Being black in America is tough enough these days. Putting all the discrimination and racism we face around the country aside, the tragic duality of that struggle is how hard it is to find a consistent support system in our own communities. Logic tells genius.com that while he was on tour last year, so many of his fans expressed that his music had saved their lives, and he was moved because that was never his intention. Realizing his influence, he decided to make a record, featuring Khalid and Alessia Cara, specifically for the purpose of reaching people who may need saving. Hence, plainly titling this single as the number to the Suicide Prevention Hotline.
In Logic’s 1-800-273-8255 music video, directed by Andy Hines, we see a newborn grow into a young man going through an identity crisis that drives him to the point that he wants to take his own life. Coy Stewart plays a black teen, assumably coming to terms with his homosexuality. He’s a star athlete that has feelings for his close friend, played by Nolan Gould. His father, Don Cheadle the Great, confronts him about a magazine with a shirtless male on the cover. Stewart storms out to have dinner with his friend and ends up spending the night. Gould’s father finds them the next morning, shirtless in bed and is visibly disappointed, and Stewart is escorted out. We see the beginning of his breaking point.
He starts to slip in school, in track and doesn’t return home right away, which raises concern from his coach, played by Luis Guzman. Even after his father is notified about this unusuall behavior, Stewart still feels helpless and puts a gun to his head. While having a meltdown during school hours, he decides to call the Suicide Prevention Hotline as Khalid can be heard singing, “I don’t even wanna die anymore.” He gets the help he needs and braces through some tough conversations, because the very next scene is Stewart and Gould’s characters all grown up, exchanging wedding vows. By then, the viewer is sobbing and the message is received.
After projects like Tyler, The Creator’s Flower Boy and Jay-Z’s 4:44, there has been a spark in conversation about black men being able to provide introspective content. Not too long ago, the image of a strong black man used to be that of a heterosexual stone cold provider that never let his feelings show. Men who wanted to openly express their feelings were considered weak, and hyper-masculine conditioning caused them to internalize these issues with grave consequences. However, men, especially black men, are starting to realize that they have every right to be multi-dimensional and open up about what is going with them.
Logic didn’t write this song specifically for black men, but when suicide rates among black boys have doubled between 1993 and 2012, there was a crisis that needed to be addressed. While there are more stories to be told, this music showed that even the most extreme bouts of suicidal thoughts can be remedied by talking to an objective voice. If you, or someone you know, is going through this, do not keep it to yourself. Your life is valuable and you are loved. Call the Suicide Prevention Hotline at 1-800-273-8255 and get the help you need.