Joyner Lucas is an American Rapper. He was diagnosed with ADHD as a child and his debut album entitled ‘ADHD’ was released on 27th March 2020.
Here is a track by track review of each song on the album and how they refer to ADHD where appropriate:
Screening Evaluation (Skit)
This track consists of spoken dialogue between a doctor and a child actor playing Lucas aged 8 over suspenseful backing music. The doctor is giving Lucas a series of Rorschach ink blot tests to see how smart he is. At first, Lucas correctly guesses the tests that represent more innocent things such as a butterfly, but towards the end Lucas perceives the tests as more intense things such as a loaded gun, much to the doctor’s annoyance. The doctor then asks Lucas if he is stupid. Lucas’s perception of the last picture can suggest he has ADHD.
I Lied (Intro)
The part of this song that most describes a trait of ADHD is Lucas telling his uncle to give him a loan and promising to pay him back in full, but he never did. This shows that adults who have ADHD can struggle to pay bills and pay back loans. His mentions of pills refer to people with ADHD who take medication to manage their symptoms.
ISIS (feat. Logic)
This song begins with a woman’s voice explaining what ADHD is. Later on in the song there is an interlude where the woman gives statistics of people living with ADHD. In the second verse by Logic, he mentions Ritalin, a type of medication most commonly taken by people who have ADHD.
The War (feat. Young Thug)
This is another song that mentions financial issues that adults with ADHD have such as spending cheques on a car and a casino session.
This track is of a telephone monologue spoken by the actor Chris Tucker. He tells Lucas that he is taking too long to record his album and explains that his mother had ADHD but doesn’t use it as an excuse to be lazy. People who have ADHD can spend a long time working on things due to them becoming distracted. Tucker mentions that his great-great-grandmother and grandfather also have ADHD, which shows it can be hereditary. Tucker also says that he shot ten films in the same time it took for Lucas to record his album. He is even intolerant of Lucas’s YouTube videos of himself throwing pity parties due to his ADHD.
Besides financial issues with the lyrics, “Pawn shops every week (Week),” Lucas’s threat to kill everyone and hiding his weapons in his Levi’s coat show that people with ADHD can have violent and disturbing thoughts.
Staring at the ceiling whilst lying in bed can be a symptom of ADHD as can forgetting a few names of celebrities from the extensive list of them mentioned in this song and paying attention costing too much.
The line about taking kids on drugs could probably refer to children with ADHD taking medication. Children throwing tantrums is another sign of ADHD.
This is another monologue that is spoken over the phone, but this time by the actor Kevin Hart. Hart tells Lucas that he is not impressed with his song ‘Lotto’ because Lucas still owes Hart money from a year ago.
According to a comment made by a user on Genius lyrics, this song is about how Lucas “became successful and self-made.” This song can make listeners think of other people with ADHD who have become famous. Lucas saying he doesn’t want to be touched when he is “in his zone” and wanting to be alone when he is at home are signs of ADHD.
Finally (feat. Chris Brown)
Lucas having “a hundred million things all on [his] mind” and “running in and out of [his] life” could be symptoms of his ADHD.
Lucas mentions that stressing made him bi-polar. Bi-polar affective disorder is another mental disorder that can run alongside ADHD.
Being depressed and “mentally torn in half,” not wanting to chill, having a mental block and being problematic could all be signs of ADHD.
Comprehensive Evaluation (Skit)
This follows on from the opening skit of the album. Young Lucas attends another appointment with his doctor. The doctor explains to Lucas that his mother said he didn’t want to attend this appointment because of what had happened at the previous one. He apologies for lashing out at him but promises he won’t do it again if Lucas doesn’t act like a stupid person. The doctor tells Lucas that his mother said he doesn’t really like his prescription and asks him about drugs that are not available at the pharmacy. Lucas is unaware of these drugs. The doctor then asks Lucas to give him his backpack so that he can put some things inside it and take away Lucas’s ADHD for good. Lucas is unsure about this and the doctor warns Lucas that if he tells his mother about this, he won’t get any more treatment. ADHD cannot go away or be taken away from someone as people who have ADHD have it for life.
This is the titular track of the album. Lucas describes having ADHD as “dyin’ on the inside” (sic) and “tryna get by” (sic). He says he doesn’t need any medication or drugs. He mentions other traits of the condition throughout the song such as his mind racing, overthinking, being born differently, being an hour late for his class, being disturbed, staring at the fire, having too many things in his head, being unable to sleep and hearing voices in his head that aren’t really there.
Still Can’t Love (feat. Fabolous and King OSF)
The woman who Lucas sings about could also have ADHD due to her studying all the tattoos on his body as a way of hyper-focusing. He also says he feels like a Zombie and the woman will do anything for attention.
This song makes a lot of references to the actor Will Smith. Lucas compares himself to Smith, but he only mentions ADHD once in this song.
Broke and Stupid
According to another user of Genius Lyrics, this song is about the setbacks Lucas experienced when he was younger, but he grew up to have a successful rap career. This song has a similar meaning to ‘Gold Mine.’
Although the songs on this album have explicit lyrics and references to popular culture like other rap songs typically do, the most unique things about these songs are references to ADHD whether they are about Lucas’s experiences of living with it or about ADHD in general.