesn’t have adequate access.

According to Edward, “Therapists don’t fix people and are more like tour guides for the mind.”

Edward uses a technique called narrative therapy in his practice to help his clients vocalize their feelings at that moment. Asking them to write down the feelings towards what they are going through in their lives and the ending must include a positive outcome. Any form of writing or speaking your truth, whether pain or glory, aids the mind. Releasing your emotions into the open lifts the burdens and begins to help heal the traumas. Journaling is another effective form of narrative therapy. When it comes to combining music and therapy, the poetic flow of words is the most influential. In many songs, the most popular parts are drug-related; Edward uses Future’s song Mask Off as a reference. There should be a balance in the context of the lyrics, providing positivity in contrast to the negative. 

Beat making is a unique way of expression for his clients to create a sound that embodies their thoughts and emotions. Able to identify with his clients through his struggles and stories. Violence is no stranger to the hip-hop community; a few years ago, the hip-hop therapist survived three gunshots while losing his best friend. You hear similar stories through hip-hop philanthropists like 50 Cent, who is a survivor after being shot nine times, and countless stories about urban club shootings.

When asked how he takes care of his mental state, he says he takes many trips. He has traveled to Belize, Costa Rica, Paris, and other countries pre-pandemic to help keep his balance. Naming self-care as one of the major components of mental health, he explains how even as a therapist having a balance is also beneficial for your clients. Little trips to do some domestic shopping also helps him out on a day to day basis.

Edward Coffey Jr. currently does a mental health check-in on Raleigh’s Hot 97.9 with Coco Philopena to bring better awareness to the target community. He provides tips, exercises, and encouragement to a platform that has listeners who battle with mental health in a refreshing and relatable way. Bringing therapeutic practices to a much-needed culture can help with issues like depression, rape, anxiety, PTSD, self-love, confidence, and more. If you or someone you know needs access to help, please feel free to contact Edward E. Coffey Jr. to set up your first session today. 

Edward Coffey Jr. currently does a mental health check-in on Raleigh’s Hot 97.9 with Coco Filipina to bring better awareness to the target community. He provides tips, exercises, and encouragement to a platform that has listeners who battle with mental health in a refreshing and relatable way. Bringing therapeutic practices to a much-needed culture can help with issues like depression, rape, anxiety, PTSD, self-love, confidence, and more. If you or someone you know needs access to help, please feel free to contact Edward E. Coffey Jr. to set up your first session today. 

Vibes by Hot 97.9

Coffey stated, “It is not about the dollar, but it is about meeting people where they are in their mental state and providing them with proper counseling on their budget, not mine.”

Edward E. Coffey Jr. 

Facebook: Edward Ruc Coffey

Instagram: Theemerginghiphoptherapist

Email: Edwardcoffey2015@gmail.com

Phone: (919) 395-6945

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