Billboard chart topper brings awareness to suicide prevention

Lauren Thomas | Staff Writer

It is the number one song in the country. It is also the number for the National Suicide Hotline.

Up and coming R&B artist Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 featuring Khalid and Alessia Cara has sat atop the charts for weeks now, accumulating over 264 million listens on Spotify. Popularity aside, the real meaning of the song lies in the lyrics.

I feel like I’m out of my mind/ It feel like my life ain’t mine”

Authenticity echoes as the rapper himself dealt with depression and anxiety driving him to similar feelings. While the beginning is dark, it is mimicking the early stages of a conversation on the helpline, conveying the feelings of someone on the verge of suicide.

As the song goes on, there is a shift to violins and choir voices radiating hope and positivity. Later in the song he voices the other side of the conversation, simulating a responder to the hotline.

“I want you to be alive/ You don’t gotta die today,” Logic said.

After the singer’s August Video Music Award performance, the hotline had a 50% increase in calls according to CNN. Logic is advocating for prevention and lives. Calls varied from people in literal crisis, to those calling to find out what the number was, to praising the helpline for its efforts.

In an interview with CNN,  John Draper, director of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, said Logic, unlike other media platforms of suicide, is advocating for the lifeline. Shows like “13 Reasons Why” have infamously glorified suicide as a solution; whereas, the hit song encourages listeners to use the hotline and reach out for help.

“But here’s what’s really important: Logic is generating calls with a song about getting help and finding hope,” Draper said. “It’s not focusing on tragedy or suicide. In fact, he’s starting conversations about suicide prevention, as opposed to suicide.”

Senior Avery Wilson also said Logic is leading the way for other artists in the industry by including fellow singers, Khalid and Alessia Cara, and giving his fans a positive message about mental health.

“The fact that Khalid and Alessia Cara sang with him is really good progression toward more celebrities and singers making it clear to their audiences that having a mental illness is okay,” Wilson said. “It shouldn’t be thought of as you’re ‘not normal’ or ‘weak-minded’ and rather being in company with others feeling the same way.”

Still Logic feels he hasn’t done enough. While some artists use their music to selfishly promote their own brand, Logic’s entire album, “Everybody” tackles issues like mental health, domestic violence, and drug abuse. The singer chronicles the journeys of abusers and victims and pleas for their justice. He hopes to bring light to those struggling.

This attitude is what puts him in a league of his own within the industry. He recently tweeted, “Many of you have told me it’s even saved your life. I’m beyond humbled. But I felt I haven’t done enough.”

Wilson hopes that the music industry as a whole becomes more accustomed to the taking on the serious issues.

“Music is going to have more celebrities make it normalized to sing about issues like this,” Wilson said. “Of course there are going to be celebrities that sing about sex, alcohol and drugs rather than mental illness, but people that have a wide platform should take advantage of the ability to reach more people.”