Logic's VMA performance brings awareness

Columnist Luis Mejia 

Columnist Luis Mejia 

Suicide is back in the news, and while most of us are generally reluctant to bring up the topic altogether, doing just that is exactly what helped a certain VMA performance stand out this year. 

Logic released his third studio album, “Everybody,” in May, and with it has followed numerous promotional responsibilities. Some artists view interviews, speeches, and specific performances as chores, but Logic’s interpretation of them is just another opportunity to reinforce the message he is fighting for, which he mentions on several occasions to be equality. 

Granted, he is not the first artist to tackle the problem of suicide by way of music or lyrics, but he is perhaps one of the first to have taken such a blunt approach in bringing forth a solution.

This is besides the fact that he is a celebrity who recognizes the influence of his platform. 

If I may, I feel like the man is indeed a kind, down-to-earth soul who genuinely dares to challenge the injustices he sees around him. 

During his VMA performance, he accomplished just that by not only acknowledging the apparent issue of suicide, but by steering the viewer to an appropriate outlet that was sure to help. Hence the song title, “1-800-273-8255.” 

The number represents a call to action, as indicated by the 50 percent spike to the suicide hotline, according to CNN. Those who felt the kind of pain described in the lyrics were finally granted a legitimate resource at the hands of a person whom they admired.  

Often, the people desperate for help feel an additional layer of shame and discomfort on top of what they are already going through if it requires them to reach out for help themselves. 

This creates a burden complex in which an individual’s only resort is to distance themselves farther than they already have, according to The Guardian writer Rebecca Ratcliffe. 

However, if an artist with a following as large as Logic’s is the one to reach out to them, the victims will know they are not alone. As a result, these troubled individuals will likely be more inclined to save themselves on their own volition, which perhaps makes for the best advice of all. 

I wish more artists did this. Let me rephrase that, I wish more people in positions of power did this. It is no mystery that the influence of some, speaks volumes for many more. It is also no mystery that the mainstream entertainment industry has tended to lean a convincing amount towards the progressive side of debates in this country. 

“It’s not just about the calls; it’s about increasing awareness about suicide and suicide prevention in particular,” John Draper, the suicide lifeline director said, according to The Fader. “The calls don’t even begin to count the number of people who, just by listening to the song and hearing the lyrics, feel more hopeful and less alone.” This is a crucial time for social progression; depression, mental health, and suicide have been done a severe disservice over the years in America. I hope that those who have a history with one of these problems, celebrity or not, may finally find their voice thanks to Logic.

To make an appointment at CAPS, Sonoma State’s Counseling Service, call: 707-664-2153.