I chose to do my Rhetorical Analysis on Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255”. The reasoning for choosing this song is I actually had a friend who went through a very dark period in his life. He was scared and felt alone. He did not think anyone was there for him or loved him. The thing was no one ever knew because he always had a smile on his face. He felt this way for quite some time, when he told me in a serious conversation about him wanted to take his life. My friend told me if I hadn’t asked him to go to the beach that day, he was going to attempt suicide. So after getting him better and realizing you never actually know what going on in someone life. I have made it a goal for me to always just ask how someone’s day is going or just simply be nice person to others.
Music has become a source of comfort, an outlet for emotions, and a shared connection between people. Many artists use their talents and influence to reach out to fans in order to send a message. On April 28, 2017, American rapper Logic released his song “1-800-273-8255″ titled after the suicide hotline. When releasing this song, Logic wanted to speak to all his fans contemplating suicide, to let them know that there are people here for them, and that death is not the answer. I believe that in showing both sides of suicide, that of the person committing it and the call center, Logic is effectively convincing his suicidal fans that someone does care and that they can get help. To completely understand the song I first looked at Logic and the albums background, then what it is truly saying, and finally I asked if it got people to actually listen.
In an interview with Genius, logic revealed the real reason behind writing not only the song “1-800-273-8255” but his album Everybody. While doing a fan tour before the release of an album, he encountered many fans who said that Logic’s music had saved their lives. Shaken by the realization of the influence and power he holds, Logic had a thought. “In my mind, I was like, ‘Man I wasn’t even trying to save nobody’s life. And then it hit me, the power that I have as an artist with a voice, I wasn’t even trying to save your life. Now, what can happen if I actually did?(Salaky)” This moment was a turning point for logic, in an interview with Rolling stone he explains that he didn’t want to make his album Everybody. Unlike millions of people he had a voice that the masses would listen to, and therefore, he had to talk about the things no one else would. Having grown up in a lower-class neighborhood, with a drug addicted father and an alcoholic mother, Sir Robert Bryson Hall II witnessed more than most. He was brought up in the wrong crowd but instead of following in their footsteps logic stated, “I would flip it on its head and say okay, instead of doing this, this is what you should not do”(Nguyen). Despite having gone through this, Logic was able to make a name for himself and come out the other side. In his interview with Rolling Stone, Logic talks about wanting to write ‘Everybody’ from different perspectives but being unable to do so stating, “…how could I write about other people’s fears if I didn’t have the courage to first address my own”(Shipley). In an attempt to combat this, Logic wrote about not only his own personal struggles but that in which he saw in others. Songs, such as everybody witch dealt with his racial identity, are spoken from his point of view; while others, such as “1-800-273-8255”, are from the outside looking in. Logic wrote the album Everybody with one purpose in mind, to reach and connect with his fans, he did what many are afraid to do and talked about his own demons.
When writing “1-800-273-8255” logic spoke from two different perspectives, and used these to show character development and progression. The first point of view is that of someone contemplating suicide, it is brought to us in the first chorus stating, “I don’t wanna be alive
I don’t wanna be alive, I just wanna die today, I just wanna die”. The narrator no longer wants to live, they feel no need to be on this Earth and want it all to end. They continue stating, “I’ve been praying for somebody to save me, no one’s heroic and my life don’t even matter”. This person is calling for help, they want someone to care, they need to matter to someone. In the second chorus the perspective changes to that of a suicide prevention worker stating, “ I want you to be alive, I want you to be alive, You don’t gotta die today, You don’t gotta die”. The operator is begging for this person to live, to see the light at the end of the tunnel. They can relate to what the other is feeling and need them to know that this is not the end. In verse three the operator tells this broken person, “I know where you been, where you are, where you goin’, I know you’re the reason I believe in life”. The person who is desperate for someone to care about their life found the hero, the helping hand, the answer to prayers in one phone call. In the third and final chorus we are brought back to that first perspective, but instead of wanting to kill themselves, this person wants to live again. The once desperate for attention person finally has someone to care and states,“ I finally wanna be alive,I finally wanna be alive, I don’t wanna die today,I don’t wanna die”. The suicide hotline operator has done their job and prevented someone form taking their own life, they gave them the one thing they really needed, someone who cares.
Logic wrote an album that spoke about things no one likes to talk about, he didn’t even want to talk about it. Despite this, he put his own fears aside and set out to save others. He wanted to make his voice heard for those who have one that isn’t. His song “1-800-273-8255” was meant to help people in need of being saved from them selves. The day Logic released this song, calls to the lifeline skyrocketed, they received their second most number of calls on that day. Since then the calls have been continuous and maintained a high volume. Logics song meant something to people, it gave them hope that they too can be saved. In showing the character development of a suicidal person and their attempt to find help, the artist gave a glimpse of what someone could have happen as well. The song is real and not sugar coated, it speaks the hard truth and grabs your attention.
To understand Logic’s song “1-800-273-8255”, you must first know where it is coming from, then you have to understand its true meaning, and finally you have to know if it is effective. This song was one of many from an album that spoke the hard truth. Logic wrote it in hopes of saving people from themselves. I believe that in showing the ugly truth about suicide, and what someone goes through when contemplating it, Logic reached his audience in the best way. The progression of the suicidal persons thoughts, gives hope to those going through the same thing. In all ways Logic was successful in saving his fans, the lifeline call records is perfect proof.
Genius.Logic “1-800-273-8255 Official Lyrics & Meaning | Verified” Online Video Clip. Youtube. Youtube, Apr 27, 2017. Web. May 16, 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch? v=SOJTg9cL5bM
“Logic Tweets National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Statistics Since His ‘1-800’ Release.” Billboard, Billboard, www.billboard.com/articles/columns/hip-hop/8039094/. logic-1-800-273-8255-national-suicide-prevention-lifeline-statistics-tweet.
Nguyen, Michael. “Logic Details Aligning With No I.D. & Def Jam While Maintaining His Lyrical Approach.” HipHopDX, 17 May 2013, hiphopdx.com/interviews/id.2108/.title.logic-details-aligning-with-no-i-d-def-jam-while-maintaining-his-lyrical-approach#.
Salaky, Kristin. “Logic Performed His Hit Song ‘1-800-273-8255’ at the Grammys – and the Title Has a Powerful Hidden Meaning.” INSIDER, INSIDER, 28 Jan. 2018, www.thisisinsider.com/what-is-1-800-273-825-song-2018-1
Shipley, Al. “Logic Talks Race and His Dense, Intense, 70-Minute Rap Opus ‘Everybody’.”Rolling Stone, Rolling Stone, 10 May 2017, www.rollingstone.com/music/features/logic- breaks-down-his-dense-70-minute-rap-opus-everybody-w481627.
“1-800-273-8255 By LOGIC (Featuring ALESSIA CARA & KHALID ).” Song Facts, SongFacts, http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?lyrics=42643.