How Logic’s “1–800–273–8255” is Defying Taboos and Changing The Industry
On August 28th, rapper Logic, accompanied by musicians Alessia Cara and Khalid, took the stage at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. Together they performed Logic’s latest single “1–800–273–8255” off his new album “Everybody”. The track talks about suicide, which is a crucial topic as it affects many who often do not seek help. It also touches up on mental health and its stigma.
Lyrically, it starts off talking about one’s decision to commit suicide, and later shifting to another person’s perspective, asking that they reconsider their abrupt decisions. With classic bass components of a rap song, minimal beats and little musical production, Logic’s raw and emoted vocals blend beautifully with the instrumentals to create a song that highlights its own lyrical content, making the message extremely clear.
The VMA stage is bombarded with the track title displayed on the backdrop and the floor, putting a special emphasis on the phone number. Logic’s ground-breaking performance is simple, yet manages to be striking and powerful. Logic vocalizes the song verses, meanwhile the choir belts out background notes in perfect harmonies. Alessia and Khalid then join towards the end, along with special guests who were later deemed to be suicide survivors. Each of them wore a shirt displaying the Lifeline phone number and a quote that read “You Are Not Alone.” The performance was remarkably moving, as could be seen through the audience’s facial expressions. On social media, the chatter was no less. Numerous people expressed their feelings and thoughts through tweets on the moving performance:
As a song title, “1–800–273–8255” may not be too much of an eye-catcher, but it serves a purpose that is much more important than being memorable to the general public. The number belongs to the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL), which is a bilingual service available for calls and messages 24 hours a day, all year long. For anyone who is having a down moment and considering committing suicide, dialing may be the difference between ending their life or living through that moment. Naming the track the NSPL hotline number is clever, and will work efficiently in saving many lives. The results can already be seen. According to CNN, calls to the lifeline have spiked up to 50 percent, ultimately being credited to Logic’s performance along with Kesha’s emotional opening speech.
Suicide is a bold topic in today’s entertainment industry. It has been a tabooed subject to discuss in its entirety. Bringing light to such a relevant topic is not only crucial, but necessary, particularly for those who can relate to the song or those who have been indirectly affected by suicide. With “1–800,” Logic lets us know that suicide is not the answer, reminding us that people will unceasingly be there to help and support. Music will bring awareness to the topic on a global level, hopefully causing change where little information on suicide is given.
Props to Logic for not focusing only on creating generic love songs, but creating music that breaks boundaries and gives insight to topics that need to be talked about more in our society. Remember, as Kesha said “As long as you never give up on yourself, light will break through the darkness.”
If you or anyone you know is in crisis or having suicidal thoughts or feelings, please contact 1–800–273-TALK (8255) or message the Crisis Text Line at ‘741741’.