When I received the song list for Brandy’s highly anticipated seventh album, B7, my eyes immediately gravitated toward the song “Bye Bi-polar.” Mental health, and Bipolar disorder in particular, have dominated the news cycle this week after Kanye West appeared to experience a manic episode during a rally in South Carolina this past Sunday. Though Brandy explained her track and the use of the word bipolar is a metaphor for her love life, the singer knows about battling mental health issues and has a few things she wants others to know about the struggle as well.
“People need to understand that it’s very real and it’s not something that you judge,” the 41-year-old shared. “We judge things and we don’t have enough compassion. We don’t have enough love, we don’t have enough understanding. Sometimes I feel like we look at things as just something to talk about, as just news.”
That was certainly the case earlier this week when Kanye began to trend after posting tweets that left some reducing his behavior to a joke.
“It’s not enough people looking into things to see what we can do to help because we all go through things. We all have something. It may not be bipolar, it may not be this or that but we all go through something,” Brandy said. “We all are flawed. We all have something that we struggle with and I think we all need to find compassion for each other so we can all know that we’re here for each other to make it to the next moment of our lives because you never know what somebody is going through.”
In 2016 Brandy spoke openly about her battle with depression after being involved in a fatal car accident in 2006. Several of the victim’s family members sued the singer over the next two years, and on top of that, her career had come to a standstill. It was a low point she said we can’t continue to allow people to get to in order to show concern.
“It shouldn’t take for someone to fall all the way down for us to then care and then all prayers go out to them after they have fallen all the way down. If something happens to Kanye we’re all going to be hurt.”
As for her own mental health, Brandy, who collaborated with Ye on the 2004 hit “Talk About Our Love, said, “I work on it every day.”
Fans will be able to hear some of that work in her new music, as her lyrics touch on her journey to self-love, struggles with romantic love, and raising her daughter as a “Baby mama”– one of the album’s lead tracks.
“I had a really rough time and I felt like singing through that saved me –honestly.”
B7 will be released July 31.