Logic ft Alessia Cara & Khalid – 1-800-273-8255
Following from my two previous blog posts, this is day three of my mental health make believe festival. featuring in these blog posts are amazing artists who have put my mind at ease and helped me with my own mental health struggles in the past.
Up next to the stage will be American rapper Logic (formally known as Sir Robert Bryson Hall II. Although I personally am not a keen listener to his music, he put the whole music industry on notice with his incredible heartbreaking song 1-800-273-8255 featuring an artist who has already been recognised in this blog, Khalid and the naturally talented singer Alessia Cara.
With this song I do not know even where to start it really is a masterpiece, a song that will forever be recognised and respected within music. A tearjerker from the first beat drop to the last word, you hear every single lyric directing straight to your heart. From the lyrics to the music video to live renditions and concert performances, their will be no dry eyes hearing this song. It really takes you to a dark place where you begin to have flashbacks of bad times and memories in your life that you relate to within the lyrics that touches you in a way no other form of media can do.
Beginning with just the title of the song, 1-800-273-8255 is the phone number for the American National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (NSPL). Readers of my blog are aware that I am from England so the hotline is named Samaritans. I have embedded the link to the website if you are currently in need of guidance or support from the amazing team, it is never too late to ask for help. On the same day of the release of the song (August 17th 2017 the numbers of callers for the NSPL increased by 30% reaching an all time record amount.
Not many songs have such a wide connection and reach like 1-800-273-8255, feeling like it personally addresses your own situations and problems that you have suffered with. Logic said it so himself when he tweeted upon the day of the release addressing the reason behind the song.
As the song progresses the lyrics get a lot more comforting and positive. Originally beginning the song with a more personal viewpoint documenting their emotions, the song continues on a sort of journey where the second verse speaks in third person. This was completely intentional as it shows the personal journey somebody has through being left alone with their thoughts considering committing suicide and ending the pain and hurt. Logic himself referred to the beginning of the song (courtesy of Genius Lyrics) like this: ‘The first verse is the perspective of someone who is calling the hotline and they want to commit suicide. They want to kill themselves’. Although as the song progresses logic says the line “I want you to be alive, you don’t gotta die today”. This clearly shows that it is now more of a conversation, somebody has reached out telling you not to give up. Simulating what the conversation would be like if you call the NSPL, they can help you if you just reach out.
This raw emotion was shown when Logic performed this song live at the 2017 MTV VMAs. To this day I think this is the most touching and significant live performance in regards to sending a direct message to the viewers to take notice. I will attach the link direct to this performance right now because honestly it is an emotional rollercoaster and is truly unmissable. From the start to the finish this performance was incredible. Watch the Performance Now. The visuals, the staging, the live vocals, the speech, the orchestra, the real emotion from everybody standing on stage backing this message (suicide survivors and people who have lost loved ones from suicide), everything from the start to the finish of the performance was breathtaking. Below I will quote the speech shared by Logic on that stage after the performance because these words still relate towards todays media even two years after this performance.
‘I just want to take a moment to thank you for giving me a platform to talk about something that mainstream media doesn’t want to talk about: mental. health, anxiety, suicide, depression and so much more. From racism, discrimination, sexism, domestic violence, sexual assault, and so much more; I don’t give a damn if you are black, white, or any colour in between. I don’t care if you’re Christian, you’re Muslim, you’re gay, you’re straight, I am here to fight for your equality because I believe that we are all born equal, but we are not treated equally and that is why we must fight. We must fight for the equality of every man, woman, and child regardless of race, religion, colour, creed, and sexual orientation. So I say here and now if you believe in this message of peace, love, positivity and equality for all, then I demand that you rise to your feet and applaud not only for yourselves, but for the foundation we are laying for our children’. – Logic, 2017 VMAs
I honestly could write a whole story on this song alone, which is why this blog post is dedicated to this one four minute masterpiece. Addressing such a wide scale of audiences who suffer with mental or physical problems, it is incredible that this song resonates with so many people. We all have had our dark days and sometimes feel like giving up regardless of the thought process or the trigger behind feeling that way. This is why this song relates with people so much, as at one point in everybody life, they needed somebody to help.
Which lastly brings me onto the music video. The chosen concept for the music video resonates with me more specifically than the others. A seven minute visual masterpiece, shows the life journey of a young boy (Coy Stewart) who grows up to become a high school athlete. Although as the song progresses viewers start to realise that he has a crush on another school boy (Nolan Gould). This is more evident when he returns home to an unaccepting father (Don Cheadle), who has found a gay magazine in his room.
I relate heavily to that during my college days, I forgot that everything I bought online went to my mothers e-mail, therefore when I bought an Attitude (LGBTQ magazine) purely to see my crush at the time X-Factor 2014 contestant Jack Walton ‘strip off, my mom was notified of the purchase. Although he sadly only stripped to his underwear, which means the only bare thing I received that day was backlash. You can see why telling my family I was gay was difficult in another blog article I created titled Coming Out Story Like No Other.
Anyway, back to the music video, I definitely related with that scene particularly and how damaging it can be to your feelings when somebody finds out like that. The accompanying chorus lyrics at this time ties in with the video to ‘I feel like i’m out of my mind, it feels like my life ain’t mine, I don’t wanna be alive, I just wanna die today’. The sheer embarrassment when you discover the disappointment on a loved ones face is unlike no other pain, you just want to get away and wish everything could have been different.
