G Herbo rolled out one of the heaviest collaborations on his new album ‘PTSD’ released on February 28, 2020. The title track of the album features vocals by late rapper Juice WRLD, Chance The Rapper and Lil Uzi Vert. The most ironic part is that the chorus by Juice WRLD starts off with “I turn the news on when I smell death in the air.” The Chicago rapper Juice WRLD was pronounced dead due to a seizure on December 8, 2019. This is Juice WRLD’s second posthumous release following a collaboration with Eminem on “Godzilla.”
The song and album title ‘PTSD’ stands for ‘Posttraumatic Stress Disorder.’ This is a mental condition caused due to exposure to traumatic events such as accidents, sexual assault, violence, war, child abuse, etc. In an interview with HipHopDx, G Herbo opened about the song; “We’re so immune to a lot of this stuff that goes on in the inner city with like violence, going to jail and all that kind of shit, that we don’t know that we suffer from these mental health issues. I’m a product of that. I seen my first murder at nine years old.”
The cover artwork for the song features the American national flag torn and bloody after suffering gunshots. Where the stars are, there are the faces of a flock of rappers who have passed away due to gun crime and violence.
Listen to “PTSD” by G Herbo
Lyrics Review and Song Meaning of “PTSD”
Juice WRLD starts off the song with the hook. In these lyrics, the late rapper sings about one major cause that would give him Posttraumatic stress disorder: gun violence. He turns on the news and sees somebody getting shot on the streets in broad daylight daily. Rappers Jahseh Onfroy and Nipsey Hussle got gunned down in the streets. This just a very recent history. And this is enough for any artist to live their lives in fear.
Just as Juice WRLD says “I prove you wrong, I made it out of here / I made it on my own,” in these lyrics, his life succumbs to a seizure induced by acute oxycodone and codeine intoxication.
Juice says that he watched his brothers fall all around him throughout his life. He himself just made it to 21 years of age. RIP Juice!
In the first verse, G Herbo talks about his experiences with gun violence all through his life. He talks about his exposure to guns from a young age as 17 where he owned a .50 caliber pistol.
G Herbo says that this exposure made his head turn into a battlefield. He probably cannot get a goodnight’s rest with his eyes closed. He wakes up “yelling names that’s deceased.”
The singer also shoutout to Chief Keef’s hit track “Bang” as it is also the sound of gunfire.
Chance The Rapper performs the second verse of “PTSD.” In these lyrics, the rapper narrates a personal experience of gun violence. The singer stood by the road with his mother and a passing vehicle shot a man right next to them. The victim’s head nearly fell off the body. There was nothing they could do. They walked off the crime scene since they did not want to get affiliated in it by any means. On the way back home, they bought the video game GTA: San Andreas, which is also known for its free-roam violent gameplay.
Chance The Rapper says that he has experienced it all and consciously chose not to get involved in violence. He sees what is happening around him daily and pretends as if he is not affected. But every person that falls around him, he carries some weight of their conscience.
Juice WRLD and Lil Uzi Vert join for a short verse on the track. Juice says that looking at the things happening around them, it is quite natural for an artist to turn to drugs, sex, and money. So in the end, if gun violence doesn’t get them, their lifestyle will. He says we have lost all order in this world, and this is not entirely false!
Lil Uz Vert performs the final verse on this G Herbo collaboration. He goes on to sing about what this chaos has done to him and all other artists alike. They are living in paranoia, never knowing the bounty on their heads. They naturally turn to drugs to calm their stressed nerves. But in time your body adjusts to mild levels of drugs so you increase the dose. This keeps happening until your body hits its limit. So in the end, either the gun violence will get you, or the drug addiction will get you. Thinking about this gives them Pre-traumatic Stress Disorder!
What did you think about “PTSD” by G Herbo and what it meant? Drop a comment below.
Check out the complete lyrics and further song meaning breakdown on Genius.