Red Table Talk: Season 1/ Episode 19 “Confronting Mental Illness (Featuring Kid Cudi)” – Recap/ Review (with Spoilers)

Rapper Kid Cudi and Jada take note of how they coped with early onset fame as mental illness is discussed at the red table.

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Rapper Kid Cudi and Jada take note of how they coped with early onset fame as mental illness is discussed at the red table.

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Air Date 12/17/2018
Introduced This Episode
Himself Kid Cudi

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How The Topic Hits Close To Home For Jada: Jada

Back around 1991, when Jada was doing the classic show A Different Worldir?source=bk&t=amaall0c 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=3c151441c4e4b17214f72260bbc1f868& cb=1545082584892, she was going through what a lot of people do when they have sudden success. First and foremost, she was dealing with being separated from her core support system and dealing with the guilt of leaving people behind. Secondly, there was a certain lack of control that had to be dealt with, in terms of her life. Lastly, there was the issue many of us have of things not being enough.

If not, better said, Jada reached a point where she recognized she was successful but it didn’t solve her issues. It wasn’t enough to deal with her upbringing, the deprivation, the loss she experienced, and so she couldn’t fully embrace the opportunities given. Leading her to try therapy, medication, and finding neither worked. Also, she would pop ecstasy, drink, have sex, and smoke weed (not necessarily at the same time or in that order). That is, until the point she kind of bottomed out where getting up in the morning was a struggle and she couldn’t truly be optimum until the night time.


One of the common misconceptions many have, or had, is the idea money and success makes things better. In reality, all that does is afford you better quality distractions. Be it drugs, access to parties, maybe finding more attractive people accessible to you, money hasn’t solved anyone’s issues. As someone said, all it does is amplify bad habits in ways when you were broke, you couldn’t afford to have or do.

But, what you also have to respect is Jada talks about going to therapy, that not working, also trying medication, Prozac in particular, and not liking it because of how it affected her sex drive. For while it is also noted, for a hot minute, you do have to try different therapist out, it is always nice to hear that for some people it doesn’t work. Not nice in terms of them suffering, but it is like Jada says, “Testimony is so much more powerful than advice.”

That applies to this situation since the advice is usually going to be that you should keep seeking a therapist or maybe medication can help. Yet, as with a lot of stuff spoken on at the table, hearing that sometimes it doesn’t work and you have to find something else is freeing in a way.

The Layers & Core of Kid Cudi’s Depression: Kid Cudi

With Kid Cudi approaching veteran status in the game, he has had a great amount of influence. In the show they note how Travis Scott was influenced by him, Pete Davidson found someone who felt what he felt or abated what he felt, and even one of Jada’s employee notes one of Kid Cudi’s albums, Man on the Moon 2ir?source=bk&t=amaall0c 20&bm id=default&l=ktl&linkId=f6eac3de5c634053071ca92f44fdf775& cb=1545082600242, turned his life around. Yet, on top of the issue of success not changing underlying problems, it also adds something new. That is, being a role model or someone people look up to.

With that in mind, that only added onto Kid Cudi’s issues, for now, he has to be a shining light even when it seems his fire is going out. He has to worry about letting people down, and that is on top of being in the music world. An environment which, starting around 2010, led to him taking up a cocaine addiction to deal with things. Something which he didn’t really share or do with people, because that was his own personal demon. Like, when it comes to Kid Cudi’s drug habit, he was not someone sharing lines, making it into a party thing. That, alongside his depression and anxiety, was handled privately.


One of the interesting things Kid Cudi mentions, and Jada seconds, is how there is no mentorship or someone looking out for you when you get famous. For both situations it seems odd for, with Jada, even though I get there was a bit of competition between Black actresses for the few roles out there, you often see this sense of sisterhood. Something it seems Jada got with Queen Latifah, and a few others, later on, but did it just not really exist back then?

Then with Kid Cudi, being that he was this big time, up and coming rapper, was it so no veteran took him under their wing? Looking for more than a feature or to party that is? Like, speaking as someone with a day job, usually, when there is a new Black person, or you are the new Black person, there is usually some kind of reaching out put in play. Does that not exist, or didn’t, in parts of the entertainment world?

The Tools To Get Your Head Above Water: Jada, Adrienne, Willow, Kid Cudi

So, for Jada therapy and medication didn’t work. When it came to Kid Cudi, he went cold turkey one time but then an album release cycle caused him to relapse. Leading to the question? How are they doing now and how do they maintain it?

Well, for Kid Cudi, a big part of his recovery, and tools to get through life, was allowing and trusting others to help. Be it with rehab or just talking. For while Jada wasn’t necessarily into therapy, it helped Kid Cudi. Because, between his dad dying when he was 11, then death coming one after another in terms of his uncle and cousin dying too, that was a lot he never dealt with. And with a daughter, who is 8, and an arrest record now, he can’t keep this up. So between living through his daughter, getting outside sometimes, and trusting people, that’s the tools he uses.

As for Jada? The ocean. Though it is very simple, just getting to the ocean, sometimes in the middle of the night, calms her. Of course talking with her mom, the red table, and meditation helps, but there is something about the ocean which gives her peace.


Perhaps the best thing about all of this is a recognition of you having to find what works for you. Sometimes it is talking to people, for others it is going to the ocean, but recognize that drinking and drugs, that doesn’t make things better. It is noted, some of the things you find will just keep your head above water but, sometimes, that is the best you can ask for. Because dealing with your struggle in secret, like Kid Cudi or the noted Mac Miller, or allowing yourself to fall into addiction, you are more so adding to your problems then taking any away.

Other Noteworthy Facts & Moments

  • Kid Cud has been clean for two and a half years.

Collected Quote(s) & .Gifs

Testimony is so much more powerful than advice.
— Jada


  1. Another Red Table Talk where it felt all people at the table were communicating.
  2. Though the show lacks someone with a psych degree at the table, you have to admit what is said sounds like sound advice. Be it finding what actually works for you, that isn’t detrimental, and recognizing the go-to stuff, like medication and a therapist, doesn’t work for everyone. Though it can be hard, sometimes you got to find your own joy or what, at the very least, keeps your head above water.

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