How Beethoven & Kid Cudi’s Choice Influenced Music & Changed Our Lives.

Brittany Talissa King
9 min readFeb 8, 2022

It’s not only music that inspires culture. Perhaps it’s our staying alive that changes the world.

From the Renaissance Era to our Digital Age, music has remained the method that expresses the language that we cannot. And contrary to what one might think, research has shown music can help heal the heart. According to Medical News Today (MNT), “Listening [and creating] music can release dopamine, which is a hormone that makes people feel good, and endorphins, which are hormones that can induce happy moods and relieve pain.”

And in pop-culture, it’s our accessible medium to artistically broadcast uncomfortable topics, particularly mental health issues. And contemporarily, one could argue that Kid Cudi has become an ambassador for mental health awareness. He’s employed his lyrics and iconic hums to destigmatize simply not being okay. But what if I were to say music has always carried this tone? And has always been a vessel to discuss personal pains?

Before we dive into the 21st century, we should revisit the Romantic and Classical periods with another musical icon, Beethoven. This German classical pianist is considered one of the greatest and admired composers in the Western World. Not only did Beethoven create 722 works, including nine symphonies, 35 piano sonatas, and 16 string quartets, but his body of work is still important today; and has been sampled by notable artists like Nas and Jay-Z to Billy Joel and The Beatles.

Even though Beethoven was the 18th century GOAT, it didn’t immune him from mental struggles that nearly took his life. Around Beethoven’s 28th birthday, he began to undergo severe depression after experiencing deafening hearing loss. He even wrote a confession to his friend Karl Friedrich Amenda about his internal pains stating, “Your Beethoven is leading a very unhappy life. And is at variance with Nature and his Creator.” However, it was when he turned 31-years-old, nearing complete deafness, that he began to struggle with suicidal thoughts.

--

--

Brittany Talissa King

Writer and journalist. I explore race and social issues through history and pop-culture. @b.talissa IG. @KingTalissa Twitter. Journalism MA — NYU.