Although as the music video progresses you can see the bond between these two male students increase and get closer. This then brings on the next scene where the boy is knocking on his friends house door, looking to stay over. At first it seems all positive and heartwarming being welcomed into the family of somebody you care about (a scary experience indeed) but when they are so kindhearted, loving and most of all accepting it is truly remarkable. This video has really taken a turn for the better, the boy finally has discovered acceptance in a loved one. Clearly the happy emotions are shown here suddenly with feel good atmosphere from the acting to the lighting to the camera placement.
Then suddenly the music abruptly stop, the lighting changes and the camera pans to a door creaking open. This shot is very powerful as the farther of the friend (Nolan Gould) has caught the boy in bed with his son. Now it has become clear, the family was not aware of his sexual orientation and that’s why they was so welcoming. I will include screenshots of that. scene below, it is truly heartbreaking and well constructed of what. a real life scenario is like.
The sheer heartache and the clear showing or the father having to process what he. just witnessed is so lifelike and pure. Also addressed was on my past blogs is how my parents found out similar to these situations in this music video. Discovering of my then boyfriend through looking at my texts and seeing my affection towards him in person, they had to process even the thought of me being gay. As a concept it was truly unthinkable to them and something they just didn’t want to believe was true. This is exactly what I can imagine the father figures are thinking during this time inside the music video.
Once this moment concludes, their is a new scene inside a school where the lighting once again changes and the vocals begin again with Alessia Caras verse. With hidden Easter eggs inside this scene you can see 1-800-273-8255 posters stuck up on the walls of the school next to the visuals of Alessia singing on a visual poster.
This is a sign of what is to come further along the music video. High School can be a horrible place for people who have not even learnt to have accepted themselves yet. Secondary School is a growing process where you take your first steps into being the person you want to be and figure yourself out. Although it is made 100x worse when you are judged and harassed for being different by immature classmates and students. This was shown when a cruel prank was set up in the boys locker as a dildo was glued onto his inside locker, simulating the sudden realisation within the school that he is gay.
I myself had easy homophobic comments during my time in school and thankfully the tolerance level of this has been minimills nearly into existence since I retired to a secondary school this year as a Teacher Assistant. Showing clearly to students a like of my sexual orientation being gay and proud I was complimented constantly for being proud of who I was and inspired students to have found trust in myself and even came out to me.
You will never be able to completely erase homophobic, racial or mocking of disabilities within school due to the immature nature of students when they are young and certain times due to the pure nastiness and hatred that lies inside of people. This bullying in the music video drove the high school boy to feeling isolated and alone.
That was until a teacher noticed his struggle and reached out to help, bringing in the father to help him through this difficult situation to as nobody really thinks about how they must feel during this too. Although the scene cuts abruptly to see the boy in his room reaching up his wardrobe to get ahold of an object. That object being a gun. Constantly crying, the emotions got too much and in a flash everything wrong in his life comes to the front of his brain and he sees no other option than to end his life and end the suffering. There is no other way, the music goes down and you can hear the tears and raw emotions of this boy contemplating killing himself.
After battling with his own thoughts as his whole life flashes before his eyes he thinks about. everything and truly reflects the severity of the choice he now has. Instead he takes out a piece of paper with a phone number which is the number for the NSPL. This really is a last resort for him, the last chance to find a reason to save himself, to see if anybody cares.
Since the shot of the boy emotionally calling the NSPL, their is just a ray of lights that appear on the screen leaving the viewers in suspense to see if the call helped save this boys life. Evidently as the next shot appears, it shows the same boy now grown up, holding the hands of the man he loves surrounded by both of their families.
This is a perfection demonstration that says, everything will get better within time. What you may think is really important and life-changing right now, won’t even matter in time. That is why the fathers deciding to process what they witnessed and not instantly reacting shows that all they wanted in the end was to see their son happy. Originally at first scared of the backlash and the risk of being gay, seeing their son victimised and targeted would not be nice for any father to go through and that is why this song covers all parts perfectly.
Finishing with a happy ending for everybody involved clearly shows that even during your darkest times when you think you are alone and the only person hurting, like you feel like nothing will ever change, it always will. It just takes time.
Overall this song has influenced so many people and I would be doing the song a de-service by saying it has helped save lives because their is no end to how much this song has helped others when they needed it most. This is why the blog post has been purely about this song and I have wrote over 2,500 words.
1-800-273-8255, is not only a song but is a movement. A rally to fight for equality for everybody. These morals are something rapper Logic abides by within every musical content he creates visually and verbally. I have no doubt that this song will go down for being one of the most recognised and remembered mental health centred songs of all-time.
Just for that reason alone is why I have chosen this song to be included within my mental health awareness festival 2020. This song has helped me through my darkest times and helped me realise that life is worth living and to never give up. Everyday is a battle and brings on new challenges but you need to just remember we are here for a reason and that reason gets us up everyday and that is to fight to be a better person.
From the lyrics to the music video all the way to his live performances, Logic accompanied with vocals from Alessia Cara and Khalid created music and mental health awareness history when they released 1-800-273-8255. Please remember whether you. are a friend or a casual reader of my content, you are not alone, please never give up, better days are ahead.