90s Songs Based on Mental Illness and Depression


The passing of Bushwick Bill of the Geto Boys made me think of the hip hop classic “My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me”.  I began to ponder if other 90s tunes were based on psychotic episodes.  I came up with a short list.  The list is random and not ranked.

Geto Boys, My Mind is Playing Tricks on Me

This is a cautionary tale that teaches that even when you’ve gotten away with wrongdoing you can’t escape the guilt and paranoia that your deeds brought about.


Blind Melon, No Rain

This is a perky and upbeat song about feeling stagnant in your life and depression.  Blind Melon’s lead singer Shannon Hoon died from a drug overdose in 1995.


Dr. Dre and Ice Cube, Natural Born Killas

This is a creepy song with the stand out lyric “Can’t be around my mama ’cause I scare her”.  It’s also a sweet vow to undying friendship and loyalty with the unforgetable lyric “I’m down for Dre like ACs down with OJ”.  I kind of want that to be a part of my wedding vows.


Green Day, Basketcase

This was my introduction to the Bay Area band Green Day circa 1995.  Green Day owns this genre.  They have other hits inspired by hopelessness and discouragement such as Longview and When I Come Around.  They’ve built a solid career in modern rock and have been going strong since the early nineties.  The band is still together and they are all still alive at the time this was written.



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