Kudos to Logic
Credit where credit's due.
Sir Robert Bryson Hall II - you probably know him by his stage name, Logic - is making waves with his new album, Everybody. First dropping Black Spider-Man (Feat. Damian Lemar Hudson) as a single, Logic then proceeded to release an even heavier song: 1-800-273-8255, featuring Alessia Caria and Khalid. While the number may seem a random choice to those unfamiliar with its importance, Logic's choice is actually the number for the National Suicide Prevention Hotline.
Since releasing the track, a couple different things have happened. On the day of its release, the hotline received the second highest daily call volume in its history – over 4,573 calls, a 27 percent increase from the same day over the last three weeks. Google searches for the Lifeline spiked over 100 percent, and have since fallen to a steady baseline that is still 25 percent higher than before the song’s release. Both the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s Facebook and Twitter accounts also saw an immediate increase in followers and traffic, one that has held consistently.
Music – and specifically rap – has always had an uneasy relationship with depression. Eminem’s career is the most prominent example of this, but songs about mental health have come from everywhere. Ol’ Dirty Bastard (former Wu-Tang Clan member), Tyler the Creator, DMX, Scarface, even Big Sean (just look at his new song, Jump Out The Window) have all dealt with the issues in their music.
These rappers are in the minority. While some take mental suffering seriously, most hip-hop artists are ignorant or unwilling to openly discuss the issue. The genre has a history of immortalizing those who grapple with depression, while simultaneously misrepresenting or ridiculing it as somehow less masculine or as a weakness. It doesn’t take a particularly deep understanding of the genre to realize that hip-hop is far more comfortable with self-glorification than self-doubt, at least historically.
But times are changing. And a huge shout-out to Logic for leading the charge.