by Julia Vaccarella ’20
The 60th annual Grammy Awards aired on the evening of Sunday, January 28, with popular singers like Bruno Mars celebrating a year of music at Madison Square Garden. With several awards presented and performances from Kendrick Lamar and Lady Gaga, rapper Logic stole the show with his performance highlighting suicide awarness.
Sir Robert Bryson Hall II, a Maryland native, who produces rap music under the name Logic, was nominated for two Grammys: Song of the Year and Best Music Video. Both nominations are for the song “1-800-273-8255,” a popular track from the album Everybody.
“1-800-273-8255” is appropriately named after the phone number that corresponds with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, which provides free, around-the-clock support to at-risk individuals. NSPL Dr. John Draper has said that calls to the hotline have increased by over thirty percent since the song was released in late April of last year. This upward trend has been attributed to both the mainstream success of the song, and its music video, which has been viewed over 100 million times on YouTube.
Logic has discussed his inspiration for the song and his music in general during several interviews. He has been vocal in explaining his desire to create a platform that will help others and expose current issues like mental health on a grand scale. He said to Newsweek with regards to “1-800-273-8255,” “I think it was one of those things where I’ve just been blessed enough to have an undeniable song that people needed and wanted, and [they] wanted to spread awareness so much that it became hopefully what it’s still becoming.”
In addition to Logic, the song also features R&B artist Khalid and the Grammy award-winner for Best New Artist, Alessia Cara; the trio had previously performed “1-800-273-8255” at the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards, and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline also saw a large spike in the number of calls received after that awards show.
During the recent Grammy performance, however, Logic, Alessia Cara, and Khalid were also accompanied on stage by dozens of suicide survivors and the families of past victims. The group wore T-shirts printed with the phone number as well as the phrase “You Are Not Alone.” Cara also appeared wearing a shirt with the words “Give Us Hope.”
The song explores Logic’s personal struggles with depression and mental health. At the same time, it is also general enough to apply to individuals that may be listening on their own. Many critics characterize the song as depressing and sad, but Logic has been praised for his willingness to support suicide prevention.
According to CNN, calls to the lifeline tripled in the two hours following Logic’s performance. He has recognized the fact that this is an issue pervading our society and wants to do something about it.