The Importance of Logic's VMA Performance

“I don’t want to be alive, I just wanna die today” is not a song lyric that you hear on a daily basis or one that you would self knowingly blast out of your speakers. Yet, I’m sure plenty of us have turned up the volume to rap artist, Logic’s, recent single “1-800-273-8255,” but have we really listened? I know I didn’t. Over summer, this song was constantly playing on the radio; I heard it in my car and I heard it in the pizza shop I worked at. I remember hearing the lyrics “I just wanna die today” and thinking “D-mn, that’s intense.” It wasn’t until his live performance on the MTV Video Music Awards on August 27th that it hit me. The meaning and words behind this song are so much more.

If you haven’t heard this song, listen to it here:

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Logic performed his song while sharing the stage with actual suicide attempt survivors. At the end, he used his fame and platform to speak out about current issues and mental health awareness. A glimpse into what the rapper said was: “Whatever you are going through, however dark it may seem, there is an undeniable truth and strength in the fact that you are not alone. We all have struggles, and as long as you never give up on yourself, light will break through the darkness.” In today’s mainstream media, topics like mental health, racism, discrimination, sexism, domestic violence and sexual assault are often swept under the rug and deemed unimportant to talk about. Why would we not talk about the things that affect so many of us and our daily lives? 

On his album, Everybody, the artist preaches about hot topics including suicide, racism, and his own biracial background.  Therefore, not only are the lyrics of “1-800-273-8255” incredibly important and inspiring, the music video shows no mercy to speaking up on these topics as well. In a post-VMA interview by TooFab, Logic said that when brainstorming this video, he thought to himself, “Who has been struggling the most in America lately”? His answer was “young people, black people, and gay people.” I highly suggest watching the music video; it brought me to tears. It is centered around a popular, young, athletic, black male in high school who is not accepted for being gay which leads him to suicidal thoughts and ultimately seeks help from calling 1-800-273-8255.

Watch the video here:

1-800-273-8255 is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline that is a network of crisis centers providing 24/7 help for anyone in a suicidal crisis or is seeking help. I beg of you to use this if you feel that you or someone you care about is in danger. If you’ve experienced depression, anxiety, or suicide or know somebody who has, you know it can be earth-shattering. Depression is so much more than not being able to get out of bed. Anxiety is so much more than feeling like you’re drowning. Suicide is so much more than wanting to die. These illnesses affect so many people regardless of your religion, race, creed, or sexual orientation. Mental illnesses can shake you up and break you down to your core. It is important to talk about this to let people struggling know that they are not alone in any way and know that it can get better. It is when we speak up and talk about this that we can help others heal. World Suicide Prevention Day is September 10th. The more we speak up about mental health – depression, anxiety and suicide, the more we can make an impact. Since the airing of Logic’s emotional and moving performance, Frances Gonzalez, the Nation Suicide Lifeline’s Director or Communications, said that there has been a 50% increase in calls for help. 

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Logic’s song features Alessia Cara and Khalid. Alessia sings the lyric, “It’s the very first breath when your heads been drowning underwater,” resembling recovery. This song transitions from the beginning where a person no longer wants to live, to the verse, “I want you to be alive, you don’t gotta die today,” acting as the suicide hotline responder, then ending with Khalid vocalizing the lyrics, “I don’t want to cry anymore, I wanna feel alive. I don’t even wanna die anymore.” A beautiful transition and message that you will get better. You can heal and overcome these struggles.

  If you feel like you can no longer live, please know that people can and will help you. No life is more precious than your own. Life is hard and cruel yet we need to persevere. Too many people take their lives too young. They will never experience graduating, getting married, having a family, earning an amazing job, etc. Don’t take that away from yourself. You are not alone. You are loved. Us here at HerCampus and so many more around you want you to be alive. The survivors that graced the stage at the VMA’s during Logic’s performance are living, thriving, brave individuals who got a second chance at life are inspirations and proof that life is worth it. 1-800-273-8255 is priceless, but more importantly, so is your life. 

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Slightly poetic and most likely taller than you.

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