Gun violence is a far-reaching epidemic, and Chicago native G Herbo opened up about his traumatic experiences on the subject during a conversation on Taraji P. Henson’s Facebook series Peace Of Mind With Taraji.

The rapper first touched on how he feels about his hometown being embroiled in gun-related violence, especially as crime rates continue to rise in the United States. 

"It's like bittersweet," G Herbo began. "You know, I love my city. I love being from Chicago. I love to represent Chicago. It's a beautiful place. It's just; it's like a dark cloud over it because people putting these guns in the neighborhood. You know, like 90% of the guns floating around are illegal. There's no education on this kind of stuff. Nobody really educating ourselves or each other to say, 'This is not the way to live.'"

He then shared his very first experience with gun violence as a young child.

"I was 9-years-old," the rapper revealed. "I was with my mom, and she was putting something in the car, and out of nowhere, the guy who was just standing on the corner, walked up and just shot him. And he leaned over on the gate, and he shot him some more times. But I was scared for my mom. Instead of running to the car, she just dives on the ground. And I remember she cut her hand, so I thought she got shot. I was scared. Like I saw her hand bleeding and stuff."

After acknowledging that mental health wasn't a topic of open conversation while growing up, G Herbo proceeded to reflect on the number of people he's lost due to homicide, stating he knows over 100 people who have been killed and "could name like 50 people that I actually grew up with [who were killed]."

The "Up It" rapper also recounted being shot as a teenager and addressed the experience's impact on him.

"I got shot at 16 years old or something like that… Like nine people got shot that day," he said. "And I felt like one of the bullets knocked my hat off. I felt the heat from the bullet on my head. So I thought I got shot in the head, and I was just like, 'Man, don't fall. If you fall, they gonna kill you. So just don't fall and just keep running.' But I actually wound up getting shot in my right foot."

"You really never recover from stuff like that," the 26-year-old continued. "It's always in the back of your mind, and you always feel like it can happen again. I never went to restaurants or public places where people could put a location on me. That's how my little brother got killed. Somebody just seen him in the barbershop. He got killed seven days before his 25th birthday. I never let anybody see me with my mom. I probably only picked my little sister up from school one time. I didn't want to put her in a car with me, 'cause I just felt like my car could get shot up."

"A lot of times, you gotta numb yourself and not care about dying in order to stay alive," G Herbo added.

He then revealed that he started going to therapy about two years ago and was diagnosed with PTSD. After initially going into a "mental slump" over the matter, he made meaningful changes to improve his quality of life.

"We could be much more powerful, as a city, if we came together and really looked out for each other instead of just trying to kill each other and take from one another. And I would just tell people to stay focused and have faith that you could really change your situation, no matter how tough it is or how hard it is, because I was you. I was once that person who felt like the world was against me, all odds was against me, and I didn't really have no other way out."

Staying on therapy and improving lives, G Herbo segued to discuss his initiative of providing free treatment for children.

"I want to be one of those people that puts resources in my community where you just don't feel alone," G Herbo began. "'Cause that's how they go out and make the bad decisions because nobody stopped them early enough to let them know that they don't have to necessarily do that. I put like over 150 kids through free therapy already. Like I said earlier, I didn't tell my mom about a lot of stuff that I used to see just walking to and from school, and me just opening my mouth saying something probably could have helped me early on."

"That's why I speak about it the way I do," the Chicago rapper continued. "Like, focus on destigmatizing the fact that therapy's not cool in the Black community. I feel like if everybody thought like that, the world would be a much better place–especially my city, for sure."