‘1–800–273–8255’ is a track off Logic’s third studio album “Everybody”. It features Alessia Cara and Kahlid. If you haven’t heard it I suggest you go listen so you have a sense of what I’m talking about. The song tells the story of someone wanting to commit suicide, calling the National Suicide Prevention Hotline (NSPH), and then realizing soon after that he actually wants to live.
The song itself was released in partnership with the NSPH and I assume, was made with good intentions. Logic says he came up with the idea after meeting with fans who would say stuff like “you/your music has saved my life”. Realizing he had that impact on people without even trying, he intentionally made a song where the point was to save people. The problem is, there’s a major lack of execution and awareness on Logic’s part.
In an interview with Genius (see above), at the 2:59 mark, Logic says, “Never in my life did I ever think about actually, like, committing the act (suicide) forreal.”
Unfortunately that statement is painfully noticeable upon the first and every listen.
Logic has a very basic understanding of what it is like to be suicidal/depressed and it is evident throughout the entire song. The lyrics are incredibly superficial to the point where it makes the entire song feel in-genuine. The lack of sincerity and genuine emotion behind the words he speaks is totally lost because of this reason. Writing from a perspective that isn’t your own can be limiting, and it is clear from the very beginning that this is the case. He paints the entire situation so black and white that it’s obvious that he is speaking upon things he has never truly felt.
The song’s main chorus starts off with the lines “I don’t wanna be alive/I don’t wanna be alive/I just wanna die”, which is a shockingly facile way to describe a situation as serious as this… especially coming from someone who seems to take pride in their “lyricism” and typically raps like they’re reading straight out of a thesaurus, (not a complement).
As much as Logic tries to put himself in the shoes of someone that is suicidal, he misses the mark completely. His lyrics provide no insight into the minds of those who are actually dealing with this kind of situation. Logic uses a buch of broad and nonspecific statements that only a person looking in on someone with depression/suicidal thoughts from the outside would choose.
The goal of this song is to reach as many people as possible in hopes that it get’s to the ears of those who need it. Which seems like a great idea. But with Logic desperately trying to connect with the intended listeners by screaming “who can relate” directly after reciting generic lyrics like “I feel like I’m out of my mind/It feel like my life ain’t mine”, the message ends up falling flat.
The most popular example I can think of to further explain my point is Kid Cudi. There’s a reason his fans relate to him and his music so heavily, and it’s because you know his lyrics are genuine.There are countless examples of this throughout his entire discography but none more so than the song ‘Soundtrack To My Life’. Cudi’s raw emotion and sincerity is expressed throughout that song within each and every lyric, he effortlessly talks about how he feels and why he feels it. Cudi is able to candidly speak on these issues because they are true to him. When you hear him say lines like “The moon will illuminate my room and soon I’m consumed by my doom.” or even sing the song’s chorus, “ I’ve got some issues that nobody can see/And all of these emotions are pouring out of me/I bring them to the light for you/It’s only right/This is the soundtrack to my life, the soundtrack to my life..” you get a real sense that he cares. He want’s you to know you’re not the only one who feels that way.
In this song Logic throws together a bunch of trite, meaningless, and prosaic statements in order to reach the largest audience possible. He makes the situation seem so cut and dry that everything he says comes off as vapid and shallow. The lack of creativity, sincerity, and genuine emotion throughout the song makes it seem like Logic is capitalizing off of mental health, instead of actually trying to relate to the listener.
In order to connect with those who actually feel these emotions, you need to speak from experience, or at least be more creative and genuine while doing so. There’s a reason why Logic’s fans are so loyal, and it’s because they relate to him. His inspiration for this song came to be solely because he was connecting with his fans, but the reason why his fans connected so deeply was because he was rapping from experience. Something he wasn’t doing here.
I truly believe Logic is a good dude with good intentions. If this song helps even one person refrain from harming themselves then it’s a success. I just think it could’ve been done better. It just felt a bit superficial to me. Unfortunately I don’t think the song will have as much of an impact as it could have simply because it seems to only scratch the surface of what it is like to live with depression/suicidal thoughts.
By trying to reach everybody, you reach nobody.
(I’m not totally sure if I agree with that statement but it seems cool and poetic enough to end this essay/rant.)