Op-ed: Rapper raises awareness on a very sensitive subject
Robert Bryson Hall ll, better known by his rapper name Logic, performed his song “1-800-273-8255” titled after the suicide prevention hotline, alongside suicide survivors wearing shirts that disclose the phone number and say “you are not alone” and featured artists Alessia Cara and Khalid, on the VMAs with the intention of spreading messages of hope and reassurance–and he did just that. Ever since, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline has seen a 50 percent increase in calls and an untold number of lives touched and saved.
The song commences from the perspective of someone who has no motive for living anymore, voiced by Logic who pleads “I’ve been on the low; I’ve been taking my time. I feel like I’m out of my mind. It feel like my life ain’t mine; who can relate?” He continues on by declaring he doesn’t “wanna be alive” and reveals his reasons why. The following verse by Cara indicates the future of this cynic is too worthwhile to leave, affirming “It’s holding on though the road’s long and seeing light in the darkest things; and when you stare at your reflection finally knowing who it is, I know you’ll thank God you did [good staying alive].” The song concludes with a verse voiced by Khalid, from the view of the same doubtful person in the beginning, who now states “I don’t even wanna die anymore.”
The crucial thing to remember here is that Logic didn’t have to address this sensitive topic. Suicide is a theme most media outlets typically avoid discussing; Logic knew he needed to get the idea out there that life is worth living and the best has yet to come. Directly following his VMA performance, Logic made a powerful speech by giving words of gratitude and advice to model after. “I just want to take a moment right now and thank you all so much for giving me a platform to talk about something that mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about… So I say here and now if you believe in this message and my message of peace, love, positivity and equality for all, then I demand that you rise to your feet and applaud not only for yourselves but for the foundation we are laying for our children.”
This hit song comes off Logic’s newest album “Everybody” that tackles other current controversial issues like racism and sexism and is a beautiful reminder that hope and motivation to continue on can be found anywhere–from talking to a professional on the suicide prevention hotline to finding solace in music to so much more–as long as you choose to look for it.