“A lot of people, they’re always like, ‘How are you so positive? How are you so positive?’And to be quite honest, it’s in my darkest of times that I am my most positive.“
Let’s take a moment to acknowledge that today, Sunday, September 10, is World Suicide Prevention Day. According to the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, suicide is currently the 10th leading cause of death in the U.S. and approximately 44,193 Americans die by suicide every year.
That’s why no one deserves the Spotlight more this weekend than the trail-blazin’ rapper (& shameless mental health advocate) Logic.
Who is Logic? He’s Sir Robert Bryson Hall II (legally), a once poor Maryland-native and now 27-year-old rapper on the rise…and far from conventional. While most hip-hop stars are broadcasting songs about sex, money, and parties, Logic serves up rhythm with true heart and SOUL. The majority of his songs shed light and love on topics that society is afraid and ashamed to speak up about: race, sexual orientation, creed/beliefs, violence, anxiety, mental health, and so much more. His positive spins on dark topics are fueled from his own struggles growing up: from being biracial (looking like the only white one amongst his seven siblings) to living a very dysfunctional home life witnessing drugs, rape, and everything in between.
Logic’s powerful suicide prevention song titled “1-800-273-8255” (the actual National Suicide Prevention Lifeline) imitates the call between someone who has called the hotline wanting to end their life (sung by Logic), the response of a suicide hotline crisis worker (sung by Alessia Caria) and ending with the suicidal caller finally seeing hope and light at the end of the tunnel (sung by Khalid).
Let’s just say “1-800-273-8255” has received all the buzz it deserves. The chart-topping track went to a raw and beautiful level with Logic’s live performance on the 2017 MTV Music Video Awards. Near the last verses sung, a group of suicide-attempt survivors stood on the stage in white t-shirts featuring the hotline number or “YOU ARE NOT ALONE”. What a sight. The authenticity and vulnerability shown on that stage brought tears and heartfelt emotion to viewers and all involved….especially those who could emphasize. Note that there was a 50% increase in calls to the suicide lifeline directly after the show, showing that those struggling were fueled by Logic’s music to ask for help. Check out the moving performance video below:
I believe that every person is, or will someday, be personally impacted by mental illness or suicide in some way, whether it occurs to one’s self, a family member, a significant other, a dear friend, a classmate…and beyond. There is so much attention on physiological issues or cancer research/acceptance, and still not nearly enough on mental illness. It often seems that people are embarrassed or ashamed to talk about mental health in an vulnerable way; instead, the individual(s) suffer in silence. Whether through brain chemistry, abuse, devastating deaths, trauma, and more, we do not know when a trigger or life event may trigger depression….that goes deeper and deeper into despair. We cannot always control how we feel, but we can always lean on others.
And while there’s a long way to go to in the medical field, it’s refreshing to see that this topic is being more humanized and accepted as a real issue. Also refelct on on a large-scale publicized level how many have killed themselves (from Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington and grunge rocker Chris Cornell to actor Robin Williams and beyond). Then think on a smaller-scale, more personal scale now, in your family or school. For exampl, I went to a large high school of about 2,000 students, and it was so weird to hear years down the road to hear about 2-3 of those people I knew (even just throughout social circles or in study halls or classes) that committed suicide. It’s devastating.
All we can do is fight for equality and the right to lives (for all). Learn more about Logic personally and his mission with additional content below:
If you want to think how a SINGLE person (musician, hotline caller, loved one) CAN be a beacon of hope to someone deeply suffering:
If you want to celebrate musicians (like Logic) that are making a REAL difference with their music:
If you want to know how hardships can make you feel stuck & worthless. . .or push you to change for the better:
If you want to see how societal or familial expectations and “standards” can trigger depression/suicide:
Regardless of your music preference, rapper Logic’s messages offer light on the dark journey of mental illness and depression; there IS hope! Be sure to reach out to someone affected by depression or other mental health issues today — let him/her know you love them and think about them. Better yet, ask them how they’re doing & give a hug — no words needed.
Also be sure to check out radio network Entercom’ new mental health awareness and suicide prevention campaign today called, “I’m Listening.” This two-hour on-air special will be featuring personal stories and viewpoints from artists like Halsey, Jack Antonoff (from the band Bleachers), Michael Angelokos (from band Passion Pitt), and more.
I hope you find Logic inspires and moves you to think beyond stereotypes about mental health. What are your thoughts on Logic and his positive message/perspective on tough topics like suicide prevention? Share the love in the comments. 🕯