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The Impact of 1-800-273-8255

1-800-273-8255 is the number for the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline; currently known widely as the title of a song by Logic featuring singers Alessia Cara and Khalid. Logic is a rapper who gained popularity in 2015 when he released his second studio album “The Incredible True Story”. He recently released an album called “Everybody” which “1-800-273-8255” is a part of. The album charted at #1 in the US. The track became an international hit ever since its release in late April this year.

          The very popular song sheds light on the emotions of a person considering suicide. The music video was released in August and has surpassed 135 million views. It tells the story of a teenage boy dealing with his sexual orientation after he develops feelings for another boy. He is bullied and is even pushed away by his family for being different.

           The song starts out by describing the emotions a person goes through when they think of committed suicide. The starting chorus has the line “I don’t wanna be alive” showing how they think living is futile. Which is illustrated throughout the first half of the the video by showing how the boy is bullied mercilessly and how lonely he feels. In both the song and the video, the tone becomes darker, up to the climax of when the boy points a gun at his head, with tears streaming down his face.

            But then, the song takes a turn when the boy decides to call the lifeline and get help. In the song, Logic is speaking to the listener and telling them “But you gotta live right now, You got everything to give right now.” The ending chorus has the line “I finally wanna be alive.” The video ends in a  hopeful tone after cutting to a scene where the boy, now a grown man, is getting married. He is finally happy and he and his husband adopt a baby. At the very end, he is humming a lullaby to his child. The video had started with his father humming the very same lullaby to him.

           “1-800-273-8255” was meant to make people more aware about the feelings and hardships a person with suicidal thoughts goes through. While it was quite morbid in the beginning, Logic himself said,“I had to write this because you can’t sugar coat it.” The song gives people an outlet to show exactly how they feel. While doing so, it also gives comfort. It tells anyone going through hardship that life will get better.

             The song itself has had a huge impact on the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline. The NSPL released a statement describing the effects of the song on the number of calls they got. The day the song released, the NSPL got the second highest amount of calls ever. Several of their crisis centers reported that callers were influenced by the song in some way. Logic, Alessia Cara and Khalid even performed at the MTV VMAs on August 27. After their performance, the calls spiked by 50%.

             While the song itself has a very important message, the artist shows just how much a single voice can impact an issue. This was one song by a moderately popular artist and it saved lives. If this issue is addressed more and is brought to the mainstream audience, it could have an even larger impact. The legacy of “1-800-273-8255” is not just the amount of calls, it’s the conversation that has developed after its release. Hopefully, issues like this will be addressed by other renowned personalities in music and other fields. This could bring to light many other important issues and facilitate conversation about topics that society suppresses.